At this time of year, our thoughts are turned towards the things we are grateful for. One of the things I am most grateful for is the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life, and one of the gifts I cherish most is the gift of the Holy Ghost.
I received this gift when I was 8 years old and baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. At that time I had hands laid upon my head by those with authority from God and was given the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost, I was told, would from then on be a constant companion in my life as long as I was living righteously. The Holy Ghost does many things for us; it testifies of truth, comforts us in distress, and warns us of danger. This past week I had an experience with the Holy Ghost that again made me so extremely grateful for this special gift, and for the guidance of a Heavenly Father who loves me.
It happened on Thursday around noon. My 3 boys and I were leaving the downtown theatre where we had just watched my daughter perform in a school play. We were walking back to the parking garage. I was carrying my 4 year old who doesn’t like to walk and holding the 6 year old by the hand, and making sure the 8 year old was staying close. As we were crossing the street, I quickly glanced at the people who were waiting at the corner for their turn to cross the street.
The parking garage has you pay for your ticket in the lobby before you exit. As we approached the door, I started fumbling in my purse for my wallet (while still holding the 4 year old) when I had a vision flash into my head. In my mind I saw us being accosted by one of the men I had seen standing at the corner, who I assumed was waiting to cross the street.
Joshua had already opened the door to the lobby and Christopher was already through the door, but I told them to get out quickly and follow me. Part of me thought I was just being paranoid, but I would rather be safe than sorry. When I turned around, the man I had seen in my vision was about 6 steps away from us. He had not crossed the street but had followed us down the sidewalk. We kept walking the other way and passed by him. After a bit I stopped and turned around to see if the man was past the lobby so I would feel safer going inside. He was, and we started walking back towards the lobby.
After we had gone 4 or 5 steps, the man turned around and started walking back towards us. Clearly he did not have a destination. It looked like we would again cross paths right at the door to the lobby. Instead I turned around again and practically jogged with my boys (who probably thought mommy had lost her mind) around the corner to another entrance to the garage. We hurried up the stairs to another level that had a pay station and paid there.
Of course it is impossible for me to know what would have happened had I decided to just go into the lobby, but I believe my boys and I were protected that day from something that might have been traumatic for them. This is just one example of how this most precious gift has blessed my life.