“A Dream of His Father,” Ensign, Aug. 1978, 64
Because of my father’s untimely death, I have always felt that he was allowed to watch over us in times of great need and that his concern for our welfare did not cease with the transition called death. Struck down one spring day in a car-train collision, he left my mother with five children to raise on a farm that had never brought great returns.
One night during a fierce blizzard, my youngest brother was suffering from an earache. After he went to bed, the pain in his head seemed to intensify. We were seven miles from a doctor and travel was impossible. Mother tried every known home remedy, but as the pain increased, my brother sobbed, “Oh, Mama, I can’t stand it any longer. It hurts so badly.”
When my father was alive, he had always given his children blessings when they were ill. Often we were relieved of pain, sometimes healed instantly. But now there were no Melchizedek Priesthood bearers in our home, and none were available. Mother sought divine help. “Son,” she said, “if Papa were here he could stop your pain with the priesthood. You pray, and I will, too.”
After the prayers were uttered, my brother seemed to fall asleep for a few moments. Then he opened his eyes and softly whispered, “Oh, Mama, I had the most beautiful dream. It was dark and my ear hurt so badly. But then I saw a dim glow at the bottom of a ladder a little way off and I walked over to it. A woman who looked like you helped me on the ladder, and the higher I climbed, the brighter the light became.
“When I reached the top, I was looking into a beautiful chapel. There were seats and aisles and it was very quiet and peaceful. Grandpa came and helped me off the ladder. He took my hand and led me up the aisle toward an altar where Papa came to meet me and said, ‘Hello, son. How are you getting along?’ Then he and another man laid their hands on my head and gave me a blessing, and all the pain went away. My ear didn’t hurt any more. I didn’t want to come back; it was so peaceful there and so nice to see Papa. But they took me to the top of the ladder and I came down. The ladder went up and up until it disappeared.”
Then, in a quiet, dreamlike voice he said, “Now I’m here, Mama, and my ear doesn’t hurt any more. I guess Papa isn’t very far away.”
Tears flowed down my mother’s cheeks as she offered a prayer of thanksgiving. She knew the gospel’s power was eternal.