When Elder F. Enzio Busche was called as a General Authority in 1977, he notified his business associates that he would be leaving Busche Printing as CEO and dedicating his life to the Lord. Some responded politely to the news, some responded with silence. One executive, however, responded by inviting Elder Busche to a special, private dinner in his honor.
After dinner, the man seemed like he wanted to tell Elder Busche something, but was reluctant. He was concerned that what he was about to say would be misunderstood. Finally, he found it in him to speak up.
He told of an experience over 30 years earlier, near the end of World War II. He was a German soldier and had been captured by the Russians, a terrible fate in those days. He and many other captured soldiers had been held in a barbed wire enclosure with no food or water. Scores died daily. He knew he had to escape or face certain death. Escaping was risky business, but at least he had a chance. He and five other German soldiers successfully scaled the fence and, under cloak of darkness, headed towards the German front line.
When they arrived at the front, the moon and stars were so bright that they did not dare to cross to the German side that night. Russian soldiers were everywhere, and bright lights shone down on the no-man’s land that separated them from safety. They waited several days, hiding in a cave by day, eating roots and rats, but each night the stars and moon remained bright. They could not cross without exposing themselves to mortal danger.
Finally, one night, the man reported, he was near exhaustion, and though he had little or no religious training, he found himself on his knees, gripped by desperate panic, pleading with God with all his heart for his life and for those of his companions.
Suddenly, while he still was praying, a strong wind started to blow, bringing with it clouds and rain and fog. The Russian soldiers scattered in search for cover.
Now was their chance! The ragged soldiers raced on foot under the shield of the storm towards the German side, receiving not so much a scratch. When they arrived on the German side, the soldiers who greeted them were shocked to find them soaking wet because there were no clouds or rain on their side—the moon and stars shone as brightly as ever.
After the executive concluded, he looked at Elder Busche, and asked if he believed the story. Elder Busche of course said, “Yes.”
Elder Busche knew from personal experience that when you turn your whole heart over to God, your path will made clear and a way will be opened up for you to pass from danger to safety.
Sometimes our shield is found through the storm, not from it.
(You can find this story in Elder Busche’s book, Yearning for the Living God, pages 162-164.)