The power and command of God impacts our lives in both general and unique ways. I’ve spent a lot of time studying and pondering God’s power in my life, the lives of those around me, and the lives of people in scripture. The result is that I reevaluated what I knew and assumed about faith. This experience profoundly impacted that growth and I felt to share it again from LDSBlogs.com as I’m compiling what I’ve learned.
Mom and I took this temple-hopping trip January 30 and 31, 2020. Incidentally, I did visit my 100th temple in February 2020, so accomplished the intended goal.
The Scene: Somewhere in Wyoming on I-80
The blizzard’s intensity increased.
I’d been driving in slick and blinding conditions across Wyoming’s I-80 for a while, pressing onward towards a visit to the Fort Collins Colorado Temple. But the knowledge that we’d be driving back across that highway again soon left me feeling deflated and worried. Should we turn back now? I could visit Fort Collins another time.
The Plan to Accomplish the Goal
My goal to visit every temple in the world began in 1992 when I received my endowment. The experience filled me with wonder and I wanted to see God’s glory in every temple. My mom supported my goal and we’ve road-tripped all over the United States and Canada together. We’ve visited temples together internationally. We celebrate this goal together.
In fact, a few days prior to the blizzard, we planned our temple trip. I had a distinct impression that the weather in Wyoming would be difficult. Because of that prompting, I’d decided to visit one only temple I hadn’t been to instead of three temples relatively close to my parents’ house.
I was really close to the 100 temple milestone at 96 temples. Mom, eager to help me reach my milestone goal this year, said she felt like we could also do the trip to Fort Collins, Colorado, and Star Valley, Wyoming. She checked the weather. It looked like it would be fine on the two days we were going to drive 2,100 miles. She was willing to go for it.
I checked in with my feelings. Was it OK? Was the Holy Ghost telling me not to go or did I choose to fear the storm? I felt excited with the possibility to get to 99 temples. When I prayed about it, I felt like we could go.
We planned to take seven hours to drive from American Fork, Utah, to Fort Collins, Colorado. From there, we planned to drive back to nearly our starting point, but take the right turn to Meridian, Idaho. Twelve hours drive. We’d stay with my sister in Caldwell overnight. (I say that loosely because we planned to arrive at her house at midnight and leave at 5:30 a.m. for the 6 a.m. session.) Then we planned to drive the seven hours to the Star Valley Wyoming Temple and 3.5 hours home. Solid two days driving and temple-ing, culminating in three new temples I hadn’t visited before.
Executing the Plan
We left mom’s house at 5:00 a.m. on a really cold Thursday morning in January in my economy rental car. A warning light came on. One tire had low tire pressure. Luckily the first gas station we stopped at had air.
Back on the road, we headed up I-80 through Park City. The snow started to fall as we climbed the elevation through the canyon. I live in Hawaii and it had been over a decade since I’d driven in that kind of snow without a 4-wheel/all-wheel-drive vehicle. I wondered how my cheap rental car would handle ice and snow.
I soon found out.
Blizzard driving skills quickly returned as I slid across lanes. The car functioned way better than I expected. I was super grateful.
The snow paused and we began the trek across Wyoming under a gray but dry sky. I made good time and relished the 80 mph speed limits.
When we travel like this, the passenger sleeps as much as possible in preparation for switching out and driving. While Mom slept, the situation rapidly deteriorated.
Doubting the Plan
I recalled my prophecy about the blizzard in Wyoming. The conditions I experienced were exactly the image that came to my mind. I berated myself, chiding my decision to go against what I knew would happen.
During times Mom awoke, we talked about what we should do.
I’d slowed to barely creeping. I knew our time constraints were critical. I groaned about the fact that we’d spend both days trying to get across Wyoming and we’d miss spending the short, cherished time with my sister. Should I just turn around and head to Idaho?
Had I been able to even see the entire median at that point, I probably would have turned around. But I kept passing semi-trucks and other vehicles overturned and plowed into the shoulders of the highway. I kept my little car pointed as straight as possible on the road ahead and pressed forward.
Turning to the Lord
I apologized to the Lord for misinterpreting all of the promptings He’d given me. And I got an unexpected response.
“You made a good decision. Why are you vacillating now?”
Vacillating? Because I might die on Wyoming’s highway! I’d already thought of my ancestors who died in blinding, blizzardy conditions in a handcart company on Wyoming’s plains.
But through that response, I felt encouraged that I hadn’t ruined my relationship with the Lord. I felt a strange sense of hope growing. I decided to press on in our decision, come what may. The shift in attitude changed my mood.
We’d been listening to an audiobook by Elder Richard G. Scott about the Holy Ghost and strengthening our hearing and doing as guided. Stories of miracles Elder Scott shared—big miracles and seemingly small miracles—when people followed the Holy Ghost filled my mind for the previous five hours. I felt his words more keenly as I’d shaken off my despair with renewed determination to forge ahead.
I resumed my prayer expressing my concern that our plans were foiled because we still had so far to travel and were so far behind schedule already. A slick patch of road interrupted my prayer. Total concentration went to stay on the road.
Command the Storm
“Delisa, command the storm.”
“What? Command the elements?”
