My youngest brother was very athletic. He and his friends were going to college at SUU. All had been ordained Elders and they were just waiting for their mission calls. One day they were playing football inside the dorm and he ran to catch a long pass. Unfortunately the momentum of his body propelled him through a huge plate glass window. He cut the skin under both arms and severed an artery. His roommates were dumfounded at first to see him lying on the grass outside. Then they saw the blood and rushed outside to help him. Both young men had their first experience of using their prieshood to give him a blessing. They rushed him to the hospital, and the surgeon said his arms were a mess. He said that angels guided his hands to repair the damage. He would never have been able to complete the task on his own. He was so grateful that the blessing was given so he could have guidance. After several transfusions, and lots of healing, my brother survived and went on his mission to Puerto Rico.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
When I was eight years old, I got very sick. We thought it was the flu, but I didn’t get better. My Mom took me to the doctor and he said that I had appendicitis and they had burst. I had been sleeping for two days but I remember waking up just before surgery and my Dad and my doctor were giving me a blessing before the surgery. Imagine a world where every doctor had the priesthood to give blessings and the Holy Ghost to guide his hands. I had to stay in the hospital for a week, but through the power of the priesthood, I survived.
When I was five, we lived in Chesterfield, Idaho. Our home teachers were visiting and when they left, we noticed that my older brother’s face was blue! He couldn’t talk and just pointed to his throat. I had seen him playing with marbles earlier and said we needed the home teachers back to give him a blessing. They ran back in and after the blessing, the marble slipped down his throat so he could breathe again. Without the blessing, he would surely have died.
My father went on a mission after three of us kids were born. It wasn’t unusual in those days. If you read early records of the church, missionaries frequently left their families to preach the gospel. We lived on a farm so we had plenty of milk, chicken, eggs and meat, but we lived on a dry farm. That means we had to depend on rain to water the crops, and in years past we crops weren’t too successful. The Seventies in the ward took care of us and when it came time to plant and harvest the crops, we had more than enough to support our family and my father on his mission.
Ten plus years ago Grandpa was working for the Davis County School District. There had been talk about cut-backs and possible layoffs because of terrorist attacks on 9/11. Grandpa was the Landscape Architect working in the Risk Management Department and he had a feeling that his name was on the cutback list. He went to the Davis Education Association as a member to talk to Vic Arnold about what options he had since he was within a couple of months of qualifying for retirement benefits. He was hoping to work for the school district for another 6 years to get full benefits. There were still many family responsibilities with the youngest two children, Sara, 13 years old and Jarom, 11 years old still at home with missions, college and weddings ahead of us. The thought of losing the job short of retirement benefits was even more devastating.
The Education Association agreed that something needed to be done to preserve his rights being he was so close to qualifying. Mr. Arnold went the district administration representing Grandpa, he was able to secure a few more months employment so Grandpa could qualify for early retirement incentives along with three years of health insurance and receive his retirement benefits at this time instead of having to wait till his was 65 years old.
This was indeed a tremendous blessing because even though it was much less than he was earning monthly it would pay the house payment, house hold experiences and some food and we still had health insurance benefits for the family. We didn’t have any other debt so with the retirement benefit and our food storage the Lord sustained us for the next 18 months before Grandpa was able to find full-time employment with the State of Utah.
The Lord Provided
When Grandpa Steve and I got married we had many friends who were in our situation: going to school, working part-time, and trying to make money stretch to cover all the expenses. We had many friends that were delaying having their families because they didn't see how they would afford to have children while they were living on a student's budget. We felt that the Lord would support us in our decision to have our babies and so we didn't put it off for another, better time. We saw so many miracles during those lean college years, enabling us to continue in school as well as to get our family. One miracle happened when I was expecting the twins. I already had two little girls, Stephani and Shauntel who were three and two years old at the time. You can imagine that when we found out that I was pregnant with twins we wondered how we would manage financially with Steve still a student and being on a reduced income. Well, our faith was rewarded. Just a couple of weeks before the twins were born, a young mother in the area heard about us having twin boys and she brought over several boxes of matching outfits, socks, shoes, and other things that I could use for Stephen and David. Although she didn't even know us, her twin boys were just a year older than mine and she knew that I would love to have all the things that she had used for her boys so she brought them to me. A neighbor in the apartment building was moving and wondered if we wanted her German daybed, which was a small elevated playpen that hardly took any room at all. We were able to use it for a crib and our baby crib for the other twin. Several weeks after the twins were born someone asked me how we were able to afford to have twins and I got to thinking about all the equipment, clothes, and paraphenalia that the twins needed and I realized that the only thing I had purchased for them was bottles and formula. The rest had been provided by sweet and caring acquaintances who were no doubt prompted by the Holy Ghost to assist us. We felt that the Lord had opened the windows of heaven and poured us out a blessing that we hardly had room enough to receive!
When Grandpa Steve and I were living in Provo and he was a student at BYU we were living on a very strict budget and each semester it was a struggle to come up with the money that we needed for tuition. This one particular time our finances had been so tight and as the new semester approached we didn't know what we were going to do to pay tuition. Fortunately we had always been careful about paying our tithes and offerings and so we moved ahead and Steve got registered although we didn't know where the funds would come from. A few days before the money was due we received a letter in the mail from my little brother Charles. He had just finished working in spud harvest and he felt that we would need his money more than he did. He sent us $150, the exact amount that we needed for tuition, with a sweet note saying that he wanted us to have the money on loan and that sometime down the road we could pay him back. It was such a sweet thing for him to do and I remember sitting down and crying in appreciation for this small miracle.