Check the Boys

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“Check the Boys,” Liahona, July 2006, 40–41

Check the Boys

Our home in Manti, Utah, was small, and our family was very close. Our sons, Stewart and Chandler, played together constantly and shared a bedroom. The room was small, and the boys didn’t seem to mind sharing a twin bed, one sleeping at each end. Their toes would barely reach to the middle, and often the sounds of giggling would escape as they tickled each other’s feet.

They soon outgrew the bed, though, so we shopped around and decided to get bunk beds. Their excitement was overwhelming as my husband, Rex, set up the new beds. He attached a board across the top bunk to keep Stewart, age four, from rolling off the bed. Chandler was younger and smaller and had the bottom bunk. After family prayer they climbed happily into their new beds, and we heard giggling and whispering through their closed door. Eventually they went to sleep, and the house was quiet.

Housework, dishes, and laundry filled the rest of my evening, and I clutched Rex’s hand tightly as we had our evening prayer. Finally we climbed into bed, exhausted from the day’s work. It must have been only seconds before I was in a deep sleep.

I woke up around 2:00 a.m., opened my eyes, looked at the clock, and was ready to doze back to sleep when I heard a very quiet voice say, “Check the boys.” I looked at Rex to see if he was awake, but he was sleeping soundly. I closed my eyes a second time, but again I heard, “Check the boys.” My body was so tired I wasn’t sure if I was awake, and once more I closed my eyes to go to sleep when I heard the voice a third time: “Check the boys.” My mind began to fill with stories I had heard about the still, small voice. I couldn’t imagine why I should check the boys, but finally I climbed out of bed and headed toward their room.

I walked down the dark hall and through the kitchen. All was quiet. I walked through the family room and finally reached the boys’ door. I heard a faint whimpering in the bedroom. As I quietly opened the door, I looked at the new bunk beds, and to my horror, Chandler was hanging from the top bed. His skinny body had slipped through the space between the mattress and the board, but his head had caught. His small body hung limp. His only cry was a muffled whimper as his face was buried in the mattress. Stewart slept soundly on the bottom bunk, unaware of his brother’s distress. They must have switched beds after we tucked them in for the night.

I quickly slipped Chandler back through the small space and held him tightly in my arms. His frightened, tear-filled eyes met mine. I realized how close he had come to death. I rocked him back to sleep and placed him in the bottom bed beside his brother. The image of Chandler hanging from the top bed haunted me. I knew he couldn’t have survived for more than a few minutes.

As I watched my two sons sleep, I felt the protective Spirit of the Lord within my heart and realized I had been given a miracle that night. After returning to my bedroom, I knelt and thanked my Heavenly Father for the repeated prompting I had received and for the safety of our family.