“I Can Give Blessings,” Ensign, Aug. 1993, 58
“I have what is called the priesthood,” I quietly told my friend Maria Torres. Blankets hung over every window, and the house was dark and gloomy, as if the inhabitants were retreating from the cold of winter and sorrow.
“With it I can give blessings, like in the New Testament,” I said. And with enough faith, I thought, people can be healed. Do I have enough faith, I wondered?
I had been a member of the Church for a year and had just been ordained an elder a few weeks before I returned home to my small town in Colorado for the Christmas holiday. I wasn’t completely familiar with Church procedures, but I knew about the priesthood and had seen its power manifest.
I had met Maria before I left for college. She had encouraged me to overcome my lifelong fear of water and had taught me how to swim. Now it was my turn to offer help.
Her husband had just walked out of her life, leaving her with bills, no job, and two children under the age of four. Maria’s sister had arrived on a bus from California the night before to offer comfort and assistance. Now both of Maria’s children were sick.
“Do you have faith in the Savior?” I asked Maria.
She said she did.
“Would you like me to give you a blessing?”
Again, the answer was yes.
I was frightened and a bit awkward as I laid my hands on her head and searched my mind and heart for the proper words to say in the first blessing I had ever given as an elder.
When I finished, Maria took me into her four-year-old son’s room, asking me to give him a “prayer,” too. Next I was asked to bless the baby, and then Maria’s sister placed a chair in front of me and sat down, bowing her head. She wanted to be next.
After giving the blessings, as I walked out of the house and approached my beat-up Volkswagen, I thought of my inexperience. But then a beautiful feeling overwhelmed me, and the tears I had been holding back flooded into my eyes.
I knew then that my friends would recover their health and reassemble their lives. Their faith would grow, and perhaps even lead them to the Savior, as it had me.
And I realized that by receiving the priesthood, I had received a blessing that would stay with me forever.