Priesthood Blessings Given and Returned
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“Priesthood Blessings Given and Returned,” Ensign, August 2014, 77

Priesthood Blessings Given and Returned

Julie Keyes, British Columbia, Canada

Latter-Day Saint Voices

Illustration by Bradley Clark

Some years ago while our family was eating dinner with another couple from our ward, we received a phone call from the emergency department of our local hospital. An official asked my husband, who was serving as stake president at the time, if someone from our Church could come see a 17-year-old youth who had suffered a serious head injury.

Upon arriving, my husband learned that the young man had fallen from a balcony onto a cement sidewalk 30 feet (9 m) below. He was unconscious and not expected to live.

My husband and the brother who ate dinner with us gave the young man a blessing. His family, who lived a thousand miles (1,610 km) away, was contacted and apprised of his condition.

Miraculously, after a few days of intensive care, the young man regained consciousness and began to heal. For four weeks his parents visited him daily in the hospital. Then they flew him home to Arizona, USA, so he could complete his recovery.

How marvelous it was to witness the healing power of the priesthood work in a way to give this young man a second chance at a healthy future. And how grateful I was for a husband and other ward members who are prepared to perform priesthood service and act with divine authority.

I felt deeply for the young man’s parents, who were so far from their son during his crisis. I was glad, however, to know that they felt somewhat reassured when they learned that their son had received a priesthood blessing and that Church members were glad to help.

My empathy for those parents greatly increased a few years later when I received a phone call informing me that my own son, living 2,000 miles (3,220 km) away, had been hit by a car while riding his bicycle to the university where he was working and studying. Though I felt powerless to help him, I was thankful and comforted to know that the full-time missionaries were called to give him a priesthood blessing and that a ward in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, had responded to his family’s needs. Ward members brought meals to his home and helped his wife, who had given birth just the day before the accident, care for their other three children.

Imagine how my gratitude increased when I learned that the missionary who had blessed my son was the same young man who had received a blessing from my husband five years before. I was amazed that the service given had returned in full measure!

My faith in and prayers of gratitude to my loving Heavenly Father have continued to increase as I contemplate that He knows all of us and what we will need. I believe that this young missionary was there so we could see the foreknowledge of God in a very personal way.