The Spider and the Still, Small Voice


“It was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper” (Helaman 5:30).

“Thanks for inviting me over, Jake,” Britton said as he stepped outside his friend’s house. “I need to go home for lunch now.”

The friends waved good-bye as Britton headed down the dirt road he usually took to and from Jake’s house. Then his eyes wandered over to the field he called “the Jungle.” It didn’t have any tropical plants or wild animals, just a small path through a sea of tall grass and dry weeds. It was the quickest way home.

Britton thought for a second and then quickly squeezed through the fence poles that surrounded the field.

Snap! Swish! Dry sticks and grass crackled as Britton tromped along the path. The hot sun on his back made his shirt feel sticky. Then a little breeze sprang up, and Britton decided to race the wind home.

The path narrowed. Britton knew a stream was up ahead, so he ran a little faster. Rounding a bend, he was about to leap across the stream when suddenly he heard the word Stop!

Instantly Britton came to a halt and listened. All he heard was the swishing of the grass in the breeze. Britton frowned. The voice had been quiet but perfectly clear, as if someone had whispered in his ear. But no one was in sight.

Britton shrugged and turned to jump over the stream. Then he froze. Right in front of his face shimmered a huge spider web stretching like a net across the path by the stream. In the center of the web waited a large spider.

For a few seconds Britton stared at the spider with wide eyes. Then he ran back along the path out of the Jungle. He decided to take the dirt road home after all.

“Mom! Mom! Guess what?” Britton burst through the door and rushed to find Mom. Between breaths he told her about his journey through the Jungle, the voice, and his face-to-face encounter with the spider.

“I was this close to it, Mom!” He held his fingers up to show her.

“Wow! That must have been creepy,” Mom said. “Where do you think the voice you heard came from?”

“I don’t know,” Britton said. “Nobody was there. Do you think it was just the wind?”

“Do you remember what we learned in family home evening about the still, small voice?” Mom asked.

“Yes. That’s how Heavenly Father talks to us sometimes, right?”

Mom pulled the scriptures off the shelf next to the kitchen table and opened to the book of Helaman.

“Here’s how the Lord’s voice sounded to the Nephites,” she said. “‘It was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper’” (Helaman 5:30).

“Hey! That’s what it was like—a whisper! I heard the still, small voice!”

Mom smiled. “Yes, you did. And you listened just the way you should have. I’m very proud of you.”

Britton gave Mom a hug. Making her proud made him feel good inside. And knowing he had listened to the still, small voice made him feel even better.

Elaine S. Dalton

Photograph by Busath Photography

“Our Heavenly Father is only a prayer away, and the Holy Ghost is within whispering distance.”

Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president, “At All Times, in All Things, and in All Places,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2008, 118.

Illustration by Craig Stapley