I Can Sleep When the Wind Blows

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Reed H. Bradford

Some years ago Pres. J. Reuben Clark told the following story: It was at the annual county fair, and farmers from far and near had come to exhibit their harvest and to engage hired hands for the next year. One prosperous farmer came across a husky lad and asked: "What can you do?" The answer: "I can sleep when the wind blows."

With such an answer the farmer turned and started to walk away, perturbed at the impudence of the man. But he turned again and asked: "What did you say?"

"I can sleep when the wind blows."

"Well," said the farmer, "I don't know what that means, but I'm going to hire you anyway."

Winter came, followed by the usual spring, and the new hired hand didn't show any particular signs of extra work, but filled the duties of his job as most others would have done.

And then one night in early summer the farmer noticed a strong wind rising. He dashed to the hired hand's quarters to arouse him to see that all the stock was properly cared for. There he found the hired hand asleep. He was about to awaken him, when he remembered the boy's strange statement.

He went to his barns and there found all his animals in their places, and the doors and windows securely locked. He found the haystack had been crisscrossed with heavy wires, anticipating such a night, and that it would weather the storm.

Then the farmer knew what his hired man meant when he gave as his only qualification, "I can sleep when the wind blows."

Footnote: Adapted from Albert L. Zobell, Jr. Story Teller's Scrapbook; Bookcraft, SLC, Utah 1948: pages 111, 112.

Bro. Bradford then goes on to talk about trials and tribulations in life and that if we do our best to understand, accept, and implement the principles taught by our Heavenly Father we will experience a deep sense of security, peace, and joy from within. We will sleep when the wind blows.

The Instructor - December 1967.


Version #2

Material reward for doing things well is certain, but of greater consequence is the enduring satisfaction which comes from it. Every task well done adds to one's self-respect, builds confidence and develops character.

The story is told of an itinerant ranch hand who applied for work and offered as recommendation only his own statement: "I can sleep when the wind blows." On the surface, it seems a strange kind of remark; but the ranch owner needed help badly and he hired the man.

A few nights afterward a terrific storm swept across the prairie. The owner, awakened by it, hastened out to help the new hand. He found the windmill set to ride the storm; he found the gates all lashed with extra rope, the canvas tied securely over the stacks and staked down. The farmer, fighting his way in the storm, reached the bunkhouse and discovered his hired man sound asleep.

When the storms come, no matter how furiously they may beat upon your roof, if everything outside is secure, an indescribable peace will fill your heart. Can you sleep when the wind blows?

page 111, Not By Bread Alone, Bryant Hinckley


Version #3

A farmer needed an extra hand to help on his farm. One young man came to interview for the job. "What are your qualifications?" the farmer asked. "I can sleep when the wind blows," the young man said. This simple reply confused the farmer, but he was desperate for help and the young man was hired. The young man was a diligent worker through the harvest season, but the farmer still questioned his answer.

Autumn ended and the first cold storm of winter came late one night. The farmer panicked as the winds began to blow. Calling the young man for help, the farmer grabbed his coat and pulled heavy boots on his feet. He was disappointed to find the young man asleep in bed at a time like this.

Grudgingly he ventured out alone planning to shuffle all of the animals in the barn, and then fix that last hole in the roof. He mumbled about the young man sleeping and was sure all the farm equipment was left standing in the field, collecting rust from the snow.

However, when the farmer reached the barn all the animals were tucked safely inside. In fact, clean hay had already been set out for the new day. Not a single hole could be found in the roof, and the tractor was parked perfectly in the shed. "Who could have done it?" the farmer wondered. And then, he realized what the young man's answer meant, "I can sleep when the wind blows."

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