The Importance of Tools

We all use tools in this life. Tools help us to accomplish tasks that we cannot do by ourselves. As we look to better ourselves, we must use the tools provided to us and take advantage of their help in order to improve our lives. The importance of tools cannot be underestimated in living a life of happiness and joy.

I love to work on projects. The featured image shows the nativity scene project I am working on. The piece in the middle is the Manger with the baby Jesus lying in it. Around the Manger are some of the tools I used to cut it out of a sheet of plywood. You can see the jigsaw, drill, saw blades, and drill bits. These tools helped me to create the manger. I could not have done that with my bare hands.

Our spiritual lives also require tools that help us achieve our goals. In “Seeing More of Jesus Christ in Our Lives”, Sister Tracy Y. Browning shares some of the “divinely appointed tools to improve our spiritual vision.” These tools help us to “first, … clarify, focus, and ground the world around [us]; and second, [provides] tangible guidance to continually point [us] in the right direction.”

Tools to Help Us

The five tools that Sister Browning lists are:

  1. Words and teachings of Jesus Christ in the scriptures
  2. Messages from God’s chosen prophets
  3. Receiving His Spirit through daily prayer
  4. Regular Temple Attendance
  5. Participating in the ordinance of the sacrament

I believe those tools are pretty self-explanatory. What other tools can we use to help us focus and be guided? The one that sticks out the most to me is Come Follow Me. This may be because I am not using it the way I should. Also, the sheer volume of resources out there as supplements to Come Follow Me can be daunting. The trick is to use the tools consistently.

In our home, we like to use the Living Scriptures Line Upon Line short videos on YouTube as part of our Sunday evening family time. They range from 5-9 minutes and explore the topic of the upcoming lesson. This has been a great way to get a brief overview and is presented in a manner that is entertaining to all ages.

Cheryl and I really like Don’t Miss This by David Butler and Emily Belle Freeman. Their method of presentation and discussion aligns well with how we see the gospel and how we look at things.

Others I know like Taylor and Tyler over at Book of Mormon Central. Their manor of presentation speaks to them.

The tools we use need to fit our lives and help us to become better. We wouldn’t use a tool to carve wood if we couldn’t wield it. The same goes with spiritual tools. We wield the ones we can and use them to full advantage.

Allowing the Savior to Lead

The ultimate goal of using the tools to help us focus and be guided is to allow the Savior to lead, guide, and steer us. President Nelson has said that “He will lead and guide you in your personal life if you will make time for Him in your life – each and every day” (Russell M Nelson, “Make Time for the Lord,” Lihona, Nov. 2021, 120, 121).

This can lead to pushback from us. I know it’s hard for me to give control of the reins of my life over. We naturally want to be in control and guide our own ship through the seas of life. Allowing anyone else, even the Savior of the world, is difficult and takes time. In fact, I’m not there yet, even though I’m striving to be.

Seeing More of Him

“To help us to remain fixed and heading in the right direction, the Savior invites us to see our lives through Him in order to see more of Him in our lives.” For me, this is the quote of the October 2022 General Conference. I remember when Sister Browning said it and how hard it hit me. I thought to myself, what do I need to do in order to see my life through Him?

One of the answers I found is to immerse myself in the life of Jesus. In 2023, the opportunity to study the New Testament gives me that chance. I’ve talked about the ways in which we are preparing to study the New Testament more fully than we have before. But in order to immerse myself in the life of Jesus, I have to make some changes in my daily life and be disciplined enough to follow through.

My plan is to take time to create a daily schedule of how I will immerse myself. This means dedicated times during the day where I will use the tools I have to study the life of Jesus. In the beginning, and until they become habit, I will track each day and see how I did. I won’t beat myself up if I haven’t done everything in the schedule. I will celebrate my accomplishments, no matter how small. The key is to build up momentum and to get better each day and to not let the tools I have sit on a shelf collecting dust.

The second part is to recognize the Savior in my life. To see “more of Him”. This will require diligent observation on my part. I will need to have my eyes open and ready to see Him. However, just “seeing” more of Him isn’t enough. Time will need to be spent recording what I see so that I have a remembrance of those times that I can use to help me during trials and/or low moments.

Using the “divinely appointed tools” God has given us to see more of Jesus Christ in our lives enables us to turn over the helm of our ship to Christ. He then can guide us through the sea of life and help us achieve our goal of returning and dwelling where He and God reside.


The tools we have in life enable us to do things that we can’t do by ourselves. Spiritual tools are given to help us focus, clarify, and ground ourselves in the gospel of Jesus Christ. This leads us to be guided by Him so that we can navigate this mortal existence and return to live with God.

Tips for Teaching

When you are teaching this topic you may want to consider:

  1. Have the class list the tools they use in everyday life. These can be things like a smartphone, pens, paper, laptops, books, videos, hammers, nails, etcetera. Discuss why we use tools in our daily lives and how they benefit us.
  2. Discuss the tools listed from Sister Browning’s address. Why are they “divinely appointed”? How can the class members effectively use these tools?
  3. What other tools are given us that we can use?
  4. What does it mean to allow the Savior to lead, guide, and steer us “through both the calm and the turbulent waters of life”?
  5. How can we see more of the Savior by seeing our lives through Him?
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