Learning to Listen

José A. Teixeira

Of the First Quorum of the Seventy

From an interview with Elder José A. Teixeira of the Seventy; by Erica Wolfe


José A. Teixeira
Listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me (D&C 19:23).

Learning to Listen

When I was nine years old, there was a family reunion at my house in Coimbra, Portugal. My parents were busy entertaining our relatives. Everybody was talking and laughing. While the grown-ups were busy, I decided I wanted to have some fun too.

My house was close to the Mondego River, and I thought it would be fun to go fishing. I didn’t want to go alone, so I took my four-year-old sister with me. I had a feeling that I should tell my mom and dad where we were going. But they were busy talking, so I decided to go without telling them.

We walked along the riverbank until we found a nice spot. I gave my sister some small rocks to throw into the water while I enjoyed fishing.

Soon my parents noticed that my sister and I weren’t at home. They drove all around town looking for us. Many hours later my father noticed that my fishing equipment was missing. So he and my mom searched the riverbank until they found us.

My parents were relieved to find us, but they were also unhappy with me. It was very dangerous to play by the river without my parents, especially for my little sister.

From this experience I learned that we always need to talk to our parents—and listen to them. They have our best interests at heart. I also learned that it is important to listen to the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost tried to tell me that I shouldn’t go fishing without telling my parents. But I didn’t listen. Even though we were having fun, my sister and I were in danger. If we listen carefully to our parents and to the Holy Ghost, we will be safe.

Illustrations by Casey Nelson