Following Promptings

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Letter From a Missionary

"Probably 10 years ago I received a letter from a sensitive and thoughtful missionary in the MTC, asking if I would write his companion a letter of encouragement because his companion was determined to quit and go home, having trouble with the language.  Because my secretary was absent, I put the letter down on my desk and thought to myself,  "I'll send a letter down in a couple of days."

The Spirit said, "Write the letter now."

I borrowed a secretary, who kindly typed as I dictated.  I signed the letter, and I said, "I don't know what's going on, but please go mail this letter right now."

Several days later, another letter came from the MTC from the same earnest companion who had written me before, saying in effect,

Dear Brother Maxwell:

I think you ought to know what happened today.  My companion had his bags packed.  He was having his exit interview.  I went to sit in the outer office and said, "Please, Heavenly Father, let that letter come today." and then I ran down to where the missionaries get the mail, and there it was.  I ran back up and knocked on the door and dropped the letter in his lap and said, "I think you ought to read this before you go home."  Dear Brother Maxwell, my companion stayed.

Now, what if I had waited a day?  Too late.   Promptings often come in short, crisp phrases, impressing upon us a certain duty.  They come in other ways to each of us.  We know what's happening to us, but we don't know all the implications of it.  But God knows.  It's a sacred process.

Neal A. Maxwell shared this personal experience on following promptings at a BYU Fireside,  March 27, 1994.