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When Angels Saved a Girl Trapped in a Tornado

On assignment one day in Oklahoma, I had the opportunity to meet with a few of the families devastated by mighty twisters that had recently swept through that area. As I visited with the Sorrels family, I was particularly touched by the experience of their daughter, Tori, then a fifth grader at Plaza Towers Elementary School.

Tori and a handful of her friends huddled in a restroom for shelter as the tornado roared through the school. Here is Tori’s account of that day:

“I heard something hit the roof. I thought it was just hailing. The sound got louder and louder. I said a prayer that Heavenly Father would protect us all and keep us safe. All of a sudden we heard a loud vacuum sound, and the roof disappeared right above our heads. There was lots of wind and debris flying around and hitting every part of my body. It was darker outside and it looked like the sky was black, but it wasn’t—it was the inside of the tornado. I just closed my eyes, hoping and praying that it would be over soon.

“All of a sudden it got quiet.

“When I opened my eyes, I saw a stop sign right in front of my eyes! It was almost touching my nose” (Experience of Victoria [Tori] Sorrels, recounted January 16, 2014). Tori, her mother, three of her siblings, and numerous friends who were also in the school with her miraculously survived that tornado; seven of their schoolmates did not.

That weekend the priesthood brethren gave many blessings to members who had suffered in the storm. I was humbled to give Tori a blessing. As I laid my hands on her head, a favorite scripture came to mind: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up” (D&C 84:88).

I counseled Tori to remember the day when a servant of the Lord laid his hands on her head and pronounced that she had been protected by angels in the storm.

Lead image from Getty Images


In this beautiful book, Elder Ronald A. Rasband shares timely counsel and personal stories about recognizing the hand of the Lord in our everyday pursuits. Through his own experience, Elder Rasband helps us learn first how to seek the Spirit and then how to recognize and respond to divine guidance in our families, with friends and colleagues, in our Church service, and during times of trial.

Each of heartfelt stories, brief messages, and inspiring quotes is an important reminder that the Lord is in the small details of our lives. Elder Rasband demonstrates repeatedly that we are led according to His divine design. Our Father in Heaven is interested in our success and eternal happiness, and He has provided the Holy Ghost to help us choose wisely so we can return to Him one day.

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