Shortly after getting my first driver’s license, I drove alone to southern Utah to visit a favorite aunt and uncle and get in a little fishing. After fishing without much success Saturday evening, I proceeded Sunday morning toward my aunt’s home. I had time to get there before church began.
As I drove past Duck Creek Springs, I noted the clear surface mirroring an emerald meadow and tall pine trees. I stopped the car to take a closer look. Then I saw a resplendent, 20-inch crimson-striped rainbow trout slowly fin over a moss bed not far from the bank. The fish seemed intent on slurping up every insect in sight.
My fishing rod was in the trunk of the car. I’d have plenty of time to put my humpy fly pattern in front of that feeding fish and still get to church on time. I was alone and no one would know that I was fishing on Sunday.
At that precise moment I truly felt that I could make a few casts, then quit, whether I caught the fish or not. But what about the time after that? And then, would I arrange deliberately to spend Sunday fishing?
I had heard people tell me they could “worship God out among his creations, in nature; you don’t need to be within the walls of some church building.” However, that thinking always seemed shallow to me. Even if you did yourself some good, what good would you do anyone else spending Sundays by yourself?
I got back in the car and headed for my aunt and uncle’s home and ward.
Over the years, that Sunday experience has always stood out as a source of strength in my mind. Since then I’ve taken fishing trips in many parts of the world, sometimes fishing almost every waking moment from Monday to Saturday night. But Sunday is different. No, it hasn’t always been easy. But it has been easier to keep things in proper perspective since that first Sunday decision at Duck Creek Springs.