Saturday, September 8, 2007


Do it yourself! Since we live in an environment of limited resources, this is our battle cry. Out of necessity, we take stewardship to an extreme. When Jan and I were first married back in ’84 she stood amazed in the kitchen one day when I returned from the garage with tools in hand to disassemble our Sunbeam electric mixer, repair wire connections and restore the little beast to good working order. She had received it as a gift four years earlier and complained that, “It sure didn’t last very long.” At the time, she didn’t realize she had married a serious do-it-yourselfer. Last week, in its twenty-seventh year of service, it was used to prepare the makings of a delicious chocolate pie. God is good!

Over the years, she has endured, with great patience, many a patch and repair job executed with a book in one hand and a wrench in the other. My theory is that if a man designed it, a man can repair it. This of course is not always true. There are some things which go past my capacity to repair. Automobiles have been engineered beyond my experience and the manuals now read like ancient Egyptian. Computers—well, you know the story on that. When projects require complex electrical wiring with safety issues, I tend to err on the side of prudence. Past those, I’ll tackle about anything.

I recently added nearly 200 sq. ft. of living space to our home which required some degree of skill in about twenty different building trades. Genius at work? No, just a guy with a full shelf of manuals in the library and a well equipped shop. Having good quality, well maintained and sharp tools is better than a full time helper. They fulfill their individual roles with efficiency and they don’t talk all the time.

We live on twenty densely wooded acres of oak, walnut and occasional other deciduous trees. In the center stands about four acres of grass. I bought a 54”mower from Sears when I moved here and soon learned that on this rocky knob you need a comprehensive knowledge of mower repair and maintenance. I stock more repair parts for this model than any local Sears Service Center. Seriously, I maintain sufficient stock to qualify for the wholesale replacement rate. In the fourth mowing season I find new problems still arise that I had never encountered previously.

In 1976, because of my own sinful devices and the church’s ongoing descent into apostasy, I found myself cast adrift without a church to rely upon. I really could have used some congregational support at that time but I was in a business which involved constant travel. I would attempt to find a church in some town I was visiting and soon found out the doctrine inside didn’t match the name on the outside. This pattern continued and I became more and more discouraged.

It was then I came to the decision that I should just make it a do-it-yourself project. I had the manuals. The Inspired Version of the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants were there for me. I had wise counsel anytime I choose to seek help. Whenever sought, God helped me to find the right path. To use a carpentry metaphor, I did bang my thumb with the hammer a time or to. Instead of pointing out my clumsiness, He instead, provided the right direction upon my acknowledgement and repentance..

As time went on, with God’s help things just got better and better. In 1980, he helped me find a solution to my problems with alcohol. In 1984, he directed me (I mean literally) to my beloved spouse. Each successive year, under His guidance, I was led to a deeper understanding and a stronger faith. He had provided a loving spouse, faithful friends and the return of my family to a joyous circle. In 2003 He gave the most momentous gift to date: He, through His Spirit, brought Jan into the fellowship of Jesus Christ and the Saints. A couple years earlier I had started to share with a group of dedicated followers in the Las Vegas living room group, my first regular attendance in twenty five years. Despite a lengthy absence, the continuation seemed as familiar as an old shoe.

In retrospect, the survival of my faith for those twenty five years is indeed a miracle. Were there temptations along the way? Indeed there were but, He was there for me. He did not allow me to sink into denial, criticism or doubt. In the final analysis, we are all in a do-it-yourself project but we can’t do it alone. Yet, we must all account to Him individually. As I sit in the warmth of the Carthage congregation I am comforted to be in the presence of so many believers. I am even more comforted to realize the same God who guided me through difficult times is also there in that sanctuary to guide us all.

In His abiding love

Cecil Moon

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