“My Eyes Were Opened,” Ensign, Apr. 1997, 51
It was a cold, cloudy Friday afternoon, and my wife and I had planned a temple trip. We had been trying to go to the temple for some time, but something else always came up. Today we were determined to make it.
When I arrived home from work, my wife was gone, no doubt running some necessary errands. I began doing little tasks around the house, and as time passed I gradually began to lose the desire to attend the temple. Then my wife came in, arms full of laundry, and asked if we were still going to go. “Well,” I responded, “it’s been a very long week, and I’m tired. I bet you’re tired too. Maybe we can go next week.”
Without argument, she headed to the bedroom to put the clothes away. As I stood still for a minute, a small voice inside me said, You need to go. As I joined my wife in the bedroom, she turned and asked, “Are you sure we’ll make it next week?”
“No,” I said, “because we’re going today.”
No sooner had we decided to go than opposition met us and I began to be increasingly irritated. My shirt wasn’t ironed. I couldn’t find my dark socks. Nothing was going right. I silently prayed, If I need to go today, please help me get there. I received the needed help, and things began to run more smoothly.
But later, as we sat on the back row of the temple chapel, I started to become anxious and uptight again. I kept glancing at my watch. Why was I in such a rush? The same still, small voice I had heard earlier came to me, reminding me that there was no need to hurry there in the temple. I immediately felt peace.
After completing our session, my wife and I entered the celestial room, where we enjoyed sitting together reverently, partaking of the Spirit.
Just before it was time for us to leave, I noticed a young couple whom I had seen earlier in the chapel. The man was evidently blind, and the woman was reverently trying to get the attention of a passing temple worker.
I kissed my wife gently on the cheek and said, “It’s time to go now.” I walked slowly past the couple in need and offered to help the man.
With a smile she placed his arm in mine and we departed for the dressing room. While we were walking, the man turned to me and said, “My name is David. I thank you for helping me.”
“My name is John, and it’s no trouble at all,” I replied.
“I guess I should have told someone I had a disability,” he continued.
“Even those who can see often have difficulty finding their way around,” I answered.
David chuckled softly and said, “I guess you’re right.”
As we entered the dressing area, I showed him to his locker and opened it, then returned to my locker. While I was changing my clothes, tears began to fill my eyes, and my heart began to hurt. How many times had I overlooked someone in need? I wondered. How many times did I not have ears to hear or eyes to see another’s need? In some ways, I had been blind for so many years.
I wiped my eyes and returned to where I had left David. As I watched quietly, I noticed he was having trouble with his tie.
“Here,” I said, “your tie is stuck on your collar.”
“John, is that you?” he asked.
“Yes. I’m here,” I replied.
We walked out to the foyer together, and his wife smiled as she saw us. I led David to her and placed his arm in hers.
“Here you go, David. You’re safe now,” I said.
“I was safe with you, John,” he responded.
That night as I lay on my bed, I thanked Heavenly Father for that special day. I thanked him for the lesson I had learned and for the opportunity he had given me to help another. I knew that if I hadn’t been in the temple that day, someone else could have helped David, but I would have missed an important lesson and might have remained blind toward others’ needs, as I had previously been. Now I could see.