I Needed a Blessing
September 2001

“I Needed a Blessing,” Ensign, Sept. 2001, 64–65

I Needed a Blessing

It was the rainy season in the Philippines and had been raining all day. Rain often brought unwanted creatures into our house—usually spiders, rats, and such.

As my companion and I arrived home after a day of proselyting, we noticed a light on at our neighbors’ house and we thought we would visit them. We decided to stop at our house and pick up some photographs of our families to show them.

We kept the pictures on the bottom shelf of a book shelf between our beds. As I reached for mine, I suddenly felt a pain in my right hand. Looking down, I saw that a snake had just bitten me.

I called to my companion, Elder Regis, and he ran to see what the problem was. I showed him the blood on my hand and said I’d been bitten by a snake.

A neighbor ran in because of the commotion and helped us look for the snake. We found it when it struck from under the bed at a board Elder Regis was holding. The neighbor cried out, “That’s a Philippine cobra!”

Elder Regis killed the snake. I realized I was getting dizzy, so we rushed to Bishop Rotor’s house because he had some experience treating snakebites. He hurriedly began to do what he could to help me.

My chest was becoming heavy, and it was hard to breathe. A darkness seemed to cloud my thoughts, and I began to lose consciousness. Then I had a distinct impression that if I wanted to finish my mission on earth, I needed a blessing.

I stayed conscious long enough to say, “Will you give me a blessing?”

The bishop answered, “Yes, just let me finish this first.” It was hard for me to stay alert, but the impression came again, extremely strong, that I needed a blessing now. I could not wait. This time I said in a commanding voice, “Give me a blessing!”

I don’t remember the words of the blessing my companion and Bishop Rotor gave me. But I put all my trust in the Lord and His priesthood. During the prayer I began to come to my senses, and I vomited repeatedly. As I heard the final words of the blessing, the vomiting stopped. I was aware of my surroundings and felt a warm feeling of comfort and love fill my body. I knew my Father in Heaven loved me and that I would be OK.

My zone leader, Elder Howarth, brought to the bishop’s home a doctor who was investigating the Church. By this time about two hours had passed. We left for a hospital located about an hour away from where I was serving.

On the way the doctor asked me to tell him what happened. Elder Howarth said, “Doctor, shouldn’t we speed up?” The doctor’s answer was, “Why? He should already be dead. He is a lucky man.” The Philippine cobra is the deadliest snake in the Philippines.

If people say God is not a God of miracles anymore, they don’t understand this gospel or His love for us, His children. I know my life was spared and I suffered no lasting effects because of the power of God’s word: “And by the power of his word did they cause prisons to tumble to the earth,” wrote Moroni, “yea, even the fiery furnace could not harm them, neither wild beasts nor poisonous serpents, because of the power of his word” (Morm. 8:24).

  • Brandon J. Miller is a member of the Iona Second Ward, Iona Idaho Stake.