Digital Only: Latter-day Dads
The Miracle That Matters Most
The author lives in the USA.
I prayed for the Savior to have compassion on us and heal our daughter. The miracle we received was not what I expected.
There are many examples of the Savior’s compassion in the New Testament. After a man with an unclean spirit was healed, Jesus said, “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee” (Mark 5:19). During a time when the people needed food, Christ had “compassion on the multitude” (Mark 8:2) and made a few loaves and fishes feed about four thousand people (see verses 1–9).
My wife and I likewise wanted Jesus Christ’s miraculous compassion to heal our newborn daughter. Doctors had discovered a large mass in her abdominal cavity. They diagnosed her with infantile neuroblastoma. Because she was just two weeks old and the malignant (cancerous) mass was large, her prognosis was not hopeful.
Filled with faith in Christ’s ability to heal her, I gave her a priesthood blessing before we went to the children’s hospital. During that experience, no words came to my mind. It was blank. Seeking to muster any words possible, the only phrase I could utter was, “You are in God’s hands.”
Disheartened by that experience, we headed to the children’s hospital where the medical team would perform surgery to biopsy the mass, see how far it had spread, and determine what, if anything, they could do for our daughter. Before the surgery, I again gave my daughter a priesthood blessing and had the exact same experience as before; I could utter only the words, “you are in God’s hands.”
After handing our daughter to the surgeon, my wife and I wept bitterly. When our bodies were unable to produce any more tears, I sat in frustration. I began to wonder if the compassionate miracle we had sought was not given because my faith or worthiness was insufficient. Why had Christ performed so many amazing acts of compassion for others but would not do so for us?
I felt prompted to read the story of Lazarus found in John 11. The interaction between Christ and Martha stood out to me. It felt like Martha was hoping for the same thing I was hoping for, that it was not too late for my daughter to still be miraculously healed. In response to Martha’s request, Jesus Christ said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
“And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:25–26)
At this moment, it felt like Jesus Christ was talking to me. I felt that if I had eyes to see, Christ would have been sitting next to me waiting for my reply to His question. As I pondered my answer, conviction filled my soul, and I answered, “Yes, I do believe in the Son of God and all that He offers.”
Another question came to mind: “What has Jesus Christ made possible for children who die before the age of accountability?”
Again, in my mind, I replied, “That all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven” (Doctrine and Covenants 137:10).
“Do you believe this?” was the response. Again, conviction filled my soul, and I answered, “Yes.”
The thought came into my mind, “Then you understand that she will be with God and can still become like God. What more do you want for her? You can enjoy that life with her as well when you stay faithful to the temple covenants Jesus Christ has revealed.”
I concluded that the greatest miracle in my life would always be the Atonement of Jesus Christ. There was nothing I wanted more for my daughter than for her to receive all of the blessings Jesus Christ has made available through His atoning sacrifice and sacred temple ordinances. A compassionate miracle was given to us—the miracle that matters the most.