We got one of those new high-tech Ring doorbells for Christmas. It is awesome. It allows us to see who is at the door, in case of unwanted solicitors or sociality. It allows us to see when packages are delivered by FedEx. It also allows us to see who steals the packages that are delivered by FedEx. Overall, it is a great addition to our family tech.
But…it stopped working the other day, and I needed to take it off the wall to check it out. Unfortunately, the screws that mounted it to the backing place were super soft and rusted, so it was impossible to get them to turn. I tried all the old tricks: putting a rubber band over the head of the Allen wrench, supergluing the Allen wrench into the hole before turning it, and grabbing it with needle nose pliers. None of them worked.
I called Ring support and explained the situation to a lovely woman who suggested I do all the things that I had already done. (Yes, she was impressed by my thoroughness.)
Then conversation proceeded thusly:
Her: Well, there is one other way we suggest for taking the device off the wall.
Me: Okay. Nothing else has worked.
Her: Do you have a hammer?
Me: A what?
Her: A hammer.
Me: Umm, yes?.
Her: Go get it, and a sock or cloth or something.
I went and found a hammer and a washcloth and returned. I put the phone on speaker and set it on the table outside the door.
Me: Got ’em.
Her: Okay. Now cover the top of the device with the cloth, and start gently tapping until it comes off the wall mount.
Me: Are you sure?
So, I covered the top of the doorbell with a washcloth and started tapping. Tap, tap, tap. Nothing.
Me: Nothing’s happening.
Her: Hit it harder.
I hit it harder, same result.
Me: It isn’t coming loose.
Her: Really give it a good whack!
Me: Are you sure, this thing is worth $100?
Her: Yes, go for it.
Me: Okay, here goes..
I stopped mid-swing…
Her: Make sure you don’t hit your wall.
Me: Got it.
I took a good swing and whacked the top of the doorbell harder than I normally hit my electronic devices.
It came off the wall and fell into my hand.
Me: It worked!
Her: Great! Did you damage anything?
Me: Not that I can tell, but I don’t know if the doorbell is okay.
Her: It doesn’t matter, I’m sending you a new one.
And that is my story of how to remove a Ring doorbell from your wall.
As I was thinking about he need for a hammer to do what should be a delicate job, I also thought about how when God deals with us. Often He (through the Spirit) starts out gently, but once-in-a-while, things escalate to the point where we really need a good whack with a hammer. (In a spiritual sense, or course.)
One of our familiar stories of this is when Nephi was getting after his older brothers for being so rebellious and difficult during their time in the wilderness.
Nephi and Lehi had both spent time trying to help Laman and Lemuel “wake up”. The Lord had sent an angel to tell them to knock it off, but they just didn’t respond. Even the Lord himself got involved and gave them a talking to. (1 Nephi 16:39) That seemed to do the trick, for a little while.
Finally after hearing them complain about building a boat one too many times, Nephi said:
Ye are swift to do iniquity but slow to remember the Lord your God. Ye have seen an angel, and he spake unto you; yea, ye have heard his voice from time to time; and he hath spoken unto you in a still small voice, but ye were past feeling, that ye could not feel his words; wherefore, he has spoken unto you like unto the voice of thunder, which did cause the earth to shake as if it were to divide asunder. (1 Nephi 17:45)
– Please let me interject one little point here: Voice of Thunder = Bad. Hammer = Bad.
Nephi then threatened to bring “The Thunder” and warned them that if they even touched him, they would wither like a reed. (1 Nephi 17:48) Just to help reenforce his point, the Lord had Nephi give them a little taste – a shock – to know he meant business.
When you look at what got them to this point, you see that the reason they ended up hearing and feeling the thunder, was simply because they kept ignoring the still, small voice of the Spirit.
Also, it might be worth noting that if He feels the need to get someone’s attention, God will drop the hammer on groups of people (Nephites, Israelites) or individuals (Alma the Younger, Saul/Paul).
I’m sure you all know someone who has a tendency to talk over you, or anyone else in the room. It can be irritating. There seem to be two ways that I respond to such people: 1) I stop talking, 2) I talk louder.
It seems the Holy Ghost is very much the same way when we don’t pay attention to what he is trying to tell us. He starts out in a very gentle, quiet way. If we ignore him, sometimes he just stops trying. Other times, he brings the thunder.
“The Spirit does not get our attention by shouting or shaking us with a heavy hand. Rather it whispers. It caresses so gently that if we are preoccupied we may not feel it at all. (No wonder that the Word of Wisdom was revealed to us, for how could the drunkard or the addict feel such a voice?) Occasionally it will press just firmly enough for us to pay heed. But most of the time, if we do not heed the gentle feeling, the Spirit will withdraw and wait until we come seeking and listening and say in our manner and expression, like Samuel of ancient times, “Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth.” (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, 1983)
The other way is when he brings the thunder – and it is never a good thing. But we can minimize those hammer-like events if we make it a serious focus of our lives and focus
“President Monson has taught, “As we pursue the journey of life, let us learn the language of the Spirit.”13 The Spirit speaks words that we feel. These feelings are gentle, a nudge to act, to do something, to say something, to respond in a certain way. If we are casual or complacent in our worship, drawn off and desensitized by worldly pursuits, we find ourselves diminished in our ability to feel.” Elder Ronald Rasband.
As we fast today and as we attend Church to take the sacrament, remember that the ultimate goal of Sacrament Meeting is to help us re-attain a state of cleanliness that allows the Spirit to stick around, and keeps us attuned to his voice – the still, gentle one.
Yes, the single most important this we will do this week is participate in that basic ordinance. And that’s what helps us avoid the hammer.