“Brethren, I feel impressed…”

A Last Minute Promting Saves David O. McKay and Others from A Fiery Volcanic Death

Screen shot 2013-10-14 at 12.19.09 AMThis experience is recounted by Virginia Budd Jacobsen.

It happened in 1921, while President McKay and Elder Hugh Cannon were making a tour of the missions of the world. After a day of inspiring conference meetings in Hilo, Hawaii, a night trip to the Kilauea volcano was arranged for the visiting brethren and some of the missionaries. About nine o’clock that evening, two carloads, about ten of us, took off for the then very active volcano.

We stood on the rim of that fiery pit watching Pele in her satanic antics, our backs chilled by the cold winds sweeping down from snowcapped Mauna Loa and our faces almost blistered by the heat of the molten lava. Tiring of the cold, one of the elders discovered a volcanic balcony about four feet down inside the crater where observers could watch the display without being chilled by the wind. It seemed perfectly sound, and the “railing” on the open side of it formed a fine protection from intense heat, making it an excellent place to view the spectacular display.

After first testing its safety, Brother McKay and three of the elders climbed down into the hanging balcony. As they stood there warm and comfortable, they teased the others of us more timid ones who had hesitated to take advantage of the protection they had found. For quite some time we all watched the ever-changing sight as we alternately chilled and roasted.

After being down there in their protected spot for some time, suddenly Brother McKay said to those with him, “Brethren, I feel impressed that we should get out of here.”

With that he assisted the elders to climb out, and then they in turn helped him up to the wind-swept rim. It seems incredible, but almost immediately the whole balcony crumbled and fell with a roar into the molten lava a hundred feet or so below.

It is easy to visualize the feelings of those who witnessed this terrifying experience. Not a word was said—the whole thing was too awful, with all that word means. The only sound was the hiss and roar of Pele, the fire goddess of old Hawaii, screaming her disappointment.

None of us, who were witnesses of this experience could ever doubt the reality of “revelation in our day”! Some might say it was merely inspiration, but to us it was a direct revelation given to a worthy man.

David O. McKay, Cherished Experiences from the Writings of President David O. McKay, compiled by Clare Middlemiss (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1955), pp. 55-56.


“Don’t Go Back With Them!”

A Prompting from the Spirit Saves a Life

41TB0rByCnLThis story is one of many inspiring stories from the book Faith in the Service:  Inspirational Stories from LDS Servicemen and Servicewomen, compiled by Chad S. Hawkins and published by Deseret Book.  This story comes from Henry Zander, a civilian contractor who served in Iraq and Afganistan.

My first assignment in Iraq was my first experience in a combat zone. It was a daily occurrence on the base where I was staying, Balad Air Base, to have rocket or mortar attacks.

One day in May 2004, I had worked the previous day, through the night, and into the next day. It was approaching lunch time, and I was ready for bed. A few of my friends wanted me to go to lunch with them. Despite how tired I was, they persuaded me to go with them. The base was huge, so we drove a mile in our HMMWV, or Humvee. After lunch, we left the building and were walking back to our vehicle.

As we approached the vehicle, I had a very strong impression. Actually, it was more than an impression. I recognized it as the Spirit saying, “Don’t go back with them.” The message was clear. So I stopped and said, “Hey, I am not going to go back with you guys.”

My friends replied, “But you’re tired and you want to go to bed. We will get you back in just a few minutes.”
I thanked them but told them that I would find another way back. I ended up locating my vehicle, which another contractor had been borrowing, and drove it back to a location near my sleeping quarters.

My friends arrived at their building and parked the vehicle. Ten seconds after they parked their vehicle, a 127mm rocket flew over their heads and blew up the chaplain’s Humvee, which was parked two spaces over. The rocket pierced the soft skin of the Humvee body just behind the front left wheel and exploded directly beneath the engine. The vehicle actually capped much of the shrapnel and prevented collateral damage. My friends ran into an adjacent building, and one collapsed with exhaustion from the event.

We had multiple attacks throughout the day, which kept me up the rest of the day. It was late that night before I finally got to bed. Then I finally had time to reflect on the day’s events. Only then did I realize that if I had ridden back with them, I would have exited the Humvee from the rear and walked directly to my quarters, which were exactly in line with the explosion.

Considering the time it would have taken me to get out of the vehicle and head back to my room, I would have been at the direct point of impact. I then recalled the prompting I had received earlier that day that told me not to go back with my co-workers.

I know Heavenly Father is very aware of all of us. I knew that prior to this experience, but this just reinforced that knowledge. He lives; he absolutely lives. Being spared from the rocket explosion only confirmed what I already knew to be true.

Something Was Wrong with My Plane

A Pilot Heeds a Spiritual Voice of Warning to Avert a Potentially Devastating Disaster

Behind767Spiritual promtings in the form of warning voices are some of the most common spiritual experiences among the Latter-Day Saints.  I’ve heard hundreds of these stories throughout my life in the church.  This experience, from Craig Willie of Utah was published in April 13 2013 in the Ensign.

One evening as I was taxiing my plane full of passengers to the runway, I had a feeling that something was wrong with the aircraft steering system. To confirm my spiritual impression, I pulled off the taxiway and did a few 360-degree turns. Nothing seemed out of order.

I wondered, “Should I take off and get the passengers to their destination on time, or should I return to the gate?” I knew returning would create a long delay. Taxiway runs are one way; I would have to wait for ground control to create a space for me to taxi against the traffic flow. Then we would have to wait for the maintenance crew to check out the plane. The delays could cause problems for the airline and for the passengers who had people to meet and connections to make. I also wondered how the maintenance department would react to my report that the plane had a problem when I had nothing to go on except a strong feeling.

As captain of the aircraft, I was responsible for our safety, so I decided to follow my impression and return.
When we arrived at the gate, I told the mechanic that I felt something was wrong with the plane but that I didn’t know what the trouble was. He did not believe there was a problem.

“It was probably just the wet taxiway,” he said. “You may have been slipping on the asphalt.” He agreed, nevertheless, to look at the steering gear on the nose wheel. After checking it, he asked me to off-load the passengers so he could take the plane for a test ride.

When he returned 30 minutes later, he was very concerned. During the test ride, he had heard an intermittent grinding sound. When he applied the brakes as he was turning around to return to the gate, he lost control of the plane and nearly ran off the taxiway.

A close inspection revealed that the brakes had undergone improper maintenance the previous evening. Had I landed the plane after our flight, the brakes would have failed, and I would have lost control of the plane.
I received another aircraft to pilot, and I safely delivered my passengers to their destination three hours late.
I am glad I listened to the whisperings of the Spirit. I know that the Spirit will direct us if we seek the Lord’s guidance and listen to the promptings that come.