Are You Buying a 1947 Chevrolet?

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“Are You Buying a 1947 Chevrolet?” Ensign, Feb. 1977, 85

Are You Buying a 1947 Chevrolet?

I had a man about my age come in to see me a few days ago. He told me a story about a 1947 Chevrolet. It was a little after the second World War. He was a young elder, I guess, or priest—I’m not sure which. Anyway, he and his friend were called in to see the bishop one night after sacrament meeting, and they both knew what was coming up. The bishop said to the first young man, “We’d like you to prepare to go on a mission.”

The young man replied, “All right, I’ll do it.”

And then the man who came to see me was next. He went in and the bishop said, “We’d like you to prepare to go on a mission.”

And he said, “Bishop, I can’t do it. I’m paying for a 1947 Chevrolet.” He said that at that time in his life, this was the most important thing to him. He said, “I just don’t see how I can do it.”

Well, one thing led to another, and he never did go. He came in to tell me how throughout his life he had regretted that decision so much that every time he sees a 1947 Chevrolet (and that is occasionally nowadays) he gets a sort of unhappy feeling in his heart. He relates it to something that he had an opportunity to do but didn’t.

There is a 1947 Chevrolet in each of our lives. There is some material thing that sooner or later will stand between what the Lord expects of us and what we know we should do. Then we have to make a decision, and may the Lord bless us that we may make a proper decision when our 1947 Chevrolet confronts us.

Elder Loren C. Dunn
Of the First Quorum of the Seventy
Brigham Young University devotional address