A Blessing of Consolation
February 2018

“A Blessing of Consolation,” Liahona, February 2018

A Blessing of Consolation

By Sarah Bieber

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

friend bringing dinner

Illustration by Allen Garns

When it became apparent that my father’s cancer was terminal, my mother said in discouragement, “I guess we’re not going to get our miracle.” In that moment, I felt that our family would receive miracles, even if the preservation of my father’s life was not among them.

One miracle came one morning when my friend Beth asked me what my plans were for the day. I told her I had planned to spend the afternoon with my father at the hospital, but my arrangement for child care fell through. Beth generously offered to watch my children so I could spend time with my father. She also offered to take supper to my family. I was very grateful.

When I arrived at the hospital, my father did not have the energy to open his eyes or eat any food. But shortly afterward he experienced a dramatic increase in energy. For over three hours he was wide awake, and we talked and even walked around the hospital ward a few times. No other visitors came during this time. I was blessed to have this time with him to myself.

We laughed and we cried together that day. My father shared with me his feelings about leaving this earth life and what mattered most to him—his testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That afternoon is one of the most cherished memories of my life. Three days later he passed away.

It was not until a week after his funeral that I realized the last time I spoke with my father was the afternoon that Beth watched my children. With tears streaming down my face, I sent Beth an email thanking her for her service and explaining how much it meant to me.

Beth replied, “I have a testimony that God wants to extend us blessings of consolation and grace—especially when we are going through something difficult. I have been praying for consolation for you and your family during this time.”

I was touched that God prompted Beth to be the blessing she prayed I would receive. I know that God provides us with blessings of consolation during difficult times in our lives.