Brother Higgins’s Inspiration

I had just settled into my comfortable chair to watch my favorite television news program when the doorbell rang. “I’ll see who it is,” my wife said.

“Who would be coming to visit us at this hour?” I asked myself. “It always happens. The program I enjoy most is always interrupted!”

“It’s the home teachers,” she said. “I forgot to tell you that Brother Higgins called this afternoon. He made an appointment to meet with us early this evening so that he could see us before he goes out of town tonight.”

As I arose from my chair, I already knew what Brother Higgins was going to say. He always said the same things—“How are you? How are things going? It has been a good day, hasn’t it? Is there anything I can do for you?”

Sure enough, that’s how he began. I kept thinking, “I’m missing the news report!”

But when Brother Higgins asked, “Is there anything I can do for you?” the thought entered my mind, “He can help. Give him a chance.”

“Yes, there is something you can do for us,” I said, “You know that our son, Mikhail, has just returned from a mission. He has been unsuccessfully searching for work and is very discouraged. I have been unable to help him. Do you know of any job openings?”

“Oh, that is a tough problem,” Brother Higgins responded. “I don’t know of any openings for work, but I’ll check to see what might be available.”

I really didn’t think Brother Higgins would have a solution to the problem. But I had forgotten that home teachers are entitled to receive inspiration to help the families to whom they are assigned. Whether or not Brother Higgins could help, it made me feel better to have shared our problem with our home teachers.

Two days later, Brother Higgins telephoned me. “Tell Mikhail to go down to the Read Company tire store and ask to speak with a Mr. Hogge,” he said. “He has a job opening.”

Mikhail was excited, as he had been searching for a job for a long time. But an hour later, when he returned, I could tell, by the way he walked in, that he had been unsuccessful.

“I can’t believe it!” he exclaimed, as he entered the house. “Mr. Hogge asked me, ‘Who sent you here? I don’t have any job openings. Even if I did, your request would be at the bottom of this pile of applications!’ I was so embarrassed—I was sorry that I had even gone to apply.”

I felt Mikhail’s disappointment and tried to encourage him. But I couldn’t help wondering why our home teacher had told us about a job opening when there wasn’t one.

The next day, when I answered the telephone, the voice on the other end said, “This is Mr. Hogge. Is Mikhail there?”

Mikhail came to the telephone, and Mr. Hogge said, “Come down to the store. I was impressed by your sincerity and willingness to work, and I can use you after all. I’ll need you this afternoon.”

When Mikhail arrived at the store, he found that he not only had a job, but he could also choose the hours he wished to work. He was able to arrange his work hours so that they did not interfere with his class schedule at college—another answer to sincere prayers.

As I thought about the sequence of events that led up to Mikhail’s new job, I suddenly realized that Brother Higgins must have known about Mr. Hogge’s job opening even before Mr. Hogge had known about it!

When Brother Higgins next visited our home, I told him what had happened. He simply replied that he had prayed that he would be able to help Mikhail find a job, and he had called us when he knew of one.

It was obvious to us that the Lord had known of our family’s needs and had used our home teachers as instruments in meeting those needs. They had prayed for guidance, and the Lord had answered their prayers.

[illustration] Illustrated by Scott Snow

LaVerd John, a retired educator, lives in the North Ogden First Ward, North Ogden Utah Stake.