DURING a severe storm, a ship was in distress, and a rowboat went out to rescue the crew.

The waves were enormous, and each of the men at the oars had to give all his energy to reach the unfortunate sailors.

The trip to the wreck was successful; the rowboat was too small to take the whole crew in one rescue operation.

One man had to stay behind on board because there was no room for him.

When the rescuers reached the beach, people were waiting for them with torches. The same crew could not make the second trip; they were exhausted.

Volunteers were sought to make a second trip. Among those who stepped forward without hesitation was a nineteen-year-old called Hans.

With his mother he had come to watch the rescue operation.

When Hans stepped forward his mother panicked saying: “Hans, please don’t go. Your father died at sea when you were four years old, your older brother Pete has been reported missing at sea for more than three months now. You are the only son left!”

Hans said: “Mom, I feel I have to do it. It is my duty.” The mother wept when Hans boarded the rowing boat and disappeared into the night.

After a struggle with the high-going seas that lasted for more than an hour (to Hans’s mother it seemed an eternity), the rowboat came into sight.

When the rescuers had approached the beach close enough the captain shouted “Did you save him?”

Then the people lighting the sea with their torches saw Hans rise from his rowing bench, and he shouted with all his might: “Yes! And tell Mother it is my brother Pete!”

Cedric Knipe

Altrincham Interfaith Group and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints