My Wagon Has a Flat Tire

by | Jan 27, 2023

small antique wagon with a flat tire

Fasten Your Seatbelt (No. 7)

From his talk Overcome the World and Find Rest

Part of the President Nelson Series

All blue quotes by President Russell M. Nelson (unless otherwise noted).

Flat Tire

Okay, I didn’t entirely fall off, but my wagon has a flat tire. As I write this post, President Nelson’s counsel is just what I need right now. I’ve allowed my better routines to get lost in hard homework for school, and my life needs rebalancing and rededication to better habits. I know my days could feel much better. Every single day has the seeds of greatness and well-being spread throughout it.

Why do we shortchange ourselves?

Perhaps you haven’t fallen off the wagon – it’s still there. But maybe that wagon is dragging on a flat tire. Here are some of my flat tires – see if you can relate to any of them.

  • let my daily scripture study go
  • my prayers decline in quality or quantity
  • poor eating habits
  • lack of exercise
  • let chores and housework go
  • allowing inferior emotions to structure my day
  • impatient reactions
  • indignation/offended
  • put off going to the temple
  • neglect to take the time to love others intentionally
  • reduce dedication to my life’s calling
  • waste and squander time (like video games and surfing the internet)
  • get caught up in the thick of thin things that don’t matter
  • don’t take time to meditate, reflect, plan
  • no goals – no accountability
  • don’t read good books regularly

And the list goes on – what came up for you?

Power and Momentum

Change your day – change your life.

What one thing will you change?

Simply starting a good habit, stopping one bad habit, or making small upgrades to our daily routine will change our life’s path for the better. Even changing something for 15 mins a day can make a huge difference.

How do we get back better daily cycles that empower us and create upward momentum?

President Nelson knows.

Overcoming the world is not an event that happens in a day or two. It happens over a lifetime as we repeatedly embrace the doctrine of Christ.

Repeatedly is bolded because that word perfectly associates with the doctrine of Christ. It is a repeated experience. The doctrine of Christ is a simple, straightforward formula, but probably will take our whole lives to master. Nonetheless, our repeated attempts open the Heavens up to us and creates blessings.

Just what is the doctrine of Christ? My short answer – it’s the simple steps Christ outlined to save us. Following His gracious invitations are what gives Him permission to give us everything the Father has in the end.

For a clearer definition of the doctrine of Christ with specific steps – see my footnotes!

We cultivate faith in Jesus Christ by repenting daily and keeping covenants that endow us with power. We stay on the covenant path and are blessed with spiritual strength, personal revelation, increasing faith, and the ministering of angels. Living the doctrine of Christ can produce the most powerful virtuous cycle, creating spiritual momentum in our lives.

This quote has so much potential and encouragement – let’s look at those promises.

Our Part

  • cultivate faith in Jesus Christ
  • repenting DAILY (that’s the most empowering process ever)
  • keeping and making covenants
  • stay on the covenant path (baptism, sacrament, temple endowment)

Christ’s Part

  • endow us with power
  • more spiritual strength
  • more personal revelation
  • increasing faith (to act)
  • ministering of angels (includes angels behind the veil)

The Result

  • powerful daily cycles
  • spiritual momentum

Wait, There’s More

Repentance is vital as we acknowledge and work through our sins, but repentance is also about change and starting better things.

As we strive to live the higher laws of Jesus Christ, our hearts and our very natures begin to change. The Savior lifts us above the pull of this fallen world by blessing us with greater charity, humility, generosity, kindness, self-discipline, peace, and rest.

What would a day look like if it were filled with:

  • charity
  • humility**
  • generosity
  • kindness
  • self-discipline
  • peace
  • rest

Sometimes you have to intentionally pick those qualities because the people around us don’t make it easy. What if you intentionally took 15 minutes a day to add something from this list to your life? What would happen?

**humility: how can I describe this adequately? Humility is a powerful trait that describes our Savior (meek and lowly of heart). It does not mean being timid or quiet. Captain Moroni was humble. It means knowing who God is and who you are – a child of the most High who recognizes where all good and powerful things come from. It means knowing your place but being brave about your life and what you do because you love God. It means you recognize there are greater things and more important causes than your wants and yourself.

These qualities are not what you find in weaker human beings – they are the mastery of effective and confident lives.

Most of all, they let you sleep at night.

Final Comment

I noticed the world doesn’t want any of President Nelson’s loving invitations to step up. It prefers resentment, anger, mistrust, second-guessing ourselves, low self-esteem, shame, irresponsibility, cold hearts, idleness, and the empty path of consumerism and materialism. Finding the best things in life means wielding the courage to defy worldly trends and values.

Blessings to you as you implement small changes/habits so you can focus your life on what matters more.

Timshel (Hebrew for ‘thou mayest’)

Footnotes – Just what is the doctrine of Christ?

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At General Conference, Brian K. Ashton, a Sunday School General Presidency counselor, gave a perfect definition of the doctrine of Christ.

The scriptures define the doctrine of Christ as exercising faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repenting, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. (Oct 2016)

President Nelson made a 1-minute video called the “Doctrine of Christ.” It’s so good – I suggest watching it:

prophet Russell M. Nelson
Short 1-minute video of the Prophet talking about the doctrine of Christ.

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Some fantastic, powerful scripture references for the doctrine of Christ

Russell M. Nelson also attached a scripture to the footnotes of his October 2022 talk “Overcoming the World and Find Rest.” It’s a powerful verse describing Jesus’s atonement.

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me. (Alma 7:11-13)

The next set of verses from the Book of Mormon perfectly describes the doctrine of Christ.

16 And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.

17 And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father.

18 And this is the word which he hath given unto the children of men. And for this cause he fulfilleth the words which he hath given, and he lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words.

19 And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.

20 Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day. (3 Nephi 27:16-20)

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For teaching helps – please see “5 Highlights for “Overcome the World and Find Rest” by President Nelson.

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  1. Carrie Jensen

    Gosh. I love you! You are an inspiration!

    • Shawnie Cannon

      Lol…I love you too. What a journey, right?


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