Words of Warning
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“Words of Warning,” New Era, Jan. 2005, 48

Words of Warning

A few years ago, my 10-year-old cousin was in a car wreck. Johnny was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle. He was in a coma for a few days, and the doctors said he would not live. Aunts, uncles, and cousins joined to fast and pray for him. The day after the fast, he woke up from the coma.

It was a miracle.

A few months later, my teammates on the Dixie State College debate team and I boarded a 15-passenger van, heading to the regional tournament in Casper, Wyoming, hundreds of miles away. After a stop for dinner, I had the backseat of the van all to myself. It was the perfect place to get extra sleep to be ready for the next day’s competition. Of course, by lying down I wouldn’t be able to wear a seat belt.

I was nearly asleep, when suddenly the Spirit reminded me of a conversation I had had with Johnny earlier in the week. As I drove Johnny and his father home from our house, he told me, “Remember to buckle your seat belt. I wish I had.”

At first, I thought I was just being paranoid. But the words kept coming into my mind, over and over, urging me to buckle up.

Finally, I listened. I buckled myself in and unsuccessfully tried to sleep. Meanwhile, we had entered a late-winter blizzard. As we made our descent into Casper, our van hit a patch of black ice, spun, went off the road, and rolled.

The next thing I remembered was waking up spitting mud and glass and wondering why I was suspended in midair. My seat belt had held me in place and saved me from being thrown from the vehicle. Fortunately, everyone in the van had been buckled in, and only two were slightly injured.

I am grateful on a night when I needed some sleep to get ready for a busy day that I was able to listen to the voice of the Spirit. I’m grateful I heeded that warning.

  • Stephen Vincent is a member of the St George College Seventh Ward, St George Utah College Second Stake.

Illustrated by Sam Lawlor