“Remember the Sabbath Day,” Ensign, July 1985, 49–50
During World War II my husband worked in a prisoner-of-war camp at Pagago Park near Scottsdale, Arizona. Prior to that time he had been a feed miller for fourteen years, and our hope and ambition was to start a livestock feed business of our own.
Scottsdale was a new town with a lot of farming in the area, so business prospects were good. We went there several times to look for a building that we could turn into a store, but there was nothing for sale in the business district. We didn’t give up hope, though, and often knelt in prayer to ask the Lord for guidance and direction.
One morning we felt impressed to drive to Scottsdale for another look. And there, on Scottsdale Road near the center of town, was a parcel of land for sale. We only had ten dollars in our pocket, but to our surprise the real estate agents agreed to hold the land for us for thirty days.
Not long after we left, however, the agents got an offer for the property for twice the amount they had asked us. So they gave us an ultimatum: we had to come up with the full amount within the thirty-day period or forfeit the land.
This presented a problem. We had to sell our home in Phoenix for cash or lose the property we needed for our store. Again we appealed to the Lord for help. Within a few days, a couple bought our home, paying cash. The legalities were taken care of, and we were able to close the deal in Scottsdale just in time.
My husband quit his job at the prison camp and began building the feed store. In the meantime, we lived in a small trailer house with two little girls and a baby boy. It was a trying and uncomfortable experience. How happy we were to leave the trailer and move into a nice little apartment at the side of the store.
By this time our funds were almost exhausted. We had only a small stock of feed, and it was agreed that my husband should resume his work at the prison camp to keep us going and to build up our inventory. I would run the store.
The thing that troubled me most about this arrangement was that he had to work on Sunday; and because he had to drive our car to the camp, we were left without a way to attend church. Not only was I uneasy about this conflict with the Lord’s commandment, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Ex. 20:8), I had also been reading section 59 of the Doctrine and Covenants. It had such an impact on me that I memorized the whole section, and at this time some of its passages came forcefully to my mind:
“That thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day. …
“Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, … the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, … to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul”—the Lord itemized them all.
Most important to me were the spiritual rewards he promised: “He who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.” (D&C 59:9, 16–19, 23.)
It seemed to me that the Lord was saying, “Try me and see.”
I told my husband that I thought our circumstances were such that he could quit his job, that we should “try the Lord.” He considered this proposition with apprehension. Up to that time, most of the feed business in Scottsdale had been handled by grocery stores. He had just returned from a session with the town’s three leading grocers, who, he learned, were unwilling to turn that part of their trade over to him. The future was beginning to look grim.
About a week later, I was sitting in the back of our store making mental calculations. I had just sold a bale of hay, and our total sales for the week had not netted one dollar a day. Doubts began to creep into my mind. How could we get along without my husband’s wages at the prison camp? I was quite disheartened.
Just then, the three grocers my husband had met with came through the door and said hello pleasantly. “Tell your husband we’ve changed our minds,” one of them said. “We have decided to turn our feed business over to him.”
I was speechless with gratitude. But my astonishment and joy were even greater when, not five minutes later, my husband came in with the news that he had quit his job a few hours earlier!
I then remembered another promise the Lord made: “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say.” (D&C 82:10.) And I knew we had been blessed.
Now we could go to Phoenix every Sunday to attend church together, as the Lord wanted us to. And we did. Before long we were called as stake missionaries to lay the groundwork for establishing a ward right in Scottsdale.