Firm Foundations

    “Firm Foundations,” New Era, Feb. 2019, page–page.

    Firm Foundations

    Trek in the Sun

    pioneer trek

    Illustrations by Greg Newbold

    Last February my stake went on a winter trek. It was very cold at the beginning of the day, so none of us worried about putting on sunscreen. But by the end of the day, I had very, very severe burns on my face. My dad, who is a doctor, told me that I had gotten third-degree burns on my face and that I wouldn’t be able to continue on the trek the second day. I was devastated. I had been looking forward to this trek for months now. I knew I was going to miss out on spiritual experiences. I couldn’t just stay in my tent, but I didn’t know what else to do.

    So the next morning my dad gave me a priesthood blessing, asking that my face would heal and that it wouldn’t get burned again. I wrapped a piece of nylon around my face and borrowed one of my brother’s hats. I went out that day looking very strange, but I was able to go out and have spiritual experiences that I wouldn’t have been able to have if I hadn’t gone.

    After the trek, my family and I were all worried about my face healing and how badly it was going to scar. But as the next couple of weeks came, the burns healed like a normal sunburn. I healed completely and have no scars on my face. I know that because of the Lord’s power through the priesthood, I was able to be healed. I’m so grateful for the priesthood, and I know Heavenly Father was watching over me.

    Darity T., Arizona, USA

    Affirmations of Love

    boy being tapped on the shoulder

    I work at a summer camp. Kids come for five days, and we do lots of educational activities with them. We cut and decorate wood cuts from real logs, play in the stream and learn about aquatic life, find and collect wildflowers, go on hikes, learn about the mining history of the town, and lots of other super fun stuff.

    At the end of the week, we do an activity called “affirmations.” The kids sit in a circle and close their eyes. They take turns getting up and tapping other kids on the shoulder as the counselors say different things like “This person helped me feel welcome,” or “This person helped me cut wood.” At the end of the activity, we say, “This person has potential,” or “This person has a bright future.” Then the counselors tap every single kid.

    One week, as I was tapping the kids and saying awesome things about them, I felt the Spirit witness to me that they were all children of God. I didn’t even know all of them that well, but I felt such love for them. It was a really neat experience that witnessed to me that everyone we interact with really is a child of God. He really does care about each of us.

    Stephen J., Utah, USA

    A Silent Prompting to Unsilence

    smart phone

    I was recovering from wrist surgery and had been attending long, painful sessions of physical therapy twice a week. I always came home exhausted, and this time was no exception. I collapsed into bed and folded myself into my sheets.

    As I prepared to drift off to sleep, I had a feeling that I should take my phone off silent. “That’s weird,” I thought. My phone is almost always on silent, especially at night. I didn’t want to be woken up by an occasional text or notification. I was exhausted and needed my sleep. After all, I was still recovering from surgery. But I decided to listen anyway and turned the volume on my phone up. Immediately after, I dropped into a deep sleep that only a recent operation can bring.

    Hours later I suddenly woke up to my phone ringing on my bedside table. I answered groggily but was instantly alert after hearing our neighbor’s daughter was having a medical emergency. Because I had listened to the prompting to take my phone off silent, my mom was able to arrange a priesthood blessing for my neighbor’s daughter, and I was able to comfort our neighbor. I am grateful that I listened to the Spirit that night, that I could hear my neighbor’s phone call, and that I could help.

    Taylor T., Kansas, USA