Holding onto the Savior
March 1996

“Holding onto the Savior,” Ensign, Mar. 1996, 68

Holding onto the Savior

I glanced at my watch as I pulled my car out of the parking lot. I was out of my doctor’s appointment early, and the baby-sitter wouldn’t expect me for some time. The dream of shopping without three small tagalongs was appealing, but thoughts of my budget had me turning my car homeward.

Before I had traveled a block, the thought came into my mind that I should go see Greg at the Stanford Medical Center. Greg, a convert of only a week, had been baptized in the Stanford therapy pool. His surgery, immediately following his baptism, had revealed that his already diagnosed cancer had spread too extensively to combat.

I brushed off the urge to see him. My husband, who was serving as one of the ward mission leaders, and I had visited Greg only two days before.

The prompting came again, more forcefully, to go see Greg. Concluding that there must be an urgent need, I turned my car toward Stanford. Before I had gone another block, another prompting urged me to stop en route at the Church bookstore and purchase a gift for him.

In a few minutes I found myself staring at rows of books, wondering what to buy for a man in his twenties dying of cancer. I finally settled on a book that seemed right. As I passed near the picture section, I was drawn to a beautiful and compelling picture of the Savior surrounded by children. This, along with a picture of the President of the Church, completed my purchases.

I sped off to the hospital to face whatever crisis I knew must be waiting there. I reached Greg’s room only to discover him resting comfortably and visiting with family members. I delivered my gifts, assured myself that all was well, and made sure Greg’s family still had our phone number.

I returned home wondering why I had been impressed to make a visit now instead of waiting until our planned visit two days later. In the following weeks, the answers slowly came.

On the day we’d planned to visit Greg, both my husband and I had the flu. Then Greg was released to go home. He died there just a few weeks after his baptism. We attended his funeral. About a month later, Greg’s mother telephoned to thank me for my gifts to Greg that day in the hospital. She told me that in his last few days, she would hear him crying in the middle of the night because of pain. When she went into his room, he would be tightly holding the picture of the Savior. It had meant so much to him.

To me, the experience was a reaffirmation that the promptings of the Holy Ghost are sure, even though the reasons may not be immediately clear.

  • Claudia Reeder Walters serves as Relief Society president of the Lehi Third Ward, Mesa Arizona Lehi Stake.