A Comforting Vision With an Added Lesson
This vision from the life of Bishop John Wells really hit home for me personally. It concerns the untimely death of Bishop Well’s son in a train accident, which was rumored to have been a suicide. I too had a brother who lost his life in an accident in which there was also some speculation of suicide, so I understand the agony that these unanswered questions can add to the already devastating grief of losing a loved one.
What is remarkable about this vision is what it teaches us about how our frame of mind might disqualify us from experiencing a spiritual manifestation. Sometimes, our mind and heart are simply too preoccupied or unprepared spiritually to receive these blessings.
President Ezra Taft Benson related the story in the April 1988 Ensign:
A son of Bishop and Sister Wells was killed in a railroad accident on October 15, 1915. He was run over by a freight car. Sister Wells could not be consoled. She received no comfort during the funeral and continued her mourning after her son was laid to rest. Bishop Wells feared for her health, as she was in a state of deep anguish.
One day, soon after the funeral, Sister Wells was lying on her bed in a state of mourning. The son appeared to her and said, “Mother, do not mourn, do not cry. I am all right.”
He then related to her how the accident took place. Apparently there had been some question—even suspicion—about the accident because the young man was an experienced railroad man. But he told his mother that it was clearly an accident.
Now note this: He also told her that as soon as he realized that he was in another sphere, he had tried to reach his father but could not. His father was so busy with the details of his office and work that he could not respond to the promptings. Therefore, the son had come to his mother.
He then said, “Tell Father that all is well with me, and I want you not to mourn any more.”