Something Told Me Stop

“Something Told Me Stop,” Liahona, September 2014, 38

Something Told Me to Stop

Ronald D. Colby, Utah, USA

Latter-Day Saint Voices

Illustrations by Bradley Clark

An overnight campout with all kinds of outdoor activities had been planned for Friday and Saturday, and I was eager to accompany my son. Carl had a part-time job and had to work Friday, so I proposed picking him up Friday evening after work. We planned to park at a bridge above the campsite and then hike down.

When we arrived at the bridge, it was dark, with only a sliver of the moon and a few stars shining in the sky. The trail to the campsite was carved out of the face of a cliff that ran alongside the river. We were about 300 yards (275 m) above the river when we began our hike.

Not far down the trail our flashlight began to dim, and the trail seemed to disappear at times in the faulty light. Suddenly something told me to stop. I halted abruptly but then took two more steps forward. The feeling or voice then repeated, “Stop!”

I stopped again. Carl, close behind, almost ran into me.

“What’s going on, Dad?” he asked.

I told him about the prompting, adding that we needed to go home and that we would return in the morning.

“Dad, I can see the campfire,” he responded. “It can’t be more than a mile (1.6 km) away.”

Recognizing that the prompting had come from the Holy Ghost, I insisted that we not take another step. The flashlight had gone dead, so we cautiously hiked back up the trail. Carl was disappointed and didn’t talk much on our way home.

Early the next morning we returned to the bridge and began hiking again. At least Carl would be able to participate in Saturday’s activities. We hurried along until, all of a sudden, the trail disappeared! Then it hit us. We had arrived at the exact spot where we had stopped the night before.

“Dad, it’s at least 100 yards (91 m) straight down to the river,” Carl said. “We would have been killed!”

The cliff stretched steeply below us down to the river. In front of us there was a gap in the trail about 12 feet (3.6 m) wide, the aftermath of a recent storm.

Carl and I hugged each other as our tears flowed. Then we climbed to another trail and made our way to the campsite. We arrived just in time for breakfast.

A warning sign was supposed to have been placed on the first trail but wasn’t. Thankfully, a warning sign came to us from the Holy Ghost.

Not far down the trail our flashlight began to dim, and the trail seemed to disappear at times in the faulty light.