At our mission farewell, I told the story of Ben Snow, and many people wanted me to write it down. I said I would put it on our blog, but I am just now getting around to it. I used the written story by Ben's Mom, Sue, to tell the story, and with her permission, I will now write it down with many of her own words.
Ben Snow, from Farmington, was serving a mission in Brazil. On February 3, 1995, he and his companion were on a bus returning from a Zone Conference when a truck loaded with steel re-bar struck the bus with such force that it literally sheared the front of the bus off. Before boarding the bus, Ben's companion, a native Brazilian, said, "Something bad is going to happen. I want to go home." Ben answered "We are." "No", Ben's companion said, "You don't understand. I want to go home to Sao Paulo." Ben's reply of "I know, but it will be alright." was said in such a way that it was confirmed he also knew of the impending danger and that he was completely at peace with it.
Ben and his companion boarded the bus for the all night ride back to the city where they were serving. His companion wasn't able to sleep as they traveled and actually saw the accident happen, while Ben slept peacefully beside him. The bus was turning left on a bend in the road when a truck traveling the opposite direction missed the turn and hit the bus. Steel re-bar from the truck shot through the bus like bullets, killing many of the passengers, but a shield of protection was miraculously placed around the two of them. The Brazilian Elder was thrown through the window next to him and landed on his feet in front of and facing the bus. Ben sat in his seat, still appearing to be asleep, as though nothing had happened. Ben died of a broken neck but he was protected, as his body was left whole.
For most of the time, Ben's Mother, Sue Snow, has been at peace, but in July of 2014, she was struggling. It was going to be Ben's 40th birthday and she was missing him so much. She prayed fervently for the peace that she needed to have restored to her. Two days later she received a package and letter in the mail. One of the missionaries, Elder Julio, who had shared an apartment with Ben and his companion, happened to be visiting in Brazil in the town where they had been serving when Ben died. He attended a fast and testimony meeting where a man expressed his testimony and shared how he had learned of the Church.
The man had been one of the people helping to clean up after the fatal accident. He came across a Bible and could not locate the owner, Ben Snow. He kept the book and read it from time to time. He saw a lot of references written in the margins that obviously referred to other scriptures, but they were not books in the Bible. He wondered where the book of “ Moroni" was located. He asked people until he finally was told that it was a reference from the Book of Mormon. He obtained the book, called the missionaries, and eventually joined the Church. Elder Julio, who was visiting, went up to the man after the meeting and told him that he knew who the Bible belonged to and would be happy to return it to the family.
In the mail, two days after praying for relief, the Snows received Ben's Bible with the enclosed story. They knew that their prayers had been heard and answered.
I also know that our prayers are heard and answered. My husband, Dean, and I had just received our mission call to the South America South Area office. We were called to be communication specialists working with social media. We were going to be finding stories about conversions and miracles in South America to publish on the social media sites. I had been praying to know how we were ever going to find these stories. Dean and I were attending the temple for our ward temple day and he had gone early with the youth and was going to do initiatory work until I arrived and we would meet in the cafeteria before attending the session.
I waited for him, but he was held up, so I decided to go ahead and eat and meet him in the session. As I sat down, my good friend, Sue Snow came through the food line and saw me sitting at a table. She was alone and she joined me. I told her of our call and what we would be doing. She said, "I have a story about a conversion and a miracle in South America," and she proceeded to tell me Ben's story. She said she had been waiting in the chapel of the temple that day to go through a session. When it was time to go into the session, she was prompted to wait for the next one and she followed the prompting and waited. After the session she went to the cafeteria and met me. We both knew why we were there that day, at that time.
The Gospel is true, and our loving Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers.