by Cheri Chesley
A couple years ago, I started a tradition of writing a Christmas story to share with our neighbor gifts. Last year I had no intention of writing one, but a story came to me anyway and it ended up being a narrative version of The Little Drummer Boy, which is my favorite carol. I still think it needs some work, but every time I look at it I can't think of anything to change. So it sits.
My first story, the one that started this tradition, was born from a well-known theme: that of Santa Claus visiting the baby Jesus the night he is born. I shared the story with someone who told me they'd read a version almost exactly the same published in a book by someone else. Oops. Oh well. What I wrote came exclusively from my own brain.
If you remember, a couple Decembers ago President Hinckley was still our prophet. I wrote that story, and shared it with our neighbors and my family. A nagging little voice in my head said that I should send a copy to each member of the First Presidency. I promptly told the voice it was being ridiculous, and that I wouldn't do it.
Then another voice said, why not? You may never get another chance to talk to President Hinckley on this earth.
So I did. I called and got the address to mail something to the Prophet and his counselors, and sent it off with a letter and a picture of my family.
I expected nothing to come of it. Then, I got a letter. If you've ever gotten a letter from the First Presidency of the Church, you'll know how beautiful the paper is. It's an amazing feeling to open such a letter and read words meant specifically for you.
I got three of them.
These wonderful men took time to reply to my letter, poem and story. I won't go into details of what the letters said, but they were heartfelt and touching, even the one written by Pres. Hinckley's secretary. :)
As you know, shortly after that President Hinckley passed. If I hadn't listened to the voices in my head, I would have missed my chance to share my talents with that great man.
Don't ignore the promptings you receive.