Friend to Friend: The Toboggan

eldredgsmithFriend to Friend: The Toboggan

By Elder Eldred G. Smith
Patriarch to the Church
Ensign – November, 1973



Tobogganing was a great sport in my younger days, and the foothills above our house offered unlimited slopes for our favorite sport. Our only trouble was that we didn’t have a toboggan large enough to hold more than one person.

One day when I was about ten years old, two of my friends asked me if I would go with them to an abandoned shack high on the hill. Its sides were made of corrugated iron, but they just hung loose, flapping in the breeze. With one end turned up, what a perfect toboggan a piece of that shack would make!

I hurried home after school to get a hammer. The only one I could find belonged to my father’s dental laboratory equipment. Father was not at home, so I took the hammer and off I ran.

The snow was quite deep that winter and the daylight was short. We stayed longer than we had planned, and it began to get dark before we finished making our toboggan.

Finally we decided we’d better hurry home before it was too dark to see. There was no trail on the hill, and the snow came up above our knees. We started down on the run, jumping through the deep snow.

My hands were cold and half numb. All of a sudden I felt Father’s hammer slip through my fingers and fly into the snow behind me. I called to my friends to wait. They stopped to see what the trouble was, but soon they became impatient and insisted on going on.

I went back in my tracks to try and find the hammer, but it hadn’t even left a mark in the snow. I looked around frantically.

It was really getting dark now, and I was alone up on the hill in the deep snow. I knew I shouldn’t have taken my father’s hammer without his permission, for he needed the tool in his work. Now it was lost and I couldn’t find it!

As I sat in the snow, I was so sad and cold and lonely that I felt just like crying. Then I remembered how I had been taught that when I needed help, I could pray to our Heavenly Father—no matter where I was. I needed help, so I put my face in my hands and prayed with all my heart.

As I opened my eyes and rolled sideways to get up, my hand went down deep in the snow and touched something hard. I took hold of it and pulled it up through the snow. It was Father’s hammer!

I thanked our Heavenly Father for answering my prayer. Then I jumped up and hurried as fast as I could to catch up with the other boys who were way ahead of me.

As I caught up with them, I realized I had learned something of special importance that day—that we are never alone and that our prayers are heard and answered.