Looking Forward

My daughter, Jillian, wrote this post on her blog but I just had to share it. It’s lovely.



While working on a genealogy project at the LDS Church History Library back in August, I had an interesting experience…

Church clothes

I woke up early in order to catch the bus up to Salt Lake as usual. Typically I wore business casual up to the library because I was just researching there, but that morning I felt I needed to wear my church clothes. So I did.

church library

Once I got to the reading room, I approached my “regular” spot. It was over by the microfilm readers that face the wall in a somewhat hidden section of the room. As I passed the computers just in from of them, a thought came to mind that I should request the CD to view the documents I needed that day rather than microfilm. So I did.


When I went to sit at a computer facing the wall, something nudged me to sit at the station across from that–one that face the center of the reading room. So I did.

After several hours of transcribing 19th century documents, I wanted to stop a few minutes early. Looking at the spot in the ledger book made me reconsider this idea. It felt like I should leave at time I had planned, and simply transcribe just a few more pages to get to a better stopping point in the meantime. So I did.

Then it happened.


The second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Dieter F. Utchdorf, stepped into the room. He and a few others seemed to be touring the fairly new facility. Perhaps because it was the reading room–a rather quiet place–neither him nor anyone in his party made a sound. They walked from one door, passed the seat right in front of me, then continued silently out into the foyer.

church stuff

If that wasn’t surprising enough, I glanced at the service missionaries who manned the reading room front desk. The two of them smiled at me. As I looked around at the people in the room though, I realized something: we were the only three people that noticed that President Utchdorf had been there. All the others had been facing their microfilm readers or the computers–all of which faced the walls. Their backs had been to the center of the room. Even several of the other employees of the Church History Library had not seen him enter because of their seats as well.

Contemplating this, I realized all the tiny promptings I had followed that morning leading up to that moment. Because of each of them I had been in the right place, dressed appropriately, within minutes of the right time. Most importantly though, I had been facing the right direction so I could see an apostle of God with my own eyes just a few steps away from me.

church conference

This weekend is General Conference. I am still looking forward to seeing the apostles and the living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, speak to us over this weekend [Sat. and Sun. at 10AM and 2PM MST.] If any of you may find yourself facing a wall at this time, simply turn around so you don’t miss anything like those in the reading room did that day. Listen as they testify of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. As you do, no doubt that you will realize the promptings you have followed to get to be exactly where our Father in Heaven needs you to be at this time.


As I look forward, I realize just where I need to be headed in the future as well. Forward. Not just in my gaze, but moving toward He who marked the path, even Jesus Christ.


7 Replies to “Looking Forward”

  1. This story was beautiful. I also look forward to Conference time.

    Noticed the cute crocheted pumpkin hat on top of your blog. Did you make it? I would love a pattern.

  2. What an amazing story, thanks for sharing!
    Conference has been so great this weekend and this story was a great inspiration to listen to the small promptings!

  3. Conference is so great! šŸ™‚ I always come away feeling better about myself… but wanting to be better still! It’s great how our leaders can help us feel loved… but inspire us to keep working towards higher goals!

    Yay for a great post Jillian!

  4. Beautiful! Simply beautiful! What a neat experience – one you surely would have missed had you not been listening to the still, SMALL voice! šŸ™‚

  5. What a neat experience! I’ve never seen an apostle or prophet but I did have a dream just a day or two before President Hinckley died. I dreamt that I met him and shook his hand. As our hands touched I felt with all my soul that he was a prophet of God. I like to think it was probably more than just a dream. šŸ™‚

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