Drive Off the Road—Now!

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“Drive Off the Road—Now!” Ensign, Aug. 1999, 62–64

Drive Off the Road—Now!

When I joined the Church it seemed as if every aspect of my life began to change. There was so much to learn and so many habits to change for the better. When I received the gift of the Holy Ghost after my baptism, I truly believed the promise that the Spirit would direct my life if I learned to listen. I was determined to listen to the still, small voice and follow the guidance I received with full trust. I prayed daily that I would learn to readily recognize the Holy Ghost’s influence.

The first experience I remember came while I was ironing clothes. I felt impressed to go out into my shed, but I didn’t respond because I was too busy. It came again a little stronger; again I ignored the thought. The third time the feeling was full of urgency, and this time I left my ironing and went out to the shed.

Little puffs of smoke were coming up from the water heater. My cat had jumped from one of the shelves, causing some newspapers to fall under the water heater and igniting a small fire. It was easy to douse the flames before they had a chance to spread. But it was not so easy to put out the uneasy thoughts in my mind about not immediately listening to the promptings I had received. Had I not responded when I finally did, I could have lost my house and everything in it.

There were other times when I received direction through the still, small voice, and as I listened and obeyed I was better able to recognize those impressions. Each small incident strengthened my resolve to nurture my growing testimony that the Holy Ghost is real and is my companion. What happened one day in heavy traffic added to this testimony. It was simply a matter of hearing and trusting.

I was driving on a crowded street, and as I approached a busy intersection I maneuvered over to the right-hand lane. The light turned yellow, and as I slowed I felt a strong prompting to drive off the road. Obediently I pulled off the road into an open field over bumpy rocks and up a grassy slope, and I came to a stop in the middle of a weedy field. A few cows looked at me curiously.

At that moment an open convertible filled with teenagers came speeding recklessly toward the intersection. Feet dangled over the sides of the car in youthful abandon, and the boys and girls were laughing and singing school songs.

Horrified, I watched the light change to red and was sure the young driver would not be able to stop in time. I envisioned a terrible collision with cars piled up in all directions. In that instant the driver spotted the space I had vacated. Veering with a suddenness that threw the others in the car every which way, he barely avoided a crash. His tires screamed and smoked as his car came to a jolting stop where mine had just been.

Before the light changed, he looked over and saw me in the middle of the field with the cows. “Hey, lady,” he called out. “What are you doing in the middle of them weeds?” The light turned green, he raced the motor, and with a squeal of the wheels he was gone.

Shaken, I bowed my head and offered a prayer of thanks for the gift of the Holy Ghost that had saved me and the other unsuspecting drivers from harm’s way.