“Everyone But Me,” Friend, July 1997, 2
Christopher’s heart was heavy as he walked slowly to the family car after Primary. Why does everyone but me hear the still, small voice? he wondered.
In fast and testimony meeting, Brother Johnson told of an experience he’d had while driving across a lonely stretch of highway. The still, small voice had told him to take a different route home, one that would add about ten miles to his trip. Although he had been eager to get back home from his business trip, he obeyed the prompting. On his detour, he came across a rollover accident. A young family had been traveling a long way to visit relatives. When the father, who was driving the car, fell asleep, the car had drifted too close to the side of the road and had rolled off a steep embankment. Brother Johnson was able to help the young family by calling for help on the phone he carried in his car and by administering first-aid to the father, who had some serious cuts and bruises.
Bishop Benson told how he had been prompted by the Holy Ghost to check on Sister Henderson during the week. Sister Henderson was a widow who lived about two miles up a dirt road off the main highway into town. When the bishop went to see her, he found that her furnace had broken down. She didn’t have a telephone and was no longer able to drive, so she had prayed to Heavenly Father for help. The still, small voice had told her that all would be well.
Later, Christopher’s Primary teacher, Sister Woolett, had given a lesson about the Holy Ghost. She told about when the still, small voice had warned her to check on her sleeping child. When she did, it appeared that everything was all right. But as she turned to leave, the voice again told her to check on her boy. This time she went over to the crib and looked more closely at him. There, next to him, was a large, jagged piece of glass. A framed picture that had been hanging above the crib had somehow fallen. Most of the glass and the frame had fallen behind the crib, but the large, jagged piece had fallen next to her sleeping son.
Sister Woolett also related an incident from the lesson manual about one of the prophets being warned of danger by the still, small voice.
Why can everyone hear the still, small voice but me? Christopher wondered again. He knew that following his baptism almost two years ago, he was given the gift of the Holy Ghost when he was confirmed. So why doesn’t the Holy Ghost speak to me?
“How was Primary?” Mom asked as Christopher and his two younger sisters climbed into the car. Jill and Melinda excitedly started telling about their lessons and the songs they learned in singing time. Christopher just sadly stared at the floor of the car.
“What was your lesson about, Christopher?” Dad asked.
A tear rolled down Christopher’s cheek. “The Holy Ghost,” he replied softly. Sensing that something was wrong, Jill and Melinda quit chattering.
“Maybe we could talk about this a little more when we get in the house,” Mom said as the car turned into the driveway.
Later Mom and Dad invited Christopher to come to their room. “Christopher,” Mom said, “can you tell us what’s bothering you?”
Christopher looked down. He didn’t want his parents to know that the Holy Ghost didn’t talk to him. They probably heard the still, small voice all the time.
“Listen, Son,” Dad said, putting his arm around Christopher, “we can tell that you’re upset, and we’d like to help.”
Christopher felt tears ready to spill from his eyes. “Mom, Dad,” he said in a shaky voice, “why doesn’t the Holy Ghost speak to me? I’ve always tried to do what’s right. I know I make mistakes—like the time I spilled the red punch on the new carpet and said Jill did it so I wouldn’t get into trouble. But I did finally tell the truth. Do you have to be perfect like the bishop or Brother Johnson or Sister Woolett to have the Holy Ghost speak to you?”
Mom and Dad looked a little surprised. “Christopher,” Mom said, “the only perfect person who ever lived on the earth was Jesus Christ. Everyone makes mistakes. Why don’t you think the Holy Ghost speaks to you?”
“I’ve never heard the still, small voice,” Christopher replied.
“Hearing a voice isn’t the only way the Holy Ghost can communicate with you,” Mom said. “Often it’s what you feel, not what you hear. Don’t you remember that good feeling you had after you prayed and asked Heavenly Father to forgive you for blaming your sister for the carpet stain and after telling us the truth? That feeling was from the Holy Ghost.”
“Or how about the time when we were reading from the scriptures,” Dad added, “and you suddenly understood what Jesus Christ was really talking about in the parable about the wheat and the tares. That was the Holy Ghost teaching you.”
“Wow! I never thought about it that way before!”
“And,” said Mom, “remember when you got lost in the shopping mall last summer and you prayed for help? After you prayed, you felt calm and knew you should sit on the nearest bench and let us find you. That calm, reassuring feeling letting you know what to do was also the Holy Ghost.”
Christopher smiled. Now he understood. The Holy Ghost had been talking to him, even if he didn’t hear the still, small voice with his ears! Now he said excitedly, “What about last week when I gave my talk in Primary? I’d studied it really hard, but when I got up, I couldn’t remember it. Then I said a quick, little prayer, and suddenly my talk came back to me. That was the Holy Ghost, too, wasn’t it?”
“That’s right,” Dad said. “Helping you remember things is also a part of the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
“Wow! Now I understand! All those times the Holy Ghost really was talking to me!”