Rachel woke up hungry. She hopped out of bed and ran to the pantry cupboard. She opened the door and scanned the top shelf. There it was—the candy jar! Inside the jar, gleaming like shiny marbles, were her favorite candies. They were irresistible red-orange balls with yummy chocolate centers.
Rachel looked around quickly to see if Mummy or Daddy was watching. She could hear their voices, but they were nowhere in sight. Quietly, she pushed a stool to the pantry and stepped up onto it. Then she reached up and unscrewed the candy-jar lid. She grabbed a handful of candy, screwed the lid back on, and raced down the hallway toward her bedroom. But when her parents’ voices came closer, she ducked into the bathroom and shut the door.
As Rachel looked hungrily at her candy, she wondered, “Could I throw one in the air and catch it in my mouth?” And without a second thought she tossed a candy high in the air. It floated above her head, then fell down straight into her wide-open mouth and stuck in her throat. She couldn’t breathe!
She tried to scream but couldn’t make a sound. “Daddy, help me!” she cried in her heart. “Heavenly Father, please help me!” she prayed. Tears ran down her cheeks as she struggled for a breath that wouldn’t come. She felt sick and dizzy.
Suddenly, her father burst into the room. He picked up Rachel from behind and squeezed his arms tightly around her. Plop! Out shot the candy into the washbasin. Rachel sucked in deep gulps of air. Daddy set her down and held her close. “It’s all right, Rachel,” he said softly. “You’ll be fine now.”
“Thank you, Daddy,” she said. “I’m sorry I took the candies without asking. I love you.”
Mummy came into the bathroom. “What happened?” she asked.
“I heard a voice,” Daddy said. “It said, ‘Your daughter is in trouble! Go to her!’ I found Rachel in the bathroom, but I didn’t know what was wrong. Then the voice said, ‘Pick her up!’ I did, and a piece of candy flew out of her mouth.”
Mummy gave Rachel a big hug.
Rachel did a lot of thinking that day. She thought about candy and about being honest. She thought about how good every breath of air tasted. She thought about how much she loved Heavenly Father and Mummy and Daddy. But most of all, she thought about the Holy Ghost. Daddy had stopped her from choking because he had listened. She wanted to be like Daddy and always listen to the Holy Ghost.
“We have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost to direct us in all things.”
Elder W. Craig Zwick of the Seventy, “Taking the Higher Road,” Ensign, Aug. 2002, 43.
She threw the candy into the air and caught it in her mouth. But the candy went right into her throat—she couldn’t breathe!
Illustration by Matt Smith