In a few weeks it will have been 10 years ago that some kids in my high school got in an accident. They were driving from the city to our small country community when they got into an accident. They crashed in an area known to those that live around it as “The Dead Zone.” It’s called that because there is no cellphone service or radio stations in that area. I had a few other friends get in car accidents that year and I vowed from that time on to always wear my seat belt.
Two weeks ago I had my sister stay at my house for the weekend. She met all of my friends and we went to church together. She did some homework and I played Pokémon Go. On Sunday while we ate lunch we had a conversation about saying prayers. We both admitted that we could be better at it, and it was one of those rare afternoons where time kind of slows down. I thought it was a weird conversation to be having, but I wanted her to know how I felt about prayer, and try to see if I could help her with hers. I’ve written a few blogs about the things that we talked about. Here are two of them Prayer? Is That Still a Thing? and Letter From a Friend. We’re 9 years apart, so it’s not very often that we get to sit and hang out. I’ve always been so much older than her that we didn’t have a lot in common. Now that she’s almost out of high school we have a lot more in common.
On Monday I dropped her off at EFY and went to work. This week was just the same as any other week. I considered never watching the news again after all of the horrible things that are happening. The world is in turmoil and it feels like everyone hates cops and the government. Sometimes it feels like there isn’t a safe place to be.
On Saturday morning I picked her up from EFY in her car that had been in front of my house all week. We drove back to my house and we both fell asleep for about 4 hours. We got up and face timed our sister and her kids. We ate some lunch and she came and talked to me in my room while I finished cleaning it. She didn’t really want to go, and I didn’t really want her to go, but I had plans with some friends from my ward to go to the temple. She left at 3pm. I did some things and then headed to the temple.
There is so much peace inside the temple! I had been looking forward to going all week long. I just wanted to get away from everything and feel at peace. While walking in I worried, that if something happened to my sister while driving home, I wouldn’t be able to be reached to go and pick her up. I shook off my doubts and wandering mind and headed inside.
I walked up the stairs and into the chapel and there was a whole row of people from my ward there. I sat there for a long time and finally picked up the scriptures. I thought I might as well read them now, so I don’t forget to later. I flipped to the D&C. I read the last two verses in D&C 35.
27 Fear not, little flock, the kingdom is yours until I come. Behold, I come quickly. Even so. Amen.
Boy was I glad to read those scriptures. They are personal scripture and revelation to me. I’ve been trying to be glad, like it says in the scripture. Also a theme of “Fear Not” has been in my life since my mission. We went upstairs and into the endowment room. It was nice to be there and to be surrounded by people in my ward. At some point during the session I was wondering what would happen if something bad happened to one of the members in my family.
Then the spirit gently and sweetly spoke to me. It taught me. (When I say spoke to me, I mean I had a peaceful feeling come over me, and these are the words that came to my mind.) “You need to let it go. You need to let it go and trust me. You need to know that I have you. I have ALL of you (your family.) You are all in my hand, and you need to let go of the reins and trust me.” So I told Him I was scared, but that I’d do it. I’d trust Him, but I needed a really big hug and needed to feel Him holding me. So I envisioned myself hugging the Lord. I couldn’t quite feel it, but it was enough for me to renew my trust in Him.
When I got to the Celestial room and saw my ward members there, I decided this is what heaven must be like. You have very close friends on both sides of the veil. Those that send you off and those that bring you in. It was very comforting especially on this July 24th pioneer weekend holiday. I sat down and pondered for a while and just enjoyed being there with my friends and my ward members. More and more they feel like they are family, and I love being around them.
After, we all went outside to take a picture. I turned on my phone and it went crazy. I read a text from my older sister saying there was an emergency and I should call her. We took the pictures and then I called her while I was outside at the temple. It was a beautiful day. I thought maybe, one of her kids had fallen off something, but didn’t think it was anything major.
Before she asked me anything she asked me if I was driving. Then she told me to sit down, so I knew it must be serious. She told me my little sister had been in a car accident. She was doing okay. The car had flipped 3 times. The car had flown 200 feet off the road, but some people saw it and stopped to help her. She probably wouldn’t have survived if she hadn’t been wearing her SEAT BELT. They took her by ambulance to the hospital in my home town. She had a collapsed lung, and my mom was with the doctors right now. I started crying as my poor ward members watched helplessly. After I got off the phone, my friends suggested that I should go put her name on the prayer role. I walked back inside and went to write her name down. I couldn’t remember how to spell my last name. I couldn’t focus and stared to cry again. All of the sudden there was a person at my side. My friend R.H. had just walked in. She saw me and gave me a hug, then put down her stuff and gave me another hug. I finished with the names and I went to leave. When I got outside the first set of sliding doors I saw my other friend M.T. She came over to me and gave me a hug and asked if I was okay. I lost it again. I composed myself and was about to tell her what happened when another woman walked up to see if I was okay. It was J.C. I told them both what happened, and we chatted for a minute. It was surreal that in less than 5 minutes the Lord had sent 3 angels to my side, not to mention my ward members that were already there. M.T. said that she’d waited all day to go to the temple. She’d had some stomach problems and couldn’t figure out why she hadn’t gone. Then the spirit told her to go right then. So she left immediately and got there when I was walking out.
I drove everyone home and then came home. I called my mom. I checked when we could go pick up my sister’s things from the neighboring city where the cops had left it. My mom said it took 5 cops to pick up all of her stuff from all over the side of the road. I had sent my sister home with our original Nintendo and all of our original games. I laughed pretty hard when I pictured them picking up video games out of the dirt. They probably were really confused and had flashbacks to the 80’s and 90’s.
While I was on the phone I had numerous people from my ward calling, and it was too late to drive home, and I didn’t want to because I was a little shaken up. I went to a ward party where I saw numerous friends that I had made over the last 3 years. People kept coming over and giving me hugs, and it was nice to be surrounded by people who care about me and my loved ones.
That night as I said my prayers I realized just how much I was grateful for. I was grateful first and foremost that my sister was alive and didn’t have any broken bones or any major injuries. I was grateful for the gospel in my life. I was grateful for the temple and the peace it brings. I was grateful to have made so many amazing friends in my life.
I know there is a lot of slack about police officers these days, but I was grateful that they went to the scene of the crash when they were called. I was grateful for the ambulance. The people who found my sister and left their mom with her to to talk to her, while they drove out of “The Dead Zone” to call an ambulance and they all waited 30 minutes for it to get there. I’m grateful her car landed right side up, and that people found her. I have no doubt that she had angels protecting her.
To sum all of this up, I just wanted to say that seat belts save lives. God is aware of each one of us. He intricately places us in each others lives. The spirit is real and helps protect us and gives us peace. We can find peace in the temple.