1996
Get Up and Move Your Bed!
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“Get Up and Move Your Bed!” Ensign, July 1996, 62–63

“Get Up and Move Your Bed!”

My two buddies and I, all of us just 15 years old, laughed and joked as we unpacked our provisions and set up camp one summer in the high Uinta Mountains of Utah. At last our eagerly planned trip was a reality.

Each of us had worked on our family farms throughout the summer. After haying season was over we finally had two weeks for our trip. I was a large, strong boy and looked forward fearlessly to the adventures of life. Before sunup we had tied our provisions on a packhorse, mounted our own horses, and begun our long journey into the mountains. We made good time and stopped at noon to rest our horses and fix ourselves a meal. We finally arrived at our favorite camp just before sundown.

After staking the horses, my friend Ariel began cooking dinner while Jiggs and I went out to cut fresh pine boughs for a bed. In those days we did not own sleeping bags, so we made one big bed by spreading a large piece of canvas over the pine boughs, piling blankets on one half of the tarp, then folding the other half over the top of the blankets to keep us dry in case of dampness or rain.

Darkness slowly descended on our mountain retreat. Our stomachs satisfyingly filled, we settled in happy weariness into the waiting bed and fell asleep quickly. Deep into the night hours I awoke to a voice. I seldom woke during the night and was very groggy. Ignoring the voice, I drifted back to sleep. Again the voice came to me. This time I woke up and listened, not believing what I heard.

“Get up and move your bed!”

Move my bed? A hard, chill wind was blowing, and my bed was comfortable and warm, my friends fast asleep. I lay there staring into the darkness, seeing the trees, one in particular, faintly illuminated against the dark sky. Then came the voice again, more urgently. “Get up and move your bed into the forest. That dead tree may blow over.”

Fully alert now, I jumped up and shook my friends awake. I told them we needed to move our bed because the old dead tree might blow over. With sleepy complaints and groans they crawled out, and together we pulled the canvas into the woods and fell grumbling into bed again, this time on hard ground. Falling asleep instantly, we heard nothing the rest of the night.

With the first light of dawn painting the sky shades of pink, we stretched and yawned ourselves into full wakefulness. Walking back toward our camp area, suddenly we all stopped dead in our tracks staring at the place where our bed had been. The dead tree had crashed to the ground during the night, covering our deserted pine boughs with its bulk and driving many limbs larger than our waists into the ground. We stood in wide-eyed shock at what our fate might have been.

Gratitude for that quiet, insistent voice of warning wove itself through every day of that vacation, sharpening our enjoyment of even small pleasures. And because our lives were spared on that summer night long ago, throughout all my life I have held close to my heart a knowledge of the love our Father in Heaven has for all his children.