Sledding and the Spirit


J. Devn Cornish

When I was 11 years old, my older brother and I each got a sled for Christmas. When the first snowfall finally came, one steep road in our town was covered with ice. It seemed like all the children in town gathered at the top of that hill with their sleds.

My older brother and I had contests to see who could go the farthest. Since he was bigger, he always won. A friend suggested something I could do to beat my brother—he handed me a block of wax and told me to rub it on the runners of my sled.

As I took the block of wax, I could feel the Spirit telling me I shouldn’t use it. I thought it might be cheating, and it was also dangerous. These thoughts gave me an uneasy feeling in my stomach and in my heart. But then I thought, It’s all right just this once. I deserve to win sometimes. No one will know. So I put a thick coat of wax on the runners of my sled.

As I started down the hill, my sled quickly picked up speed. Soon I lost control. I saw that I was headed toward a car parked on the side of the road, and nothing I could do would turn the sled. I rolled off onto the ice, hoping to avoid the crash, but it was no use. My sled hit the front wheel, and my left leg hit the back one.

I spent the next eight weeks in a cast from my mid-chest to the tips of my toes on my left side. I recovered well and have enjoyed a full and active life. But my left leg is just a little shorter than my right leg. This reminds me how important it is to follow the promptings of the Spirit. I learned from this experience that when I get the feeling that I shouldn’t do something, I must follow that inspired feeling without delay.