A while back my kids decided that they wanted to collect a coin from every country on the planet. It seemed like a fun activity, especially because we could learn a little geography together. We headed off to the local coin shop and each kid would pay a quarter to pick a world coin from a bucket. We’d go home, figure out where the coin was from and put a little star on our map. But after a few trips I realized that this would end up requiring a lot of time and money if we were actually going to achieve our goal of world domination… I mean world coin collecting.
So I did what any good parent would do – I turned to eBay for help. I ordered a 10-pound box of “cull coins” for $50. Then I stopped by the library and checked out a massive catalog of world coins. The kids and I embarked on an exciting voyage of discovery as we slowly (actually, very slowly) figured out where each and every coin was from.
At one point, my daughter asked if she could have the shiny coin (shown in the center of the photo above) that looked a bit like a Chucky Cheese token. I told her that we needed to figure out where it was from, but that I couldn’t seem to find it in the coin catalog. I ended up doing a little Google-fu and found out that it wasn’t a coin at all, it was a medal from Israel in the 1950’s.
Oh, and it was made of gold.
I couldn’t believe it, so I figured I should test it in the chemistry lab to make sure. I checked the density and sure enough it matched the density of gold. Then I dipped it into a beaker of nitric acid. If it was anything other than gold it would be destroyed immediately. But it didn’t dissolve.
I took it to a jeweler and they said it was solid gold and tried to buy it from me for $200. I knew that it was worth far more than that so I took it to a coin show and sold it for quite a bit more.
The moral of the story is this: sometimes in our lives we come across something that just might be extremely valuable. It could be a gold coin or it might be something infinitely more valuable, such as the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we come across something like this, we can dismiss it as too good to be true or we can try to find out for ourselves if it is real.
It’s easy to test for gold and it’s also easy to test the truthfulness of the gospel. Do a little research – read and study about it. Pray and ask God to confirm through the Holy Spirit that what you are studying is true.
And live it. Don’t just live the commandments when times are easy, live them even when times are tough. I didn’t gain a testimony of tithing until a time when money was so tight that I didn’t think my little family would make it. But we paid our tithing and things worked out. It was one of those defining moments, like putting the coin into nitric acid – either the law of tithing was true or it wasn’t. At that moment I knew it was true and that the Lord always follows through on His promises.
I am so grateful that our Heavenly Father sees fit to give us each a lifetime of opportunities to either recognize and accept the truths of His gospel or to cast them off as dross – like wasting a gold coin in a Chucky Cheese arcade machine.