Look Out!

“Look Out!” Liahona, Sept. 2009, 46–47

Look Out!

Mark H. Soelberg, Utah, USA

On the evening of July 23, 1991, Elder Charles Larsen and I were returning home from the Auckland International Airport after dropping off a missionary who had completed his mission. It was winter in New Zealand, and it had been raining for several days.

I was driving our car toward the large Harbour Bridge, which connects Auckland to Takapuna. As we approached a turn on the lower portion of the bridge, a small car passed us going very fast. As the speeding car started to make the turn, the driver lost control on the wet surface. The car fishtailed to the left and then went hard right, hitting a cement barricade, which kept it from falling off the bridge and into the harbor.

Bouncing violently off the wall, the car rolled and slid to a stop. Shocked by what we had just seen, I immediately pulled into the median and put on our hazard lights. Instinctively, Elder Larsen and I both jumped out to see if we could help. Before we could get to the car, a man climbed out of a broken window and made his way off the bridge and down to the water’s edge, where he disappeared in the dark. We called out to him, but he didn’t respond.

I made my way to the small wrecked car, which was lying on its side with the passenger door facing up. The window was missing, so I climbed partway in to see if there was anyone else inside. Suddenly I heard a loud and distinct voice say, “Look out!” Startled by the voice, I quickly jumped back. Almost instantly, another car traveling at high speed came around the corner and hit the wrecked car I had just been leaning in.

Because of the turn in the road and the tall cement barricade, oncoming drivers couldn’t see the wreckage ahead. Several other cars added to the pileup. Elder Larsen and I quickly ran around the turn, waving our arms to stop other drivers. The police soon arrived, and we learned that the first car had been stolen.

As we returned home, I was thinking about my close call and thanked Elder Larsen for warning me of the oncoming car. He looked at me with surprise and said, “Elder Soelberg, I didn’t say anything. I wasn’t close to you and didn’t even see that car coming around the corner.”

We sat there for a moment, feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude. That night we knelt and thanked our Heavenly Father for the warning that had literally saved my life. Since that experience, I have shared my testimony many times of the importance of being receptive to the Lord’s Spirit and listening for His voice.