Friend to Friend

A family consisting of my grandmother, my mother, and two or three of the younger children were seated before an open door, watching the great display of nature’s fireworks as a severe thunderstorm raged near the mountain where our home was located. A flash of chain lightning followed by an immediate loud clap of thunder indicated that the lightning had struck very close.

I was standing in the doorway when suddenly and without warning my mother gave me a vigorous push that sent me sprawling on my back out of the doorway. At that instant, a bolt of lightning came down the chimney of the kitchen stove, out through the open doorway, and split a huge gash from top to bottom in a large tree immediately in front of the house. If I had remained in the door opening, I wouldn’t be writing this story today.

My mother could never explain her split-second decision. All I know is that my life was spared because of her impulsive, intuitive action.

Years later, when I saw the deep scar on that large tree at the old family home, I could only say from a grateful heart: Thank the Lord for that precious gift possessed in abundant measure by my own mother and by many other faithful mothers, through whom heaven can be very near in time of need.

During my young boyhood, there were many occasions when mother’s instructive and intuitive understanding prompted her to know that help was needed. Once on a stormy night she directed my father to go and search for me, only to find that my horse had stumbled and thrown me into a pool of half-frozen mud. My mother had known that help was needed.

Someone has coined a statement that has great significance: “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”

Within every child born into the world there is a heavenly gift. The Lord has revealed that this is the Light of Christ, or the Light of Truth. Even in early childhood, this gift gives to every person the ability to tell the difference between what is right and of the Lord and what is wrong and of the world. Sometimes we call this our conscience, or the voice of the Spirit of God within us.

Following baptism and as a blessing from the elders of the Church, we are given another gift—the gift of the Holy Ghost. As explained by the Master, this is to teach us that we may know the truth of all things, to bring all things to our remembrance, and to even show us things to come.

When one becomes a father or a mother, it is especially important that he or she prepares to receive, through these wonderful gifts from the Lord, the great gift of understanding necessary to raise children and make certain they are taught properly as commanded by the Lord. These heaven-sent instructions or warnings parents receive for their families might be called intuition or the voice of the Lord coming into their minds from heavenly sources to safeguard their homes. Parents have the responsibility of teaching and training in correct principles. Then when children are old enough and have the stability and responsibility to make mature judgments and right decisions, they will have received proper teaching from wise parents in the homes from which they have come.

From my experience, it would seem that faithful mothers have a special gift that we often refer to as mother’s intuition. Perhaps with the great blessing of motherhood, our Heavenly Father has endowed them with this quality, since fathers, busy in priesthood callings and with the work of earning a livelihood, never draw quite as close to heavenly beings in matters that relate to the more intimate details of bringing up children in the home. It might be described in this way: Father is the head, but Mother is the heart of the family home.

[illustration] Illustrated by Jerry Thompson