“I Want to Go Home”
February 2020

“I Want to Go Home,” Ensign, February 2020

Latter-day Saint Voices

“I Want to Go Home”

woman waving to man at a gas station

Illustration by Allen Garns

While my husband and I were eating lunch at a local sandwich shop, a man walked in looking disheveled, lost, and confused. When he walked toward our table, I was surprised he didn’t ask for money. He only asked for directions to Flagstaff, Arizona. My husband and I gave him directions. He thanked us and left.

After lunch we started for home. Soon I saw the man walking toward a gas station. I had a strong impression to help him and asked my husband to pull into the gas station. I found the man and introduced myself. He had sad and tired eyes. His face seemed etched with deep lines from a hard life.

I asked how he planned to get to Flagstaff. He said he was going to walk. I knew that would be impossible since Flagstaff was more than 120 miles (193 km) away. I gave him some money and told him he could go to a nearby fast food restaurant to get some food and that I would return to take him to the bus depot and buy him a ticket to Flagstaff.

I returned to the truck and told my husband what had happened. Because of his health issues, I called a friend and asked her to go back with me. She agreed. We gathered some supplies, food, and water. Then we drove to the restaurant and picked the man up.

As we headed to the bus depot, this poor man began repeating, “I want to go home.” I asked if Flagstaff was his home. It wasn’t, but his daughter, whom he hadn’t spoken to for several years, lived there. He explained that he had been released from prison two weeks earlier. He and another released prisoner had been dropped off at the bus depot and each given a ticket. The other prisoner had stolen his ticket and what little money he had. He had been wandering the streets since. Nobody would help him.

“I want to go home,” he said again.

We arrived at the bus depot. I purchased his ticket and gave him some money and the supplies we had gathered. He thanked us and sat down. As we drove away, this man’s words repeated in my mind: “I want to go home.”

Isn’t that what we all want? We are all absent from the loving home we left when we came to earth. We can all lose our way, so Jesus Christ showed us the path to follow and, through His atoning sacrifice, paid the ultimate price for our sins. Just as this man couldn’t return home on his own, neither can we return to our heavenly home without our Savior.