The Warning Dream

“The Warning Dream,” Ensign, July 1980, 56

The Warning Dream

I awoke suddenly, quivering with horror from a nightmare that not even the bright sun streaming through my bedroom curtains could dissipate. In the dream, I had vividly seen my eldest daughter and her unborn child, mangled in an automobile accident. I had the clear impression that the accident would occur on a long trip, not in everyday travel. I was living in Portland, Oregon, at the time.

I tried to be logical. My daughter was not pregnant. She and her husband, living in Palo Alto, California, were the parents of three children. To my knowledge they were not planning any long trips.

A few months later, though, my daughter wrote that they were happily expecting their fourth child. She also talked of trips they were planning to Arizona to visit my son-in-law’s parents and of business that would take them to Los Angeles. My worries increased and my prayers became more intense. I could not dismiss the constant heartache that troubled me, for I had experienced previous dreams, warnings, and impressions that had materialized.

Then I learned that they were planning to combine business with pleasure on a weekend trip to Los Angeles with their two oldest children. My son-in-law would be staying in Los Angeles after the weekend and my daughter would be driving back to Palo Alto with the children. Should I share that still-vivid dream? I was so concerned that on Sunday, which was Fast Day, I asked the members of the branch in Montana, where I was living temporarily, to remember my daughter in their prayers the next day.

Monday I continued to fast, praying continuously. I felt great distress, yet confidence that somehow all would be well. Soon after noon, a feeling of peace seemed to envelop me, sweeping away my fears. I knew that the crisis had been averted. My relief was complete a few months later when I received the phone call telling me that their little son had arrived safely. Now that the baby was born, my nightmare could never come true.

The next time I visited them in Palo Alto, I told them of my dream. Amazed, my daughter told me the other half of the story.

Before leaving their hotel room in Los Angeles that Monday morning, she felt strongly impressed to have a special prayer for safety. On the way, she developed a headache and drove off the freeway for a drink of water at a service station to wash down some aspirin. As they started to leave, a car pulled up behind them, the driver jumped out, stopped her, and said, “Lady, your left rear tire has a bubble on it. I saw it when you passed me a few miles back.”

Then he drove off without stopping for gas. The service station attendant told my daughter that he had seen the car pull off the freeway, apparently just to warn her. And the tire was badly damaged.

As soon as it was repaired, they set out again; but my daughter said that she stopped almost at once on the shoulder of the highway and told the children they must have a prayer of thanks for their safety. They were just finishing when the service station attendant drove up behind them, brandishing the credit card she had left, her only means of buying gas for the rest of the trip. We compared times. She had offered her thankful prayer at the time I experienced my sense of peace.

That nightmare happened over twenty years ago. My grandson, now six feet three, has recently returned from a mission to Argentina. I shall be eternally grateful that the warning dream never became a reality.