William Agnew’s Radio

Another example is a family in the mission over which I presided, a family by the name of Agnew. They were difficult people to convert. William Agnew, particularly, would not listen to the missionaries, but finally he consented to attend our Sunday School with his wife, three children, and the two missionaries. However, when the missionaries came on Sunday morning to escort the family to the chapel, there had been a little disagreement in their home. Brother Agnew had insisted, “I will not go to the Mormon Sunday School.”

His wife replied, “But you promised, Bill. You promised these young men that you would go.”

“I’m not going, and that’s that!” he said. He became rather angry, but somewhat reluctantly he permitted his wife and children to go to Sunday School. He later told me of the events of that morning. He said, “When my wife and children shut the door and left me alone in the living room, I had nothing good to say about the Mormon faith. I was about as angry a man as one could imagine. I picked up the morning newspaper to see if I could read about the problems of the world and get my mind off religion, but it was to no avail. I kept thinking, my wife and my children have gone to meet with the Mormons. I then went into my daughter Isabel’s bedroom. I thought that perhaps I could turn on the news and hear something different. As I turned on the little radio on her nightstand, what do you think I heard? The Mormon Tabernacle Choir! What message do you think I heard? Richard L. Evans spoke on the subject ‘Let Not the Sun Go Down on Thy Wrath.’  I felt as though the Lord were talking to me personally. I got down upon my knees and promised my Heavenly Father that I would no longer rail against Him—that I would do what these young missionaries had taught me to do.”

When his wife and children returned from Sunday School, they found a new husband and a new father. They couldn’t understand why he was in such a pleasant mood. Finally they asked him what had happened to change his attitude.

He said: “I’ll tell you. I was so upset when you left that I read the paper in an attempt to get my mind off all of you. No success. Then I went to Isabel’s bedroom and turned on the radio to hear the news, and of all things, I heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. This man, Richard L. Evans, spoke to me and said, ‘Don’t let the sun go down on thy wrath.’ I felt closer to God at that moment than I have ever felt in my life. I am ready to go with you to the meetings. I am ready to pursue a diligent study with the missionaries.”

Isabel said, “Dad, that’s a wonderful story—if only it were true.”

Her father said, “Isabel, it’s true.”

She said, “No, Dad. Did you say that you turned on the radio on my nightstand?”

He replied, “That’s the one—the little white one.”

Dad,” she said, “that radio hasn’t worked for several weeks. I think the tubes are burned out.”

“Isabel,” he said, “that radio works. Come with me.” He led his family into Isabel’s bedroom, walked over to the nightstand next to her bed, and turned on the radio as he had done just one hour earlier, but no sound came forth. That radio did not work! But when our Heavenly Father needed to communicate a message to an honest seeker after truth, that radio not only worked, but it tuned him into the very program and to the very message he needed to bring him to a recognition of the truth. Little wonder that he later became the bishop of that ward. Little wonder that all three of his children are active in the Church and continue to fill positions of responsibility.

When we serve our God, when we love Him, He knows it, and He will take us by the hand and give us answers to our prayers. (Thomas S. Monson, How Do We Show Our Love? January 1998 Ensign, p.4-5, emphasis added).

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About LDS Scripture Teachings

I write about ways scripture applies in our lives: LDSScriptureTeachings.org
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