2021
Answering a Fellow Traveller’s “Why?”
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Answering a Fellow Traveller’s “Why?”

Time was very short as I dashed on to the train, thinking what I was going to study once I had found a seat.

The train was almost empty, but I spied a student seated at a table obviously returning to his university studies, with books piled high at his side, studiously burying his head in his desired subjects.

“Ah,” I thought, “This young man won’t mind one iota if I slide in at his table with my own pile of books filled with interesting material.” Our carriage was already filling up. The train then speedily left the terminal.

I had not been studying too long when I began receiving impressions from the Lord to open a different study guide. No, I obstinately pushed the thoughts out of my mind. But, again and again, the Lord was saying, “Read this one!”

After a while, I chose to be obedient, opening the ’Doctrines of the Gospel’ study guide. Not knowing why, I decided to read. Time passed with the miles fleeing by. Suddenly the student shouted very angrily, “Why, why do I have to go away and study? Why leave my family alone; I don’t understand.” Everyone in the carriage must have understood his distress. I imagined his darling wife back home, perhaps two tiny children, maybe crying as he had to leave them again for another long period.

“Why?” I thought. It came to me that maybe he might be a law student, on a course of study that takes seven long years! (My own brother had a hard time qualifying for his law degree to become a solicitor.) I thought, “Oh, his poor wife.”

I prayed for him in his embarrassed state. Then, “open the book” I heard the Spirit tell me. To the Lord’s entreaty, I opened the manual in a questioning way. Then, there in chapter 13, page 37, a large picture of Daniel in the lion’s den faced me. “YES!” I thought, “Yes I do feel like Daniel in the lion’s den right now.” I’d felt responsible for answering the student’s earnest question.

Above the picture of Daniel in the lion’s den were the words that could answer this student’s question. I was awestruck! The words were a quote from the teachings of Spencer W Kimball. It was so astounding; I was gobsmacked. I found a piece of paper and wrote out the answer to this student’s question, the words from a previous Prophet, and passed it to him.

The quote read, “It takes faith-unseeing, faith, for young people to proceed immediately with their family responsibilities in the face of financial uncertainties. It takes faith, for the young woman to bear her family instead of accepting employment, especially when schooling for the young husband is to be finished.”

The quote goes on to state other matters that I left out. But I went further into President Kimball’s remarks, “Know this—that all these [difficult life situations that require faith] are of the planting, while faithful devout families, spiritual security, peace and eternal life are the harvests.”1

I am thankful indeed, that I could answer his distress call that day. I had given him quotations so he could go on the internet later and look up the source material.

I am always happy to help others; those seeking learning and answers to questions about the meaning of life. He was being tested. Also, I was being tested, to see if I really care for my fellow ‘travellers’.

Oh, how I have looked back on that day when I testified and felt, as is stated in the Book of Mormon, “If he would believe in him that he could show unto him all things—it should be shown unto him; therefore the Lord could not withhold anything from him, for he knew that the Lord could show him all things” (Ether 3:26).

I love to travel about and share what I know to be true, with wonderful sons and daughters of God who are not aware of who they really are. I feel this is required of me as a sister missionary of his gospel, and I am blessed for it.

  1. Doctrines of the Gospel: Student Manual [2010], 37.