Friend to Friend: Hearken to the Spirit

Hearken to the Spirit

I was once saved from death or serious accident because my father hearkened to the voice of the Spirit. If he had not responded instantly to the whisperings of the still small voice, my life might have ended then or had its course totally changed.

One of my earliest childhood recollections is of riding a horse through an apple orchard. The horse was tame and well broken, and I felt at home in the saddle.

But one day something frightened my mount, and he bolted through the orchard. I was swept from the saddle by the overhanging limbs, and one leg slipped down through the stirrup. I desperately hung to an almost broken leather strap that a cowboy uses to tie a lariat to his saddle. My weight should have broken the strap, but somehow it held for the moment. Another lunge or two of the stampeding horse would have broken the strap or wrenched it from my hands and left me to be dragged to injury or death with my foot entangled in the stirrup.

Suddenly the horse stopped, and I became aware that someone was holding the bridle tightly and attempting to calm the quivering animal. Almost immediately I was snatched up into the arms of my father.

What had happened? What had brought my father to my rescue in the split second before I slipped beneath the hoofs of my panic-driven horse?

My father had been sitting in the house reading the newspaper when the Spirit whispered to him, “Run out into the orchard!”

Without a moment’s hesitation, not waiting to learn why or for what reason, my father ran. Finding himself in the orchard without knowing why he was there, he saw the galloping horse and thought, I must stop this horse.

He did so and found me. And that is how I was saved from serious injury or possible death.

The Spirit told Wilford Woodruff to move his team away from the tree where he had tied them. He did so, and almost immediately the tree was uprooted and destroyed by a whirlwind.

The Spirit told President Joseph F. Smith to leave the platform on the rear of a train and to go inside and sit down. He did so, and almost immediately the train was involved in an accident.

I know an army pilot who was flying a military plane through a dense cloud over Vietnam when the Spirit told him to turn right. The pilot made an instant turn and another plane flashed by. He missed a head-on collision by inches.

When we are baptized, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the right to the constant companionship of this member of the Godhead based on faithfulness. This is the greatest gift possible to receive in mortality.

There is nothing any of us need as much as the guiding and preserving care of the Holy Spirit—the Spirit that is given by the prayer of faith to those who love and serve the Lord.

I testify that if we love the Lord, keep His commandments, and seek His Spirit, we shall be blessed beyond our fondest hopes.

[illustration] Illustrated by Jerry Thompson