“I Didn’t Feel Worthy,” Ensign, Feb. 1999, 64–65
My wife and I had come to believe we would never have children, but in the middle of 1990 the doctor told us my wife was pregnant. Several months later, though, when my wife collapsed, our excitement to have a child was lost in worry. Tests were not encouraging: her blood pressure was too high, her liver was shutting down, and her kidneys were failing. Her doctor told me that in order to save her life, he had to deliver the baby about 16 weeks early.
The doctor delivered our daughter, Chelsea, by emergency C-section, and she was immediately placed in an intensive care unit. When I saw her for the first time she was two hours old, and her entire hand was the size of my thumbnail.
My wife soon recovered and went home, but Chelsea had to stay in the hospital. Each morning I called to find out how Chelsea was doing, and the report was always the same: Chelsea’s stomach was too immature to accept a feeding tube. That meant she couldn’t get the necessary nutrients to gain weight. One morning when I called I was told that Chelsea had lost even more weight. My heart sank, and I was sure she was going to die.
I took time from work that morning to visit Chelsea, and as I sat next to her isolette I had a sudden feeling I needed to give her a blessing. I shrugged it off—I hadn’t been to church for 10 years and didn’t feel worthy. But the feeling came back even stronger. This time I argued with myself, saying I had no oil and no one to assist me, and besides I’d given only one blessing in my life and that was 12 years earlier. Finally, words came clearly to mind: Give your daughter a blessing, or she’s going to die.
Hardly understanding what I was doing, I put my hands in the gloves at the side of Chelsea’s isolette, laid them on her head, and in a firm voice said things I knew did not come from me. I commanded Chelsea in the name of Jesus Christ to be healthy and to grow up a normal girl. Tears were streaming down my cheeks as I closed the prayer, and I knew she was going to live. That very night, doctors were able to get a feeding tube in, and she began gaining weight.
Chelsea’s recovery was the beginning of my road to full Church activity. A year later my wife joined the Church, and we were blessed with one more child, a boy this time.
Today Chelsea is a normal eight-year-old. She astounded doctors with her lack of complications from being in intensive care for almost three months. Her senses are intact, her limbs have developed normally, and she can count and write like any other child her age. In fact, at the end of the last school year, she was at the top of her class.
I am grateful for Chelsea’s birth and the opportunity she gave me to use the priesthood, which subsequently blessed me as I listened to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.