“Don’t Open the Door!” Ensign, Jan. 2006, 68–69
The night was freezing, with snow coming thick and fast. I was warm and safe in our home, and our three children were sleeping soundly. My husband was attending a bishopric meeting at the chapel some five miles (8 km) away. At about 8:30 there was an unexpected knock at the door. Immediately I felt strongly impressed that I was not to open the door. This certainty—this warning of danger—had never before come to me so strongly.
I was therefore quite stunned to hear my husband’s brother answer my query as to who was there. My husband’s only brother, Michael, a member of the Church, lived 70 miles (110 km) away. We had a very good relationship with him, and it was not surprising that he would visit, possibly expecting to stay a few days, as he had done many times before. It wasn’t even surprising that he hadn’t called, since the phone lines were down because of the weather. I should have felt safe and relieved, and it would have been normal for me to welcome him into our home on this cold winter night.
I could not understand the strong feelings I had or why I heard myself asking him to travel to the chapel to meet my husband. After a stunned silence my brother-in-law explained in a rather strange manner that he had traveled by train, then had caught the bus to our home, and now the snow was getting quite deep.
A powerful prompting continued to impress upon me that I must not, for any reason, open the door. I calmly explained that I was sorry and repeated my request for him to travel to the chapel to meet my husband.
For the remainder of the evening I reflected on my actions. Poor Michael had traveled several hours by train and bus, and on a cold winter evening I had turned him away. How could anyone be so uncaring? Yet at the same time I was unable to deny the strong witness that I was in danger and must not open my door.
It was late and I was almost asleep when my husband returned home. We discussed the situation very briefly, my husband confirming that his brother had met him and was now sleeping downstairs. I no longer felt any fear and slept very soundly.
The next morning I puzzled over how I could explain my actions to Michael. Would he be angry with me? I took a deep breath and walked into the kitchen to prepare breakfast. “Michael, about last night … ,” I began but stopped when I saw that, far from being angry, he was actually smiling.
“I’m so glad you did not let us in last night,” he said. I had no idea until then that he had not been alone. He proceeded to tell me how he had met Steve, an old school friend, on the train, and it had taken him some time to realize that Steve was high on drugs. By then Michael had already told him where he was going. Steve became more and more aggressive during the journey. He explained he urgently needed money and a place to sleep. He forcibly accompanied Michael to our home with what my brother-in-law could describe only as “the most evil of intentions.”
“So, you see,” said Michael, “I stood outside the door, praying that you would not let us in. By the time we set off on the long trip to the chapel, Steve lost interest and said he would go and find some ‘action’ somewhere else.”
I will never know what might have befallen our family or me that winter night. I will just be eternally grateful to have learned one of the most valuable lessons here on earth—to obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Even when there appears to be no logical reason, we will be kept safe by relying on that still, small voice.