Prompting to Return to Work Saves a Life


In 1941, sixteen-year-old David Donaldson was emptying the trash at the mill in Ogden, Utah where he worked. It was just a routine job for him. Rising in the open shaft, the doorless freight elevator approached the floor. He wheeled the car across the metal plate and jumped onto the floor of the elevator as it continued to rise. The cart had not quite cleared the plate, so he bent forward to pull it completely on. As he bent forward he suddenly slipped and fell head-forward, sliding partially into the elevator shaft. As the elevator continued its ascent, he was scraped between the cage and the wall. He screamed in agony as it moved upward. “Please help me, Lord,” he begged.

It was just after 6:00 PM and everybody had left the mill. Miraculously, one man was prompted to go back, and as he entered the building he heard David’s screams and rushed to turn off the elevator. If he had not returned just at the time he did, the metal plate on the floor above most certainly would have severed David’s body as he lay pinned between the shaft and the cage. A blow-torch was required for them to rescue David, whose clothes were completely torn from his bruised and scratched body.

Later, the man who saved his life said that he hadn’t worked that late in years and normally would have been gone by six o’clock. He didn’t know why he had such a strong prompting to return to the building until he saw David’s predicament, then he knew that God meant for him to return to save David’s life.

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