Reader voices: The time I almost didn't listen

By Cal Rowley

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Jan. 6 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

Listening to my father and the Spirit have been pivotal in my life.

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In 1954, was 17 years old and late for picking up my date for the prom. I had hurried to my car, a black 1950 Pontiac Catalina, and started the engine.

“Cal,” was all my dad said. There was no urgency in his voice, but there was something powerful. I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t care. My only though was “I’m already late.”

I debated in my mind: should I drive away and pretend I didn’t hear him? That wasn’t even an option for me because of the high regard for my dad. It would be like lying to him. It was out of the question! I could back up and then pull to curb as that would put him on the driver’s side of my car and I wouldn’t have to roll down the far window to hear what he wanted.

I couldn’t do either! Feeling frustrated over the further delay, I put the car in park and set the brake.

Reluctantly, I leaned over to roll down the far window and my voice reflected irritation when I called back to my dad: “Yeah! What do you want?”

“Don’t move your car, son. You have a baby behind you.”

There is no way I can adequately express the feelings I felt then or now. My words simply don’t have the power to convey that message. I had come so close — perhaps closer than I knew — to snuffing out a young life. I knew even then, as I know now, it was a power from above that prevented that tragedy.

When I got out of my car and picked up the little 2-year-old daughter of the Williams family, I made myself a promise. I will always try to hear and obey the words of my father. The Williams family were dear friends and had come to Salt Lake from Bountiful to spend the day with us. She had crawled from the lawn where she had been playing to the gravel right behind the right rear tire of my car.

Perhaps it was that experience, that promise, that made it easier for me to hear and obey the voice of my Heavenly Father, my Savior Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. For unbeknownst to me, the time was coming that I would be put to the test. What I great blessing those prompting voices have been in my life and for the benefit of others.

We all experience that quiet prompting of the Spirit from time to time. Yet, home may of us hesitate to reply in the affirmative if asked,”have you ever had a personal revelation?”

“Yea, wo unto him that shall deny the revelations of the Lord, and that shall say the Lord no longer worketh by revelation, or by prophecy, or by gifts, or by tongues, or by healings, or by the power of the Holy Ghost!” (3 Nephi 29:6).

I am not sure what the Biblical definition of “wo” is. I do know it is something I want no part in, but something I have come very close to experiencing, because of near mistakes. I have only been saved from making those mistakes through personal revelations. I will be eternally thankful for strictly adhering to what some of those revelations revealed.

My Savior lives, he hears and answers our prayers. He will communicated with us daily if we will by ask and then listen and obey.

Cal Rowley lives in Inkom, Idaho.

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