Latter-day Saint Life

How the Spirit Helped President Oaks Save the Life of the Man Who Was Trying to Rob Him


The Ensign recently published an article written by Elder David A. Bednar focusing on the remarkable life of President Dallin H. Oaks. Among the incredible stories shared was this powerful witness of the Spirit and how President Oaks has allowed the Holy Ghost to guide his life. Read the full article here.

On a summer night in 1970, President Oaks had a frightening encounter with an armed robber on Chicago’s South Side as he returned to his parked car. His wife, June, was waiting for him in the vehicle.

“Give me your money,” the young mugger demanded.

“I don’t have any,” Brother Oaks replied, showing him his empty wallet.

“Give me your car keys,” he ordered. The keys were locked in the car with Sister Oaks. “Tell her to open the car,” the robber insisted. Brother Oaks said no.

The robber threatened,“Do it, or I’ll kill you.”

Brother Oaks said firmly, “I won’t do it.”

While the robber repeated his demands and threats, Brother Oaks saw an opportunity to wrestle the gun away from the young man. As President Oaks described in a 1992 general conference message, “Just as I was about to make my move, I had a unique experience. I did not see anything or hear anything, but I knew something. I knew what would happen if I grabbed that gun. We would struggle, and I would turn the gun into that young man’s chest. It would fire, and he would die. I also understood that I must not have the blood of that young man on my conscience for the rest of my life.”

This miraculous manifestation of the gift of discernment enabled President Oaks to resolve the confrontation and ultimately saved his own life and the life of the young robber.

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