Everyone but Me


Everyone but Me

Christopher’s heart was heavy as he walked slowly to his family’s car after Primary. Why does everyone but me hear the still, small voice? he wondered.

In fast and testimony meeting, Brother Johnson told an experience he had while driving across a lonely stretch of highway. The still, small voice told him to take a different route home, one that would add about 10 kilometers to his trip. Although he had been eager to get home from his business trip, he obeyed the prompting. On his detour, he came across a car accident. A young family had been traveling to visit relatives. When the father, who was driving, fell asleep, the car drifted too close to the side of the road and rolled down a steep hill. Brother Johnson was able to call for help and administer first aid.

Bishop Benson told how he was prompted by the Holy Ghost to check on Sister Henderson during the week. Sister Henderson was a widow who lived about two kilometers up a dirt road off the main highway into town. When the bishop went to see her, he found her furnace had broken down. She didn’t have a telephone and was no longer able to drive, so she had prayed to Heavenly Father for help. The still, small voice had told her all would be well.

Later, Christopher’s Primary teacher, Sister Woolett, gave a lesson about the Holy Ghost. She told about when the still, small voice warned her to check on her sleeping baby. When she did, everything seemed all right.

But as she turned to leave, the voice again told her to check on her little boy. This time she went over to the crib and looked closely at him. There, next to him, was a large, jagged piece of glass. A framed picture that had been hanging above the crib had fallen. Most of the glass and the frame were behind the crib, but the large, jagged piece had fallen next to her sleeping son.

Sister Woolett also related an incident from the lesson manual about one of the prophets being warned of danger by the still, small voice.

Why can everyone hear the still, small voice but me? Christopher wondered again. He knew that after his baptism almost two years ago, he was given the gift of the Holy Ghost when he was confirmed. So why doesn’t the Holy Ghost speak to me?

“How was Primary?” Mom asked as Christopher and his two younger sisters climbed into the car. Jill and Michelle started telling about their lessons and the songs they learned in singing time. Christopher stared sadly at the floor.

“What was your lesson about, Christopher?” Dad asked.

A tear rolled down Christopher’s cheek. “The Holy Ghost,” he replied softly. Sensing that something was wrong, Jill and Michelle quit chattering.

“Maybe we could talk about this a little more when we get in the house,” Mom said as they turned into the driveway.

Later Mom and Dad invited Christopher to come to their room. “Christopher,” Mom said, “can you tell us what’s bothering you?”

Christopher looked down. He didn’t want his parents to know the Holy Ghost didn’t talk to him. They probably heard the still, small voice all the time.

“Listen,” Dad said, putting his arm around Christopher, “we can tell you’re upset, and we’d like to help.”

Christopher felt tears ready to spill from his eyes. “Mom, Dad,” he said in a shaky voice, “why doesn’t the Holy Ghost speak to me? I’ve always tried to do what’s right. I know I make mistakes—like the time I spilled the red punch on the new carpet and said Jill did it so I wouldn’t get in trouble. But I did finally tell the truth. Do you have to be perfect like the bishop or Brother Johnson or Sister Woolett to have the Holy Ghost speak to you?”

Mom and Dad looked a little surprised. “Christopher,” Mom said, “the only perfect person to ever live on the earth is Jesus Christ. Everyone makes mistakes. Why don’t you think the Holy Ghost speaks to you?”

“I’ve never heard the still, small voice,” Christopher replied.

“Hearing a voice isn’t the only way the Holy Ghost can communicate with you,” Mom said. “Often it’s what you feel, not what you hear. Don’t you remember the good feeling you had after you prayed and asked Heavenly Father to forgive you for blaming your sister for the carpet stain? That feeling was from the Holy Ghost.”

“It was?”

“Or how about the time we were reading the scriptures,” Dad added, “and you suddenly understood what Jesus Christ was talking about in the parable of the wheat and the tares. That was the Holy Ghost teaching you.”

“I never thought about it that way before!” Christopher was starting to feel a lot better.

“And,” Mom said, “remember when you got lost last summer and you prayed for help? After you prayed, you felt calm and knew you should sit on the nearest bench and let us find you. That calm, reassuring feeling helping you know what to do was the Holy Ghost.”

Christopher smiled. Now he understood. The Holy Ghost had been talking to him—even if he didn’t hear the still, small voice with his ears! Now he said excitedly, “What about last week when I gave my talk in Primary? I’d studied it really hard, but when I got up, I had forgotten it. Then I said a silent prayer, and suddenly I could remember my talk. That was the Holy Ghost, too, wasn’t it?”

“That’s right,” Dad said. “Helping you remember is also a part of the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

“All those times the Holy Ghost really was talking to me!” The warm feeling in Christopher’s heart helped him know it was true.

[photos] Photography by Steve Bunderson, posed by models