The One Right Way?


About 10 years ago my husband and I decided to take a vacation to Yellowstone National Park. After spending a couple of days in the park, we decided to head south to Jackson, Wyoming.

We were not familiar with the area, so we were careful to observe road signs along the way. Noting a sign for Jackson Hole that had an arrow pointing to the right, I told my husband we needed to turn right at the junction ahead. He proceeded calmly to drive straight ahead. Wanting to make myself clear, I stated firmly, “I read the sign back there, and it said to turn right!”

He replied that he, too, had seen the sign and that it said to go straight. I knew what I had seen on the sign. Not wanting to spend more time in travel than necessary, I let my husband know we were going in the wrong direction. He let me know that he, too, had read the sign and that we were headed in the right direction. This went on for several miles until my husband turned to me and said, “Do you want to turn back around and go look at that sign again?”

“Yes!” I said.

We turned around and headed back. I was sure my husband would apologize as soon as he saw the sign. We came to the sign, made a U-turn, and parked in front of it. As we looked at the sign, we both fell silent. The top of the sign read “Jackson Hole,” with an arrow pointing to the right. Then two or three other destinations were listed. On the last line it again listed “Jackson Hole,” but with an arrow pointing straight ahead. The sign pointed two ways! I had read the top line, and my husband had seen the bottom line. We were both right.

This experience has taught us to stop and rethink our decisions and to patiently resolve misunderstanding. Just because I think I am right does not mean that my husband is wrong. With love and trust we find a solution. I have learned that I don’t always need to have things my way to have them turn out well.

Living the gospel has taught us important lessons of patience and understanding as well as an appreciation for differences of opinion. What a wonderful blessing gospel road signs—clear, true principles that illuminate and inspire—have been in our marriage as we face decisions together.

[photo] Photo © FPG International

Kathleen Titensor serves as a counselor in the Primary presidency of the Sharon Fifth Ward, Orem Utah Sharon Stake.