The Voice Said, ‘Stop!’

    “The Voice Said, ‘Stop!’” Ensign, Apr. 1995, 67

    The Voice Said, “Stop!”

    When something happens that we have been praying for, sometimes we’re tempted to wonder: Is it an answer, or did it just happen? Other times, however, we know for certain that Heavenly Father has intervened in our lives in response to our faithful supplication. One such experience happened to me in the rain forests of Vancouver Island, Canada.

    Soon after I joined the Church in 1957, I was asked to travel to the island’s interior to determine the existence of a mining claim. Receiving as much as four feet of rain a year, the area is not unlike the rain forests of South America. After my family and I had prayed that morning that we might return home safely following my day’s activities, I left for work. My coworker and I began to cut our way through the undergrowth to where we believed the mining claim was.

    Every once in a while we would come across a giant, fallen tree. It was easier to climb up onto the trunk, walk the hundred or so feet to the end of it, and then jump off.

    As I continued to do this, I was about to jump off the end of another tree when I heard a loud, clear voice shout, “Stop!” I turned to see why my companion had said this, but he was busy hacking his path through the bush.

    Thinking I was mistaken, I moved to continue to the end of the trunk. Again the voice commanded me to stop. Confused, I turned to see who could possibly be kidding around in the middle of the forest.

    In so doing, my position on the tree changed, and instead of jumping off the end of the tree, I jumped to the side. I walked over to where my companion was still making a trail and asked him if he would return to the tree with me. I knew now that the Spirit had directed me, and I wanted to find out why.

    At the end of the tree, we cautiously parted the ferns and holly. Exactly where I would have landed had I not stopped, we discovered an open mine shaft, the bottom of which we could not see.

    With a heart filled with gratitude, I silently thanked Heavenly Father for answering our morning prayer by saving my life.

    • David A. Garside serves as a family history adviser in the Hidden Valley Third Ward, Sandy Utah Hidden Valley Stake.

    Illustrated by Gregg Thorkelson