Wednesday, October 8, 2008

How Am I Driving?

I was following a truck today that had a phone number painted on the back with the question, "How am I driving?" I had heard once of a company that helps parents keep an eye on their teenagers with a bumper sticker that also has a number printed and requests that people call in if the teenager is seen driving improperly. The parents then get a regular report of any complaints made about their teenager. As I watched the truck in front of me today, I wished that there were some kind of number I could call if people behave badly; a sort of "1-800-how am I acting".

What people don't realize is that we are the sum existence of our thoughts and actions. Who we are as people, shows in our countenances. If a person lives a good
life, it shows. In contrast, if a person does evil, it shows on their countenance.

Once when my children were small, our family was travelling through Nevada and needed to stop for gas. We don't gamble, drink, or smoke, and in general dont' feel comfortable in places where those things are found. But as my mother always said, "Any port in a storm", so we stopped at a Casino for gas and a bathroom break.

My smallest child was asleep in the car seat, and I didn't want to wake him. I suggested to my husband that he start filling up the car while I took our daughter to the restroom. That way he could watch our youngest, and the car. When I came back, I would switch with him, and he would take our son to the restroom. Plan in place, I took my daughter and walked through the casino to the bathroom. As we walked, we passed many slot machines with glazed eyed people sitting shoving money in to the slot. There was a thick cloud of smoke hung over the room. Not wanting to be exposed to that any longer than possible, I hurried straight to the restroom. As we were walking, we passed an open room with a pool table inside. There were three men standing around as if they were waiting for someone to come play a game with them. They were dressed in suits, and I got the feeling that they worked for the Casino. One man in particular caught my attention. Something about him gave me a feeling that he was an evil man. It wasn't the way he was dressed; he was wearing very nice clothes and was well groomed. It wasn't something he said, he sat in silence. To this day, I can't put my finger on any particular thing I saw that told me he was evil, I just felt it. The feeling I got from him was so strong, that I hurried past as quickly as I could.

Back at the car, my husband then took my son in for their turn at the restroom. Soon they returned, but as my husband got in to the car, we said, almost simultaneously to each other, "Did you see that man?". I hadn't told him what I had seen, he had experienced it for himself. But to this day, my husband and I can remember the feeling we had as we looked on that man's countenance.

The Book of Mormon contains a scripture that questions us about where we are spiritually. It poses a sort of "How am I acting?" question to us. In Alma 5:14 it asks the questions: "And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?" It is a true principle that "For as (a man) thinketh in his heart, so is he". (Prov. 23:7) The measure of our discipleship to our Lord, Jesus Christ, is found in how much we are like Him. As the Savior said, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." (Matt. 7:21)

How I hope that some day I can rid myself of those things that keep me from having the Savior's image engraven on my countenance. I hope that I will become the kind of person who, when others look at me, will see by my actions, and countenance that I am a follower of Christ.

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