Come Listen to a Prophet’s Voice: Tracks in the Snow


Thomas S. Monson
From an April 2002 general conference address.

Tracks in the Snow

If we choose to serve the Lord, President Thomas S. Monson assures us that we will have the best of guides in finding the right path.

The promise from the book of Proverbs gives us courage:

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” 1

The Lord revealed this assurance: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.” 2

Inspiring is the missionary service rendered by Walter Krause, who lives in Prenzlau, Germany.

Homeless following World War II, like so many others at that time, Brother Krause and his family lived in a refugee camp in Cottbus and began to attend church there. He was immediately called to lead the Cottbus Branch. Four months later, in November of 1945, the country still in ruins, district president Richard Ranglack came to Brother Krause and asked him what he would think about going on a mission. Brother Krause’s answer reflects his commitment to the Church. Said he: “I don’t have to think about it at all. If the Lord needs me, I’ll go.”

He set out on December 1, 1945, with 20 German marks in his pocket and a piece of dry bread. One of the branch members had given him a winter coat left over from a son who had fallen in the war. Another member, who was a shoemaker, gave him a pair of shoes. With these and with two shirts, two handkerchiefs, and two pairs of stockings, he left on his mission.

Once, in the middle of winter, he walked from Prenzlau to Kammin, a little village in Mecklenburg, where 46 attended the meetings which were held. He arrived long after dark that night after a six-hour march over roads, paths, and finally across plowed fields. Just before he reached the village, he came to a large, white, flat area which made for easy walking, and he soon arrived at a member’s home to stay the night.

The next morning the game warden knocked on the door of the member’s house, asking, “Do you have a guest?”

“Yes,” came the reply.

The game warden continued, “Then come and take a look at his tracks.” The large, flat area on which Brother Krause had walked was actually a frozen lake, and some time earlier the warden had chopped a large hole in the middle of the lake for fishing. The wind had driven snow over the hole and covered it so that Brother Krause could not have seen his danger. His tracks went right next to the edge of the hole and straight to the house of the member, without his knowing anything about it. Weighed down by his backpack and his rubber boots, he would certainly have drowned had his pathway been one step closer to the hole he couldn’t see.

Should any of us feel inadequate to serve the Lord, let this divine truth be remembered: “With God all things are possible.” 3

[illustration] Illustrated by Gregg Thorkelson