“Small Voice, Large Blessings,” Friend, Oct. 2004, 44
Our family lives on a little fruit farm just north of San Diego. We were relaxing in our living room one chilly November evening just seven days after the deadly 2003 San Diego fires had started raging through our area. Although the fires had come within eight miles of our home, the winds had blown them east, and we were feeling safe. We were wrapped in blankets and enjoying a glowing fire in our fireplace.
Our oldest daughter, Cosette, was eight and had just been baptized in March. She was sitting on the couch, throwing a little soccer ball back and forth with Dad, when our dog, Toby, began to bark loudly outside the window. Cosette looked alarmed, and Dad assured her that nothing was wrong. Toby often barked at rabbits, squirrels, rustling leaves, and even sunsets. But Cosette continued to feel uneasy. When she received the gift of the Holy Ghost she had learned that she should never ignore those feelings. Now the feeling kept telling her that she should go outside and check things out. She went out the back door and found Toby barking at a pillar of smoke. As she looked closer, she saw that an old board leaning against the chimney was burning. She ran into the house and yelled, “Dad, a piece of wood has caught on fire outside!” Dad quickly put out the fire. He discovered that heat coming from the fireplace’s clean-out hole had set the board on fire.
As we studied the wood-shake roof, the nearby brush, the overhanging eucalyptus trees, and the path of 60-foot trees leading to neighboring homes, we thought about the disaster that could have happened. We knew from recent events how quickly small fires can spread and the devastating damage they can do. We are thankful that Cosette had the faith to follow the promptings of the Spirit.