The Quads’ New Bikes – a Parable on Grace

In Sacrament today, I heard a speaker share Stephen Robinson’s Parable of the Bicycle. Upgrade the distance your electric scooter can take you. Travel longer distances than what your current scooter allows you to. Know the best batteries you can buy at: I wished to improve on his concept of grace, and so I offer you the following:

The Quads’ New Bicycles – a Parable on Grace

The time finally arrived when Mother and Father agreed that their quadruplets were ready to learn how to ride a bicycle. With their birthday coming up, Father sent his oldest son to get each child a bike. The son sought diligently for four quality bikes, each alike with training wheels, adjustable seats and handlebars. He assured that each bicycle was virtually alike: same color, same style, same tires.  The son paid the full price for the bicycles and personally assembled each bike, adjusting each seat and set of  handlebars to ensure a perfect fit for each child..

The quads eagerly awoke on their birthday, anxious to see what great gift Father and Mother would give them. When the bikes were brought out and each placed before one of the children, the parents quietly observed the reactions to the new gifts.

The first child crossed his arms and stomped his foot. “I want a red bike with green streamers!” he demanded. He pushed the bike over, spun around and left the room in anger.

The second child was excited about receiving a bike. However, she insisted that the training wheels be taken off immediately. “I can ride this bike all by myself! I don’t need anyone to show me how to do it.”  With the wheels off, the child, and refusing to wear the safety equipment, the child proceeded to crash the bike into the birthday cake and guests.

The third child thanked the parents for the bike, but was too afraid to get on it. Even with much coaxing from Mother, Father and his older brother, the child would do no more than hold the handlebars and walk the bike. However, he walked proudly past the guests and his siblings, clutching onto the handlebars of his bike.

The fourth quad, looked with joy at the gift. She turned to her parents and thanked them for such a great gift. She then turned to her older brother and asked.him if he.would teach her how to ride it. The older brother hugged her and promised to do so.

Of course, it was the fourth quad that quickly learned how to ride. There were scary moments and falls, but the older brother was there to comfort her and kiss her skinned knees.

As time went on, each child was encouraged to learn to ride. However the paremts and their.eldest son knew that while the bikes.would always be there, the children could only learn to master the bikes by allowing their older brother to properly teach them.

The fourth child continued learning and praxticing, eventually learning to ride without training wheels. Yet with her.mastery of, she.still followed the.rules and proper practices shown her by her older brother. While her siblings walked from place to place, she was able to zoom past them for long distances, enhanced by the freedom and power given by mastering the bicycle.

The End

Please share with me your thoughts on this parable, how it explains Grace and how it works in our lives, as well as how works and faith come into play.  Can you improve on this parable? If so, please share your version in the comments.


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About rameumptom

Gerald (Rameumptom) Smith is a student of the gospel. Joining the Church of Jesus Christ when he was 16, he served a mission in Santa Cruz Bolivia (1978=1980). He is married to Ramona, has 3 stepchildren and 7 grandchildren. Retired Air Force (Aim High!). He has been on the Internet since 1986 when only colleges and military were online. Gerald has defended the gospel since the 1980s, and was on the first Latter-Day Saint email lists, including the late Bill Hamblin's Morm-Ant. Gerald has worked with FairMormon, More Good Foundation, LDS.Net and other pro-LDS online groups. He has blogged on the scriptures for over a decade at his site: Joel's Monastery ( He has the following degrees: AAS Computer Management, BS Resource Mgmt, MA Teaching/History. Gerald was the leader for the Tuskegee Alabama group, prior to it becoming a branch. He opened the door for missionary work to African Americans in Montgomery Alabama in the 1980s. He's served in two bishoprics, stake clerk, high council, HP group leader and several other callings over the years. While on his mission, he served as a counselor in a branch Relief Society presidency.

8 thoughts on “The Quads’ New Bikes – a Parable on Grace

  1. Most of us are not the 4th child. However, grace has been available since before our arriving at the age of accountability, and will remain available forever. Christ makes grace available to us and helps us in using it and receiving it properly. We do not just have one chance to accept it. The third child may be afraid, but with the Son can learn to ride the bike just as well as child number 4.

  2. This was great Rame! Your parable highlights the “free” aspect of the atonement. But to take full advantage of it, we must accept it as it is, and indeed, we so often hesitate for all the reasons you listed: rejecting the gift out of pride, wanting to earn it ourselves (training wheels off), and fear (similar to the guy who buries his talent).

    The only thing is that the “free” aspect of the atonement is only one dimension of the atonement. So you also need a “works” dimension, maybe showing how you have to practice riding, how you sometimes fall, how your brother helps you, how you eventually get the training wheels off, etc.

  3. Nate, I do like how it shows the “free lunch” of the atonement and of grace, but we still must work. Just having the bike is a blessing, but to for us to receive full benefit from it requires us to learn how to receive and use it properly in our lives.

    The works dimension is hinted at in the parable. The works portion come from us learning how to properly ride the bike, and progressing to where we no longer need the training wheels. Still, we are prone to fall or crash, requiring the older brother (Jesus) to be there to pick us up and bandage our skinned knees.

  4. I love this parable.

    I would only suggest that since quadruplets are so rare, it might work better as a series of gifts that twins are given. Besides, people are a bit like sheep and squids – staying with the pack and learning from observation (respectively). in groups of four (as represented here) the individuals would be unlikely to remain obdurate if they saw their sibling making a success of it.

    However twins might well persist despite seeing the other succeed (think Jacob and Esau).

  5. Meg, I chose quadruplets to demonstrate the varying ways we reject or accept some or all of grace. The bikes represent grace as a whole – with each of us given the same gift — resurrection and eternal life. Some reject the gift of life in God’s presence, while others accept it with provisions, or only accept a portion of grace.

    Grace is not a series of gifts. It is one gift of Creation. God creates and orders things from chaos and entropy. Grace is God’s invitation to escape entropy, chaos, and receive eternal life. Some embrace it fully, while others accept a telestial or terrestrial portion.

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