My heart raced with anticipation as the truck slowly wound its way up the twisting mountain road.
“How long is it now?” I asked my dad. My eyes strained to spy our destination.
“Soon, I think,” Dad said as he put his hand on my shoulder. “Just sit back and enjoy the scenery.”
This was my first fishing trip to a real lake. Turning eight was great! I was finally old enough to do exciting things. The Cub Scouts had been invited to go on a fishing trip with the Boy Scouts, as long as our fathers came too.
We had gathered all our fishing gear—rods, tackle boxes, bait, nets, towels, and hats—before we left home.
“We’re getting close now,” Dad said as he followed the road along a fast-moving stream down toward the lake. “We just need to find a place to park.”
We soon noticed some boys on the other side of the river climbing on the rocks.
“Dad, they’re jumping in the water! Can I go swimming too?”
“Sure,” Dad said. He parked the car under some big trees and started unloading our supplies.
I dashed toward the riverbank. When I got there I could see that the boys were jumping off a large boulder that hung out over the river. The flow carried them swiftly downstream. Each boy would ride the current for a while and then swim to the shore to do it again. It was like a natural waterslide. I had to try it! I jumped in.
The force of the water nearly took my breath away. It was fun to be swept along so fast. Suddenly, I felt the water pull me back toward the boulder. The whirlpool was so powerful that I was pulled under and pushed against the underside of the boulder. I struggled to find an air pocket above the water against the rock, but there wasn’t one. I was running out of breath.
Then I heard a quiet voice: “Turn upside down and push!”
That seemed wrong. Wasn’t air to be found above the water? But I was desperate. I immediately pulled my body into a tight ball, turned upside down, and pushed off the bottom of the rock with my legs.
The next thing I knew, I popped out of the water downstream. I was relieved, but everything looked so blurry. I had forgotten to take off my glasses, and now they were lost. I felt that I should run beside the river. Quickly, I swam to shore and ran downstream. I found a calm place to wade and saw my glasses floating toward me.
Turning eight really was great. Because I was baptized, I was able to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. I knew as long as I was worthy, the Holy Ghost could help keep me safe.
President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
“The Spirit of Revelation,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 24.
Illustrations by Brad Teare