When I was coming home from school one day, I was sitting in the chair reading the newspaper and my daughter Sarah, then seven years old, came in and said, Dad, can I have a bike? I’m the only kid on the block who doesn’t have a bike. And I didn’t have enough money to buy her a bike. So I Stalder I said, sure, Sarah. She said, how? When? So I said, you save all your pennies and pretty soon you’ll have enough for a bike.
She went away a couple of weeks later as I was sitting in the same chair, I was aware of Sarah doing something for her mother and getting paid. She went in the other room. I heard clink, clink. They said, Sarah, what are you doing? And she came out. She had a little jar all cleaned up with a slit cut in the lid and a bunch of pennies in the bottom. She looked at me and she said, You promised me that if I saved all my pennies pretty soon I’d have enough for a bike.
And Daddy, I’ve saved every single one. My heart melted because I love her. I said, well, let’s go downtown and look at bikes. So we did. We went down. We went to every store in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and finally we found the perfect bicycle. And she got up on that because she was just thrilled. And she saw then the price tag and she reached down and she turned it over and she saw how much it cost and her face fell.
She started to cry and she said, Oh, Dad, I’ll never have enough for a bicycle. How much do you have? She said, 61 cents. I’ll tell you what, you give me everything you’ve got on. Well, 61 cents and a hug and a kiss. And that bike is yours. She gave me a hug and a kiss, she gave me 61 cents, and then I had to drive home very slowly because she wouldn’t get off the bike.
She rode home. And as I drove along slowly beside her, it occurred to me that that was a parable for the atonement of Christ. We all want something desperately in the bicycle. We want the celestial kingdom. We want to be with our father in heaven. And no matter how hard we try, we come up short to that point. Sweetness of the gospel covenant comes to our taste and the savior proposes. I’ll tell you what. All right.
You’re not perfect. How much do you have? Give me all the receipts and I’ll pay the rest, enter into a personal relationship with me and I will do what remains under. Many of us are trying to save ourselves and holding the atonement of Christ at arm’s distance and saying, when I’ve done it, when I’ve perfected myself, when I have made myself more worthy, then I’ll be worthy. Of the Atonement, then I will allow him in.
We cannot do it. We must do all that we can, but having done all, then we must trust in his redeeming blood and in his ability to do for us what we cannot yet accomplish.