A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
— Proverbs 15:1
In 1941, as a young missionary in the Spanish American Mission, I found myself in the highlands of New Mexico. Here, one day I learned in dramatic fashion of the power and significance of an Old Testament scripture.
While tracting one day we came upon a small pueblo of adobe houses surrounded by an adobe fence. As we passed through the fence gate, a very excited man rushed out of his house and came running toward us, shouting angrily. He called us young fools who knew nothing and that his people had no need of foolish gringo preachers.
I am rather hot blooded and of an untamed background, and up until then often had difficulty bridling my temper. The verbal abuse of this man was about to arouse my temper, when suddenly and poignantly I realized that what the man was saying was true. This scripture came to mind and a warm calmness came over me and I felt the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit.
I said to him very humbly, "Yes, we are young fools and know very little, but one thing we do know with certainty. Your God and our God, Jesus Christ, has sent us here to give you a message." I then explained that we had no desire to preach or contend with anyone, but only wished to deliver the message.
The man immediately became calm and said, "In that case come into my house and I'll hear your message from the Lord." We did so and gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and parted as friends with his invitation to return any time.
I don't know how much good this man got from our visit, but the impact of that experience has served me well throughout my life since then. I've often marveled at the power and beauty of that one brief scripture.
If all scriptures are as potent as this one, and surely they must be, then surely they will serve to teach and strengthen and bless us through all eternity.
— Mont M. Warner, Boise, Idaho.
"Living by the Scriptures" is another in a series of Church News reader response articles. Was there a time when a particular scripture touched you, when it offered comfort, guidance and much-needed support? If so, please describe your experience in 250-300 words, giving the scripture reference and telling how it affected you. Send your submission to Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110. Fax No. (801) 237-2524. Internet E-mail: