A Leader Too Busy with Details
By President Ezra Taft Benson
[source unknown]

Bishop John Wells, of the Presiding Bishopric, was a great detail man and was responsible for many Church reports. President David O. McKay and President Harold B. Lee used to relate an experience from his life that is instructive to all of us.


A son of Bishop and Sister Wells was killed in a railroad accident in Emigration Canyon, east of Salt Lake City. He was run over by a freight car. Sister Wells could not be consoled. She received no comfort during the funeral and continued her mourning after her son was laid to rest. Bishop Wells feared for her health, as she was in a state of deep anguish.

One day, soon after the funeral, Sister Wells was lying on her bed in a state of mourning. The son appeared to her and said, "Mother, do not mourn, do not cry. I am all right." He then related to her how the accident took place. Apparently there had been some question - even suspicion - about the accident, because the young man was an experienced railroad man. But he told his mother that it was clearly an accident.

He also told her that as soon as he realized that he was in another sphere, he had tried to reach his father but could not. His father was so busy with the details of his office and work that he could not respond to the promptings. Therefore, the son had come to his mother. He then said, "Tell Father that all is well with me, and I want you not to mourn anymore."

President McKay used this experience to teach that we must always be responsive to the whisperings of the Spirit. These promptings come most often when we are not under the pressure of appointments and when we are not caught up in the worries of day-to-day life.

(edited by David Van Alstyne)
Home / For Latter-day Saints