Family History Moment: The Spirit Told Me, “Go Back”
Contributed By Margene Lake, Church News contributor
- The Spirit said to me, “Stop. Pick up those copies of the Book of Mormon!”
- At the beginning of class I offered the books to the Primary children.
- One child found a written testimony at the front of his book from his great-grandfather.
“I have a strong feeling that when this life is over, our personal and family histories and the influence they wield will be of much greater importance than we now think.” —Elder John H. Groberg, emeritus General Authority
On May 31, my family was running late getting to church. I had to teach my 5-year-old CTR Primary class that day, and I needed to get to the classroom to set up. As I headed toward the classroom I passed by a long table in the hallway with a sign that read, “FREE STUFF.” The ward library was giving away lots of things, including scriptures. I rushed past the table and to the door of my classroom.
That was when the Spirit said to me, “Stop. Pick up those copies of the Book of Mormon!”
“I’m in a hurry,” I told myself.
The Spirit said again, “Go back and get those copies of the Book of Mormon!”
This time I turned and picked up the books and took them to my classroom, setting them on the little round table.
At the beginning of class I said, “I’ve got something special for you today. Are there any of you who don’t have a Book of Mormon? Or if yours is getting too worn and you want another one, you can take one.”
Most of the children came up and got a book.
I was moved as they went back to their chairs and opened their newly acquired books, touching the pages lovingly, looking at the pictures, and acting like they had been given the greatest gift in the whole world.
Before sacrament meeting began, one of the counselors in the Primary presidency, Lisa Sorensen, came over to me and said, “Atticus [Crowther, her grandson] is beside himself about the Book of Mormon you gave to him. But when I opened it up and looked at the handwritten testimony on the front page I was surprised to see the name Tim Whittaker. That is my father, Atticus’s great-grandfather! He wrote his testimony in this book. I recognize his writing! Margene, he has never lived in Oakley, Utah. He has never been in this Church building. How would this book get into this Church library?”
The next Sunday when Atticus was asked why he chose that particular book out of all the books on the table he said, “I don’t know, I just picked it.” A great-grandfather must have wanted his book in the hands of his great-grandson.
In his inscribed testimony, penned two generations before, Atticus’s great-grandfather G. L. (Tim) Whittaker penned the following heartfelt admonition that would end up in the hands of one of his posterity: “The very basis of the Church is the Book of Mormon. … Learn all of its truths.”
I was taught again that there is a spirit and power in the Book of Mormon even if you are too young to read it and that sometimes that power and influence can come through our ancestors who have long passed on to the other side of the veil if we will but listen to those promptings.