Lesson from a Lost Wallet

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“Lesson from a Lost Wallet,” Ensign, June 1999, 59–60

Lesson from a Lost Wallet

I learned a valuable lesson on obedience one muggy Saturday afternoon. I had been up late the night before and had been working hard in the yard all morning. The heat drained me of energy, so I went inside for a 15-minute nap. As I lay down on the couch, I had the feeling I should do something with my wallet so it wouldn’t be lost. I ignored the prompting and was soon fast asleep.

After a few minutes I was refreshed and ready to continue with the yard work. Before I went out the door, I felt for my wallet. It was gone. I searched behind the couch, under the cushions, and all around it. My search widened into the living room, the kitchen, the hall, the bathroom, the children’s bedrooms, and finally my bedroom. I could not find my wallet.

My frustration mounted as I realized I had not listened to the earlier prompting. After I settled down, I started to ask myself a few questions. If my wallet was not on the couch, how did it get away? One of my children must have taken it. I started with the oldest and went on to the youngest. Ryan, Kemily, Wendy, and Tamra said they had not taken it. Rebekah, two years old and too kind to disappoint her father, admitted she had taken it. I asked her where she had put it, and she took me all through the house to show me. I felt that she was honest in telling me she had taken it but that her short memory was keeping us from finding the wallet.

I was still a little upset with myself, but the search had been narrowed. Rebekah could not have put it anywhere more than two or three feet off the floor. I began another search. No results. I decided to wait a few days and to hope it would turn up as so many other lost articles had in the past.

Sunday at priesthood meeting there was a temple assignment for Thursday. I didn’t want to volunteer in case my wallet with my recommend did not turn up.

On Wednesday the wallet was still missing. My high priests group leader called to ask me to help with the Thursday assignment. Embarrassed, I told him I had lost my wallet and recommend.

My mind turned to larger issues. What was I going to learn from this experience? The answer was obvious: I was going to listen and obey. I knew it would take a lot of time and paperwork to replace my recommend, driver’s license, and other items. If only I had listened and obeyed. I had also lost some family pictures that could not be replaced.

I expressed to Heavenly Father in prayer all I felt that I had learned from the experience and asked again for help in finding my wallet so I could go to the temple. Later, as I lay on my bed pondering my situation, I found myself more deeply committed to responding to spiritual thoughts.

The idea came to go check in the sewing basket. This time when the impression came I listened and obeyed and was overjoyed to find the wallet.