Months of studying being endowed with power, JST Genesis 14, Doctrine and Covenants 84, 88, and 107 flooded my mind. Did I believe Jesus commanded the elements? Yes. Did I believe Melchizedek commanded the elements? Yes. Did I believe that my father and husband commanded the elements when they blessed my body to heal? Yes. I even walk today because of a priesthood blessing that commanded my elements to heal and walk.
“Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.”
I cleared my mind.
My issue was with the roads. I didn’t care if snow fell if the roads were passable. I didn’t need a bright, sunny day. My need was about road conditions.
I sat up tall and with faith said words to command the storm to cease hindering our path and for the roads to become dry.
I waited for a minute. Nothing happened. Then came the bombardment of opposing voices. “You couldn’t do it. You don’t have enough faith. Who are you to think you could—”
“Stop!” I cried. “I do believe!” I believed that what was put into my heart by the Lord would come to pass. I knew it. No darkened voices could make me question at that moment.
Suddenly, I crossed a demarcation line. From slick and treacherous to drying and smooth, the road changed in an instant. The blinding snow subsided. The gray clouds remained. I continued to pass vehicles on the sides of the road as I increased my speed.
It was a miracle!
Mom sat up. “Wow! The weather has really changed!”
“Yes, it has, Mom. Yes, it has.”
I made up time. We arrived at the Fort Collins Temple at 2:30 p.m. We did a few initiatories in that beautiful temple, took pictures, and we were on our way.
Mom drove. After navigating her back to the highway, I fell blissfully asleep, fully expecting her to experience dry, passable roads.
I slept about 40 minutes and woke up to the car sliding. I sat straight up. We’d come down this highway less than two hours before. It had been a blast to drive. Now, the road was bogged down in slippery conditions.
My brother messaged us asking how we were faring. I took a picture out the window and sent it as a response. White out.
I laid back in the seat to contemplate what happened. The thought came that I could make the same request of heaven and this time be specific about all of the areas we were traveling. I knew the road now and could see it stretched out in my mind.
I closed my eyes and silently offered the same commanding prayer. I felt even more full of faith. I knew it happened before and could again!
As if we opened a door and stepped into another world, we instantly burst out of that blizzard into sparkling sunlight! I can’t tell you the shock it was. Sparkling sunlight and dry road amidst a sea of snow.
I sat back again in awe of the Lord’s graciousness to us. Was what we were doing vital to His kingdom? Not really. But it was really important to us. And the experience was really important to me.
I took another picture five minutes after I sent the first to the family group text. “I prayed,” I said. Their responses about the dramatic weather shift echoed mine.
I started driving again as we entered the heart of that pre-blizzard section of Wyoming. The roads were totally dry. Mom and I watched with interest as snowplows worked feverishly on the opposite side of the interstate plowing snow off the road going the opposite direction. Logically, I concluded that they’d done the westward direction first giving our side a chance to dry out.
But seeing plows still working down long stretches of the opposing road while I drove on at full speed with no distraction punctuated the miracle the Lord worked through me.
We arrived at my sister’s at 2:45 a.m. We left for the Meridian Idaho Temple at 6:30 a.m. and did a few initiatories. As I sat in the celestial room with my mom and sister, I contemplated what miracles the Lord wrought in my life—both recent and over a lifetime.
We left after some special visits and headed to Star Valley, Wyoming. Snow began to fall as we took the junction from 1-15 towards Jackson Hole. But the roads remained clear as we turned off into the stunning canyons of that remote drive. I watched deer feeding on snowy, rocky slopes. I watched for moose near the frigid snowy rivers. And I didn’t concern myself about the road to the temple. The day passed into night and we drove through another dry road section of Wyoming heading back to Utah.
Blizzards continued to hit Wyoming and Colorado for the rest of that weekend.
I’ve felt prompted that I needed to share this experience, though I hesitated. It was mine. Though Mom experienced the immediate results, I didn’t tell her or anyone else what transpired.
But I haven’t been able to write anything since the thought came to write this experience. I used other people’s words to help fill my obligations during this time.
The morning I finally wrote it, I went to my scriptures, and they opened to Alma 62:50.
Yea, they did remember how great things the Lord had done for them, that he hadthem….
I flipped my scriptures to see where they would land next.
And now it came to pass…our, Lehi, also spake many things unto them, and rehearsed unto them, how great things the Lord had done for them….
And he spake unto them concerning theirupon the waters, and the mercies of God in sparing their lives….
The reminder to share this story, to testify of the Lord’s mercy, rang in my ears. I really didn’t know how to share it, though! How could I put words to explain what happened and what I felt?
My eyes glanced above those verses to the last verse of the previous chapter.
Wherefore, ye need not suppose that I and my father are the only ones that have testified, and also taught them. Wherefore, if ye shall be obedient to the, and endure to the end, ye shall be saved at the last day. And thus it is.
I went to the laptop to write. And for the first time in a couple of weeks, words began to flow. I realized I couldn’t adequately describe what happened but that I could testify that it did happen. Maybe my experience would give hope to someone else who finds herself blinded by a storm and sliding off of some metaphorical or literal life road.
Regardless of the point, reliving the experience filled me with profound gratitude for a God who hears and knows and believes in us. His words are power. And in His command, we can do all things.