I’ve been reading To the Rescue, which for those of you who don’t know is Thomas S. Monson’s biography. He is currently the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is an amazing book, filled with stories that inspire and awe. One story I read today really touched me, because I’ve had similar, if not as dramatic, experiences in my life.
I have heard this story before many times in General Conference addresses given by President Monson. He tells a story of an experience he had while serving as a bishop in a Salt Lake City ward. Someone had asked him to visit an uncle who was in the hospital. Bishop Monson replied that he had a stake leadership meeting that evening, but he would go visit immediately after the meeting. During the meeting, he had a growing sense of urgency, and he kept looking at the clock and worrying about this member that he was supposed to go visit. Once the meeting ended, he rushed to the hospital, only to find that there was a flurry of activity outside the room where this man was staying. A nurse saw him, and asked him if he was Bishop Monson. He replied that he was. Her next sentence would haunt him and teach him a life-long lesson. “The patient was asking for you just before he died.” Ever since then, President Monson has made it a point to follow any promptings he receives from the spirit right when he receives it. He has said, “Never postpone a prompting.”
Looking back over my life, I remember instances when I didn’t respond quickly enough to promptings. I regret these personal failings. By failing to respond immediately, I failed friends that needed me, resulting in suffering and pain that could have been avoided completely. I have also been on the receiving end of this. My bishop texted me one morning. He simply asked how I was doing. He had woken up that morning thinking of me, and wanted to make sure I was alright. Just receiving this text brightened my day. A friend of mine anguished when she heard this story, because she realized that she had a prompting at about the same time to call me up and chat with me, but she blew it off as nothing. Because she delayed, an opportunity to serve was lost to her.
Don’t ever delay promptings that you receive. We will never know the full impact of our obedience or procrastination of these promptings in this life. I believe that many life-changing events happen or fail to happen because we miss simple opportunities that the Lord sends our way. Remember, the Lord doesn’t prompt us on things that are not important. If we are being prompted to do something, no matter how trivial or foolish it may seem, there is a very real reason for it. Don’t delay…just do it.