Nathan’s Jawbone

    “Nathan’s Jawbone,” Ensign, Apr. 1996, 62

    Nathan’s Jawbone

    Nathan seemed like a miracle. After ten years of marriage and three miscarriages, I marveled at his very existence as I held him for the first time.

    Later, when a nurse brought Nathan to me again, I examined him more closely. There were ten fingers, ten toes, and the limbs were properly formed, but his face seemed a bit misshapen. When I questioned the pediatrician about it, he said, “Babies’ heads often become misshapen during the birth process; it will straighten out in a few days.” But it did not straighten out.

    When I took Nathan to the clinic for his two-week checkup, the doctor determined that something was indeed wrong. He arranged for us to see a plastic surgeon, who informed us that Nathan had been born with an incomplete jawbone on the left side of his face. He explained to us that nothing could be done until Nathan was about eighteen years old, when he could undergo an extensive operation to reform his jawbone. Until that time, there would be a noticeable disfigurement.

    We were heartbroken and feared the ridicule he might have to face from other children when he was old enough to attend school. We sought a second opinion and received the same diagnosis.

    I believed that our Father in Heaven could heal our son. I prayed, seeking earnestly to know Heavenly Father’s will in the matter. I wanted to know if this was a trial for Nathan’s benefit—if it would give him strength, courage, and great character—or if it could be resolved through our faith and prayers. After several weeks, I felt assured that it was not necessary for Nathan to bear this burden. My husband and I began a process of showing our faith in God through our actions.

    Nathan received several priesthood blessings, each including a blessing that he would “grow perfectly in every way.” I prayed night and morning and kept a prayer in my heart all day, every day. I also put Nathan’s name on the prayer roll of the temple and fasted regularly. I had to develop patience and a submissive spirit as I waited, hoped and prayed, and then allowed the Lord’s will to be done.

    It did not happen right away, but eighteen months after Nathan was born he had a jawbone where none had existed. By the time Nathan started school, his teeth were straight, his speech was unimpaired, and his face showed no deformity. He has grown perfectly in every way.

    I came to learn for myself that “with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37). I know this type of miracle does not always happen, and that each circumstance is different. But we know that in this instance, the Lord’s hand was manifest and we feel it appropriate to rejoice in the Lord’s blessing to us.