Batteries and Bitter Winds
January 2012

“Batteries and Bitter Winds,” Ensign, Jan. 2012, 66–67

Batteries and Bitter Winds

C. Lee Bendixsen, Idaho, USA

One day following my shift at the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple, I volunteered to take two brethren to their car, which had stalled on the highway just south of Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA. A kindly couple had stopped during that bitter-cold December day and brought Brother Thompson and Brother Clark the remaining distance to the temple.

Brother Thompson was convinced that his car needed a new battery. I took him to purchase the battery at a nearby automotive shop, and because I had tools in my car, I agreed to change it.

Fortunately I had brought a new pair of gloves and my winter jacket. Pulling the car’s hood up, I prepared to remove the dead battery and replace it with the new one.

To change the battery, I had to disassemble and move several car parts, including the windshield washer reservoir. I soon found that my tools would not fit all of the metric-sized bolts and several screws would not even budge. I used different tools and tried different positions, but nothing moved. The temperature outside was around 5 degrees Fahrenheit (-15°C), and the semitrucks whizzing by created wind gusts that were bitter cold. I had reached a cold, frustrating impasse.

I turned to the only help available. I prayed earnestly, explaining my need to Heavenly Father and asking if He would either loosen the bolts and screws or help me find a way to do it. Finishing my prayer, I again grabbed a pair of pliers and grasped a resisting screw. It was already loose! Silently and fervently expressing thanks, I removed the screw and continued.

Soon I found a frustrating, resisting bolt deeper in the car. Again, completely stymied, I prayed more earnestly for help, doing so with growing trust. This time I felt directed to remove some deeper bolts first and then twist the battery brace, which I did. The resisting bolt moved easily. In a few moments I pulled out the old battery.

I slid the new battery in and with numb fingers reassembled all the parts as best as I could. I then reattached the electrical cables. Brother Thompson turned the key and smiled broadly as the engine started. I gratefully closed the hood. I had been outside for about an hour, and my lower legs and feet were numb as I stiffly stumbled into my car.

I followed Brother Thompson and Brother Clark home to ensure their safe arrival. As I drove, my car’s heater felt lovely, and my legs and feet slowly warmed. I thanked Heavenly Father profusely for His help. In return I was impressed to know that He had answered the prayer of these brethren by sending me as His servant. In His wonderful way He had provided for their need and reaffirmed my faith.