The Lord’s Wind


John H. Groberg
(Adapted from an October 1993 general conference address.)

Years ago, as a young missionary, I was assigned to a group of 17 small islands in the South Pacific. One day a member told me that if I would be at a certain harbor on a particular island at sunset the next day, a family would meet me there and listen to the discussions.

What joy that news brought! I was working alone at the time but quickly found four members who were experienced sailors and who agreed to take me to this island.

Early the next morning the five of us started out. A nice breeze moved us swiftly along the coast, through the opening in the reef, and out into the wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

We made good progress for a few hours, but then the wind began to slow and soon quit, leaving us bobbing aimlessly on a smooth ocean. I suggested that we pray. We pleaded with the Lord three times to send some wind, but still the sails hung limp and listless.

I thought, All that stands between us and the family is a little wind. Why won’t the Lord send it? It’s a righteous desire.

A faithful older brother unlashed the tiny lifeboat and softly said, “Get in. I am going to row you to shore.”

I was astonished. It was miles to shore. The sun was hot, and this man was old. He said, “We have an assignment from the Lord. Before the sun sets this day, you will be teaching the gospel and bearing testimony to a family who wants to listen. Get in the boat.”

We got into the boat; the old man bent his back and began to row. He did not look up, rest, or talk. Hour after hour he rowed and rowed and rowed, fulfilling the calling he had from the Lord—to get a missionary to a family who wanted to hear the gospel. He was the Lord’s wind that day.

Just as the sun slipped below the horizon, the lifeboat touched shore. A family was waiting. I went to their home and taught them the gospel. The family believed and eventually was baptized.

How often do we quit because we pray for wind and none comes? Instead, we need to listen for the Lord’s answer when we pray and then act upon his answer. On the boat, five men prayed, but only one heard and acted. God gave him the strength to be His wind that day, and He will give us the strength to be His wind when we do what He asks.

[photo] Elder John H. Groberg

[illustration] Illustrated by Mark Robison