Hannibal Riverboat Captain Sees God’s Hand in BYU Performance

January 20, 2021 06:00 PM

Illinois, 2016 | Source: McKay Crockett, BYU Vocal Point artistic director

“We had an amazing experience on Friday, May 13. We went to Hannibal, Missouri, and went on a riverboat tour on the Mark Twain. The tour was narrated the whole time by the captain, and it was a lot of fun. When we were nearing the end, we decided to sing for some of the other passengers, so we sang ‘Footloose.’ After we were done, the captain’s voice came in over the loudspeaker and asked if we would sing again, this time for the whole boat, so we sang another song. The captain then thanked us and announced to the ship that we were doing shows that night and the next in Nauvoo. When the ship started docking, one of the employees told us that the captain had asked us to stay behind while the other passengers left so he could meet us.

“He introduced himself and thanked us for singing. He then got very emotional and shared with us that his youngest daughter had passed away 11 weeks ago. She was a singer and especially loved a cappella music. He said since she passed away on a Friday and had sometimes sung on the tours, he had difficulty going to work on Fridays. When he heard us sing, though, he was reminded of her, and he felt that it was a mercy from God that we were on his boat. We shared our condolences with him and sang ‘Nearer, My God, to Thee’ to him and his wife. We then invited them both to come to our Nauvoo concert that night or the next.

“That night, as we were setting up for our show in Nauvoo, we were elated to see the captain and his wife walk up to the stage. They were still in their uniforms because they had been able to make it work at the last minute to come to our show. Afterwards they told us they had a wonderful time and thanked us again for brightening their day and helping them recognize God’s hand in their life. It was a wonderful experience for us to see how Heavenly Father could use us to touch others and bear testimony of Him.”