“Our First Family Fast,” Liahona, June 1999, 12
About a year ago, some friends of our family were hospitalized in very serious condition. Rosana and Angel Blanco Rodriguez and two of their children were in their kitchen when they smelled gas. Brother Rodriguez went to investigate. When he touched a gas hose, a small leak exploded, igniting a fire. Seeing his two small children in danger, Brother Rodriguez used his own body to extinguish the flames. He was the most critically injured of the four.
When Mama told our family about the accident, she told us of the love she and Papa felt for their dear friends. She explained that because we live far away, we could not help Brother and Sister Rodriguez by taking care of their other children, their house, or their business matters. But there was a special way we could help them, she said. We could have a family fast and pray that the Lord would bless the Rodriguez family. All of us, even the younger ones, could participate. Our parents had always fasted on the first Sunday of the month and on other occasions, but we had never fasted as a family before. We decided to try it.
We began Saturday at lunchtime. We all fasted—Papa and Mama; Douglas, age 13; Francini, age 11; Debora, age 7; and me, age 9. We said a prayer and asked the Lord to bless our friends. Mama put a reminder—“Our First Family Fast”—on the refrigerator, the water faucet, the microwave, and the kitchen wall, so we would remember not to eat or drink anything.
I did not feel thirsty during those hours, even with the intense heat here in Amazonas, Brazil. I didn’t feel hungry, either. I was able to understand a little how Jesus might have felt when He fasted for 40 days. I felt how good it is to do something to help others.
On Sunday Papa gave each of us an envelope for our fast offerings and helped us fill out the form. At church that day, we gave the money to our branch president. We concluded our fast at lunchtime.
The Rodriguez family eventually returned home with some injuries. As we and many other friends continued to fast and pray for their recovery, the Lord continued to bless them. After several months of care, they were completely cured and were left almost without scars.
Each month since our first family fast, we have fasted and prayed for a united purpose.
I am grateful to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to learn about Jesus Christ and how much He did for me. I want to follow His example always.