Why Was I Awake at 3:00 a.m.?
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“Why Was I Awake at 3:00 a.m.?” Ensign, Jan. 2008, 70–71

Why Was I Awake at 3:00 a.m.?

I thought at first that my wife, Eva, had nudged me. But as I turned over, I could see that she was still asleep. As I sat up, I had the distinct impression that I needed to go to the living room. I slipped out of bed and headed down the hallway. Checking the children as I passed their bedrooms, I could see that they were sleeping soundly.

In the living room, a comforting warmth radiated from our coal-burning stove, which was burning the evening’s load of coal. The damper was set correctly, and the furnace seemed to be working properly. Everything looked normal. Even our dog was sleeping, oblivious to my presence. Outside, I saw only motionless shadows lying across a snow-covered yard.

As I again looked around the room, I was perplexed. The impression I had was real. So why was I standing alone in the living room at 3:00 a.m.? I lingered for a few minutes but finally decided to return to bed.

Just as I started for the bedroom, I heard a metallic swoosh sound behind me. I quickly turned around to see smoke and hot cinders billowing from the back of the stove! A rivet on the stovepipe had suddenly snapped, and a section of the pipe had slid down into another section, leaving a gaping hole in the pipe.

I called to Eva for help. Then I quickly donned a pair of heavy leather gloves that I kept near the stove and squeezed the stovepipe seam back together. After reconnecting the pipe piece, I joined Eva in clearing the smoke from the living room. We then surveyed the damage.

Cinders and soot had burned only a small section of carpet. Had I not been there when the pipe rivet snapped, the whole living room would have been quickly engulfed in flames. The likely destruction of our home and the possible loss of our lives had been averted—thanks to a gentle but indelible impression from the Holy Ghost.

Returning to bed, I was grateful that a loving Heavenly Father, who is over all things, would warn me about a small metal rivet that would fail on that cold winter night.