Being Properly Equipped!

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When my brother left on his mission for Italy he left behind, unprotected, his baseball glove. I was a senior in high school so when he left I still had one year left of high school baseball. The glove he left behind wasn’t just any glove, it as a Wilson model A2000, the most expensive mitt on the market. I had played the year before with a Sears generic model glove.  The A2000 was a great glove. It had a big pocket and was made of the best cowhide available. It was so soft and durable. To this day I still think it is the best glove on the market. As I examined both gloves at the beginning of the season, I couldn’t resist using my brother’s superior glove. By the time my brother came home, I had not only used it in my final year of high school ball but also for American Legion that summer and college ball. I also used it in two seasons of men’s softball. There is no question in my mind that having superior equipment can make a difference in how well you play the game.

When I returned home from my mission I went out within a week and bought a new A2000 baseball glove. That was 1977. A number of years ago my wife had the glove “re-strung” for my birthday. It has been over 25 years since I bought that glove and it is so durable that I am still using it to this day. Having the best equipment is a must if you want to compete on the highest level.

A number of years ago Elder David B. Haight told of a similar experience regarding being properly equipped.

“I grew up in a small country town in Idaho. Football came to our school later than most. It was 1923. We had neither equipment nor a coach. But the great day arrived when our high school principal was able to buy twelve inexpensive football outfits—but not football shoes with cleats. We used our basketball shoes. He taught us a few simple plays and how to tackle, and then we were ready to play—or so we thought. We set off for our first game with Twin Falls, the previous year’s Idaho state champions.

We dressed and went out on the field to warm up. Their school band started to play (they had more students in the band than we had in our entire high school)—and then through the gates came their team. They kept coming and coming—all thirty-nine of them—fully equipped, and shoes with cleats. The twelve of us—a full team of eleven plus one all-round substitute, watched in amazement.The game was most interesting! To say it was a learning experience is rather mild. After just two plays, we had no desire to have the ball—so we kicked it, and they scored. Whenever they got the ball, they would run a baffling play and score. Our goal was to get rid of the ball—it was less punishing…. The final score—106 to 6!” (David B. Haight, “A Time for Preparation,” Ensign, Nov 1991).

Being properly equipped will not give us talent that we don’t have, but it will augment the talent we do have; thus allowing us to compete at the highest level of our capacities. We are all faced with daily challenges that at times force us to the brink of our abilities. It is important that we arm ourselves with the best equipment available. Why use a Sears model glove for fielding those hard grounders in life when an A2000 is available. Yes, the A2000 costs more, but is the price worth the sacrifice?

In the game of life I think the answer is the same as in a game of sports. We need to properly equip ourselves in order for us to compete with the world. The prophets have told us to pray often, read the scriptures, hold our Family Home evening, be faithful in our callings and attend our meetings. It does cost us time and even money to do these things. But, we will be better equipped to be in the spiritual game of life if we do so.

We need to put on an A2000 each day so to speak! We will find that we will be better able to handle the hard grounders, the line drives and long fly balls that come our way in the game of life by so doing!

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