Did a ‘Car Talk’ caller encounter one of the Three Nephites?

On Saturday Oct. 30, “Car Talk” aired a show in which a caller mentioned being saved on a remote road in Utah by a man dressed in white driving a white Ford Explorer. No joke.

You can read more about it here and listen to the podcast. The story involving the man in white is near the end of the podcast.

Here’s the summary:

The caller said she and her husband were driving up a mountain in Utah a few years back in their ’89 Toyota Camry (which they implied was pretty old at the time). Their car stopped on a remote road near the top of a mountain. The tried “a hundred times” to start the car, and the husband, who had worked in an auto shop, tried to see what was wrong. They couldn’t figure it out and thought they would have to spend the night in that remote spot.

Up drove a man in a white Ford Explorer. He is described as “very white” and dressed in white. Clean-shaven. He says “start the car.” The caller (the wife) doubts the car will start, but it does. She and the husband drive away.

The purpose of her call is to ask the Car Talk brothers for a plausible mechanical explanation for the car dying and then coming back to life. She thinks it might be 85 octane gas that they had put in the car. The Car Talk brothers can come up with no explanation. The say the car would most likely have died because of a faulty ignition or alternator, but those problems would not have resolved themselves.

There is no evidence the caller is religious, although she seems to think there is some mystical religious thing about the man she calls her “car angel.” Her husband is a skeptic, as are the Car Talk brothers.

Anyway, this story may end up joining the Utah folklore regarding random appearances of the Three Nephites. I know two Mormon-themed movies that mention this folklore (“Baptists at the BBQ” and “Single’s Ward II”). You can read more about this here.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

14 thoughts on “Did a ‘Car Talk’ caller encounter one of the Three Nephites?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention » Did a ‘Car Talk’ caller encounter one of the Three Nephites The Millennial Star -- Topsy.com

  2. Why would the three Nephites be wasting time in Utah? Their ministry is to the posterity of the Nephites and Lamanites. They would be spending their time down in Mexico or South America working with them.

    I think your explanation may be a little “Utah mountain west anglo-centric”.

  3. I listened to the segment on Car Talk. I wish she would have given a more specific location. A rational explanation for the man dressed in white is easy. I’ve seen people arrive at the temple already dressed in white, and there are several locations in rural Utah where someone would cross over a mountain range to get to their assigned temple. The Manti and Logan temples are examples. I once encountered an entire family dressed in white getting their picture taken in a local canyon. It’s more difficult to explain the car stopping and then starting at the stranger’s suggestion.

  4. Where were the other two Nephites? Hiding on the floor under a rug?

    I’d put my money on John the Revelator.

  5. I once had car trouble on Guardsman’s Pass in Utah. It was getting dark, no cell phone in those days. I wasn’t worried about dying, since it was the middle of summer, but I was worried about missing work the next day, people wondering where I was etc. Just before dark, a car came around the bend with three men inside, three of the scariest, creepy-looking men I had ever seen. They looked like escapees from Point of the Mountain. At that point I did think I was dead. But they asked me what the problem was, I told them, they fixed it and I was on my way. My question: would we know the Three Nephites if we saw them?

  6. Why do we assume that the 3 Nephites are always together? Maybe they split up from time to time.

  7. “For a heavenly ride, choose the Ford Explorer. The Three Nephites did!”

    (My first impression was that it was a Temple President or someone like that.)

    And sometimes I worry that we aren’t told their names for fear that it was Larry, Moe and Curly. Or Curlionihah.

  8. The comment about going to the temple already dressed in white bothers me. We always go to the temple and then change into white clothes. As for encountering 3 Nephites, I would be so grateful that someone came to my rescue. Sometimes it is easy to lose focus of important life changing experiences and get tangled up in other less compelling issues. I hope we always take the time to be more sensitive and be those angels to someone in need and if we are the recipients of such angelic help, I hope we are always grateful.

  9. No, it was Cain in disguise. But he left when he saw those three indians looking on wearily from behind the trees.

  10. A name like “Nope” could be problematic. “Do you want any ice cream? Nope.”

    Savita, good comment. I’ve never seen anybody going to the temple or returning from the temple dressed in white.

  11. I don’t know about any of this, but it’s funny you mention it because just the other day — while dressed in white — I came across this couple with a car that wouldn’t start…

  12. In 1973, I, and several friends, girls, were tavelling back to Ricks from a weekend at home, in Canada. In the middle of the mountains, about 9 PM, my car, usually reliable in good repair, just died. Stopped running and coasted to a stop. We were quite worried because it was so cold and so remote and I couldn’t determine the problem. We got back in and tried again. Success. Off we drove. It happened 3 times that night. We finally arrived at a gas station and I asked for help. The brilliant man helping me poured in some gas line antifreeze and said the very cold air whipping around the motor probably found a small pocket of moisture in the gas line and froze it. When we stopped, the heat of the engine melted it and allowed the gas to flow through, over and over again. I’m grateful the frozen spot was near the hot engine, and not farther away back towards the tank.
    Point is, there may be several possible answers to your story that may or may not be attributed to divine intervention.

  13. Dennis,

    Did you really just take all the time to explain to everyone that there might be a natural explanation? 😛

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