[illustration] Illustrated by Dilleen Marsh

A Calming Spirit Entered My Classroom

A few years ago I taught an extremely difficult and troubled group of children in school. I was upset by my inability to reach them and found myself depressed and tearful as I left school each day.

One day the woman working with me as an aide told me she had been praying for a calming influence to enter the classroom so I could teach. Although she was not a member of the Church, she knew the power of prayer and was, I feel, prompted by the Holy Ghost to tell me of her prayers to remind me what I should do.

I realized that I had been so involved with the problem that I had neglected to go to the Lord for help. From then on I frequently found myself on my knees before school began, praying for inspiration. As the weeks went by, a calming spirit did enter the classroom and I was able to see I was making some progress with the children. There were still moments of frustration, but I seemed better equipped to deal with them.

We would all do well to follow Paul’s counsel to Timothy: “Stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:6–7).

The Holy Ghost influences us in simple ways to allow great things to happen in our lives.Nadine Doyle, La Crescenta, California

Sweeping Will Wait

It was a warm, sunny day in Colorado. The brisk spring breeze had taken a holiday, and it was a beautiful afternoon in which to get some outside work done. I had tuned the radio to my favorite classical music station to listen to while I cleaned the patio.

Suddenly I heard the first notes of Schumann’s “Traumerei,” or “Dreaming.” The piece is one of my favorites. I stopped sweeping.

My practical self advised: “Go ahead and sweep while you listen. You have a lot to do. Don’t stop now.”

But my romantic self interceded: “Stop and enjoy. How often do you hear ‘Traumerei’? The sweeping will still be there. It will wait.”

Which self to obey? I thought about the music, the sun, the oneness I felt with Schumann. … Then I stretched on the grass and didn’t move until the piece was over. My heart ached as I thought of Robert Schumann and the lovely music he had composed for his beloved wife, Clara, to perform on the piano even as his mind was becoming clouded by madness. How privileged I felt that I could share in the beauty of this poignant music.

I didn’t finish my sweeping that day, but the memory of that wonderful music is still with me. I’m grateful that I took the time to listen and refresh my spirit.Pat Furber, Arvada, Colorado