Go Fix His Stereo
January 2014

“Go Fix His Stereo,” Ensign, Jan. 2014, 78

Go Fix His Stereo

Kent A. Russell, Florida, USA

Our next-door neighbor was the youth minister at a local church, and the youth of his church often visited him. It was not uncommon to see several cars parked in front of his house both day and night.

Some of these teens played loud music on their car stereos all the time. We could hear them coming for several blocks, and as they got closer, the windows in our home would shake. Often the loud music would wake me at night. My annoyance festered, and I began to view these teens as my enemies.

One day while I was raking leaves, I heard a car stereo blaring several blocks away. The sound soon came closer and got louder. By the time the driver turned the corner and headed for my neighbor’s home, I was angry and prayed that Heavenly Father would destroy the stereo.

My desperate prayer turned to one of praise and gratitude when the stereo suddenly went blissfully silent just as he pulled up. I had worked on car stereos and knew by the sound that it hadn’t been turned off—it had died.

The young man was upset that his stereo had quit working, and his friends gathered to console him. I, on the other hand, felt a smug satisfaction in witnessing what I thought was the hand of God smiting the stereo.

But as I continued watching, I realized I was looking at myself as I had behaved many years ago. My heart softened, and I began to think that maybe this boy wasn’t my enemy after all. Then the Spirit whispered, “Go fix his stereo.”

I was stunned by the prompting and tried to dismiss it. Why should I repair something that was making my life miserable? But the prompting came again, and I followed it.

After I had offered my help, I immediately saw the source of the problem. It was a quick fix. Soon the stereo was playing again as loud as ever.

The young man expressed his gratitude and asked if there was anything he could do for me. I told him I had to get up early for work, and if he could turn down his music in the evenings, I would really appreciate it. He smiled and assured me that he would do so.

Not only did he keep his stereo down at night, but he also became my personal stereo cop and made sure his friends turned down their stereos as well. From then on, we never had a problem with loud music after dark.

Heavenly Father really did hear and answer my prayer. His solution provided peace and quiet, a valuable lesson about following the Spirit, and a better understanding of what it means to “love your enemies” (Luke 6:27).