Rodrigo Quintanilla—Valparaíso, Chile
June 2019

“Rodrigo Quintanilla—Valparaíso, Chile,” Liahona, June 2019

Portraits of Faith

Rodrigo Quintanilla

Valparaíso, Chile

When a construction accident left him unable to walk, Rodrigo Quintanilla could no longer work as a welder—or do a lot of other things. But he decided to move forward with faith, trusting in Heavenly Father’s plan for him and his family.

Leslie Nilsson, photographer

Rodrigo working with tools

When something really bad happens to us, we can respond in one of two ways. We can get angry with God and leave the Church, having nothing more to do with it. Or we can get on our knees, pray, and continue to grow.

I didn’t lose my faith, nor did I ask myself, “Why did this happen to me?” I refused to go down that road.

When a trial comes to us, I know our Father in Heaven provides a way through that trial. As I recuperated, having the company of the Holy Ghost was essential. I had to reinvent myself professionally, so I prayed for the Spirit’s guidance. God answered me.

I spent the first year after my accident in recovery and rehabilitation. I spent the second year determining what to do. I needed to find something that would at least cover my family’s basic needs—something that didn’t take a lot of strength and that I could do from a wheelchair.

With help from my wife, Paola, and my children, Ricardo and Nicol, I began an in-home business. We started by offering a key-copying service. We slowly added more services. I gathered know-how here and there. I learned with practice. Now, nine years later, we run a locksmith shop and a copy center with printing and laminating services.

Before my accident, we thought we were going to lose our home. Family members who own the house wanted to sell it, but we didn’t want to move. We love our ward.

After my accident, my grandmother said, “I’m going to give my share of the house to you.” My father did the same. One of my aunts and several of my brothers and sisters also ceded their property rights. They said, “You can stay here as long as you like.” This was a blessing from our Heavenly Father.

To those who have suffered a life-changing accident or event, I would say, “Things can be difficult, but stay in the Church. Stay with the gospel. Life is more difficult without it. Put forth as much effort as you can, and Heavenly Father will do the rest.”

Rodrigo with wife and granddaughter

“Rodrigo is such a good person, I wondered why this accident happened to him,” says Paola, pictured with Rodrigo and granddaughter Emily. “But in time, we came to understand how Heavenly Father has answered our prayers.”

Rodrigo working with tools

“I had to reinvent myself professionally, so I prayed for the Spirit’s guidance,” says Rodrigo. “God answered me.”

Rodrigos wife and granddaughter

“I have always told Rodrigo that I admire him for his strength,” says Paola, with granddaughter Emily. “I don’t think I would have been as brave as he has been.”


“Stay with the gospel,” Rodrigo says to those who suffer a life-changing accident or event. “Life is more difficult without it.”

Rodrigo opening his store

With guidance from the Holy Ghost and help from his family, Rodrigo began a successful in-home business.