Just in time for Family Home Evening tonight! Two stories about being a better listener. We were in Seattle last weekend visiting our son and we found a local ward to attend. We got to hear three wonderful speakers. The second one, Brother Mellor, I believe was his name, told an amazing story about a prompting from the Holy Ghost.
Brother Mellor said that he was an average home teacher. He felt he was generally dutiful but not amazing. He was out running errands one night, when his wife called and said he needed to pick up his daughter from a party. Brother Mellor was planning to do a quick pick-up of his daughter and then go home.
Brother Mellor felt a prompting, “Go right now to the ___________’s house!” (One of the families that he home taught.) He wasn’t even planning to go home teaching and felt embarrassed to just drop in. He knew he couldn’t leave his daughter, so he ignored the prompting and reasoned, “I still will go—I just need to be a good parent and pick up my daughter first.” He felt the Spirit again, “GO to their house right now!” Still he hesitated because of the promise to his wife and the responsibility he felt for his daughter.
Finally, finally, the THIRD time, Brother Mellor heard, “GO RIGHT NOW TO THEIR HOUSE!!!” He said, “I couldn’t ignore the voice, the prompting, the insistence, so I went as fast as I could.” We were on the edge of our seats, listening.
Brother Mellor said when he got there, he saw a huge 5 ton (?) cement dump truck starting to roll down their steep driveway. He ran over to the truck, jumped on the running board and inside were the family’s 3-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter, at the steering wheel and controls. He was able to jump in and stop the truck just in time.
Brother Mellor humbly said, “I realized later that if I had waited any longer, I would have been too late. The dump truck was already rolling down the steep driveway and done serious damage to the children and anyone in their way.” He said he really learned his lesson to respond quickly to the Spirit.
Questions you can ask your children after you tell them this story:
Why didn’t God just send an angel to save those children?
Why weren’t the parents prompted?
I have been pondering the answer to the first question. I think God works through us so that we can be more bound to him spiritually. He has much more at His power and command but He wants to teach us. He wants us to learn that we can have access to His power. We know we have to be worthy to receive promptings, and so as we keep his commandments he gives us more and more light. He worked through Brother Mellor, who then told about his experience in a talk, and impacted the many people in that church service. It impacted me so much, I am writing about it to you. His experience is faith promoting. It was so strengthening for me to hear it. It’s very powerful to hear a first-hand account of someone who has had spiritual prompting and how that prompting saved two young children and whoever would have been in their path.
The answer to the second question is speculative at this point. No mention of the parents was made in the story. You can have your children figure that out as well. Maybe they were all taking naps, maybe they had an inattentive babysitter, or maybe the mother thought they were in the backyard and the children went to the front.
My husband and I loved the humble way Brother Mellor told this story. After he told it he didn’t take any credit for finding those children, he just felt bad that he hadn’t gotten there sooner.
Here is a clip from “The Life of Thomas S. Monson” hour plus video on lds.org. Go to the minute 24:19 to 26:14, to hear a story about young Bishop Monson who didn’t act on a prompting immediately:
I like this story about our Prophet so much! It shows again how in our human minds we feel we can’t be rude or thoughtless and leave the church service early. When the Lord needs us, He needs us and we can learn from these two stories to listen and obey.
Happy Family Home Evening!