The Key

“The Key,” Friend, Mar. 2005, 47

The Key

(Based on an experience from the author’s family)

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent (John 17:3).

“Mom!” I called, dumping the mail onto the kitchen counter. “The new issue of the Friend is here.”

“Good,” Mom answered from the bedroom where she was dusting. “Maybe you’ll find something to help you with your Primary talk. What’s the subject?”

“Every member a missionary.” I plopped down on the couch to leaf through the magazine. Right away I found an article about Jesus being the key that opens the door to eternal life. All we have to do is open the door and step from darkness into light. It sounded great.

The doorbell chimed. I dropped the magazine and ran to the front door. “There’s nobody here, Mom!” I shouted.

“It’s probably the bug lady. She parks way down the street. Open the garage door for her.”

The woman who sprays our yard calls herself Lady Bug, but we just call her the bug lady. She is an exterminator who comes to our neighborhood once a month to spray people’s yards with insecticide, which helps get rid of bugs. She always rings the doorbell to let us know she’s here. Then we open the garage if we want her to spray in there.

I went down the hall, opened the door leading to the garage, and pushed the control switch for the door. The heavy garage door groaned up. I went back to the living room, flopped down on the couch again, and found my place in the magazine.

Suddenly I remembered that someone had stolen Dad’s toolbox when I left the garage door open a couple of months ago. He was not happy about it. What if it wasn’t the bug lady who rang the bell? I peered out the window and could not see her at all. I couldn’t see her truck, either.

I decided I’d better close the garage door. I sure didn’t want to be responsible if Dad’s new toolbox disappeared. I trotted back down the hall to the door that opened into the garage. My mind on my talk, I cracked the door open just enough to snake my arm in and push the control switch again.

As the big garage door grumbled back down, I went to the kitchen and got a glass of juice from the fridge. I carried it to the couch and settled down with the Friend once more.

I slurped down a big swallow of juice and found my place. Yes! This was just what my talk needed. Trusting Jesus to bring us from darkness into light went right along with missionary work.

About a half hour later, my reading was suddenly interrupted. Kerblam! I jumped, and juice sloshed down my shirt. What was that? An explosion? Bam! Bang! Bam! I knocked over a chair as I leaped for the front door.

“What’s going on?” Mom shouted, rushing up behind me, her dust cloth waving. “What’s the pounding?”

“I don’t know. It sounds like a wrecking ball smashing into the house.”

One step ahead of Mom, I darted to the back door and flung it open. Nobody! Nothing!

The racket started again. Mom dropped the dust cloth. “It sounds like it’s coming from the garage.”

“It couldn’t be. I closed the garage door.” I sped down the hall anyway and flung open the door to the garage.

I was staring into wild blue eyes. The bug lady! She held a big spray canister over her head, ready to smash the garage door again. “Thank goodness!” she gasped, slumping backward. “The door to the inside of your house was locked. I tried calling for help, but no one heard me. I thought I’d be stuck in this dark garage all day.”

I felt bad about scaring her. “I’m sorry,” I said, “but you weren’t really stuck. See?” I pushed the control switch, and the garage door rumbled up. Light flooded the dark garage, showing dents all over the door where the bug lady had banged it.

Her voice was shaky. “A switch is no help if you don’t know it’s there.” She spun around, rushed out of the garage, and made a beeline for her truck parked way down the street. She got in, gunned the engine, and roared off.

Mom shook her head. “Poor woman. It must have been scary being locked in a dark garage.”

“I think I’ll put her in my Primary talk,” I said.

Mom whirled around and looked at me as if I was crazy. “You’ll what?”

“The bug lady couldn’t use the control switch because she didn’t know it was there,” I explained. “The Friend article says that Jesus is the key that opens the door to eternal life. But you can’t use a key that you don’t know about, so we need to be missionaries and teach people about Jesus Christ.”

Mom smiled. “You told the bug lady about the switch,” she said. “If the poor woman ever comes back, we need to tell her about the key.”

[The Gospel]

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“The gospel of Jesus Christ is the brightest light and the only hope for this darkened world.”
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Sharing the Gospel,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 9.

  • Hazel Lamoreaux is a member of the Vegas Manor Ward, Las Vegas Nevada East Stake.

Illustrated by Brad Teare