“You Saved My Marriage,” Ensign, July 2014, 79
When I did construction work in Oman from 1979 to 1986, I worked for the ministry of defense. The ministry gave me projects located in the most inaccessible section of the country, and most of the time I was the only supervisor looking after the projects. I was also the only member of the Church working for the ministry.
One day at our company headquarters, I ran into an electrical engineer who, as he had in the past, made negative comments about the Church. I tolerated his comments because I was usually at headquarters for only a short time before I was away on another project.
Later, however, this man was assigned to inspect electrical work at projects being constructed along Oman’s border with Yemen. We were scheduled to spend about an hour together before he flew back to headquarters.
When he arrived, he inspected the work and found everything to his satisfaction. During our time together, I centered our conversation on work and then drove him to the landing strip to see him off.
It was monsoon season, and the landing strip, located on a mountain plateau 6,000 feet (1,830 m) above the Indian Ocean, was covered with clouds. My co-worker’s flight would be delayed.
My heart was pounding as I realized that I would have to wait in the car with this man. After I said a silent prayer, a thought came into my mind to ask the man about his family, especially his wife.
I did so, and the engineer suddenly burst into tears, saying that he had just received word that his wife was seeking a divorce. The word love immediately came into my mind, and for the next two hours we talked about the love we should have for others and the love the Lord Jesus Christ has for all of us. Before I knew it, we had become friends. As we ended our conversation, the clouds cleared and the engineer boarded his flight. Soon I heard that he had resigned his position and returned home.
A few years later while on an outing with Aaronic Priesthood young men in Plymouth, a city on England’s southern coast, I noticed a man making his way toward me. As he approached, he said, “I thought it was you, Neil.”
It was the electrical engineer from Oman. The next words he spoke have remained in my heart: “Thank you for talking to me about love that day on the mountain. You saved my marriage, and I will be forever grateful.”
We shared a few more words, and he left. I haven’t seen him since.
I will always be grateful for the inspiration I received in Oman. It blessed the engineer and gave me strength to maintain my Church beliefs when I was alone and far from home.