The Day Jeff Left
August 1979

“The Day Jeff Left,” Ensign, Aug. 1979, 62

The Day Jeff Left

When our oldest son came home on a four-day leave from the U.S. Marine Corps about three years ago, I felt an unusual concern for his safety. All during his short time home we seemed closer than usual.

As the day approached for him to leave, however, I had a feeling of impending doom.

I kept telling myself that my worry stemmed from the possibility that Jeff would have knee surgery upon his return to base, and the fact that I could not be with him. Still the heavy feeling persisted. As the time came for him to leave, the feeling grew stronger, and I did not want him to go. I cried when he boarded the plane.

All the way home I felt impressed that something terrible was going to happen, and I silently pleaded with my Heavenly Father not to take him yet. We were converts to the Church, and I told my Heavenly Father through my tears that I had not had the knowledge to teach Jeff correct principles while he was young. I asked him to please grant me the opportunity to correct my mistakes and try to teach him now. Over and over I pleaded, “Please don’t take him now.”

Before going to bed that night, I knelt in prayer again and pleaded that Jeff’s life would be spared.

After Jeff got back to base, he called and said his surgery had been postponed. When I commented that I was grateful his trip back had been uneventful, he replied, “But it wasn’t.” The plane he transferred to in Washington had to turn back because of engine trouble, and the passengers were told later that if it had stayed in the air another minute or two, it might have crashed.

No one can tell me that my prayer was not answered. I know my Heavenly Father has given me another opportunity to teach my son, and I’m grateful. Melba Secrist, Gasport, New York