If the answer is yes then why seek a blessing at all

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might be: “If a blessing is not given and it is the will of God that something happen, will it? If the answer is “Yes”, then why seek a blessing at all if the will of the Lord is going to be done anyway?” The genesis for this thirty-five year quest to understand faith, blessings, and the will of God started when, as a young missionary in Samoa, I was awakened at three o’clock one morning to the frantic call for help of a near hysteric mother. Her son had eaten something out of the sea and had become deathly ill. Through the driving rain storm I followed as quickly as I could to their fale (home) which was only a few hundred feet from our home. As I entered the fale I was moved to tears as I saw a frantic father holding his convulsing twelve year old son in his arms. The child’s eyes were rolled back so that only the white part was visible. He was frothing at the mouth and moaning in agony between convulsions that racked his frail body. 2
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The father looked pleadingly at me and said: “I am an Elder. I have anointed him. Bless him and heal him.” I was young and inexperienced in using the priesthood. I could see their faith so I knelt along side the boy and placed my hands on his head. I felt he was going to die but dismissed the thought as a manifestation of my lack of faith. Looking at the mother and father in their agony nearly broke my heart. So exercising all the faith I could muster, I blessed the boy to live. He died under my hands. Three weeks later it was like a rerun of the same nightmarish scenario. About three o’clock in the morning, a driving rain storm, a frantic knock on our door. The man said an entire family had eaten something out of the sea and were deathly ill and wanted a blessing. As I slipped my shirt and pants on, I said to myself that I would just bless them to have a happy journey into the Spirit World. By the time we arrived the mother had passed away. The father, a man in his mid-thirties, seems to be closer to death than the little boy I had blessed a few weeks before. His only movements were twitches and spasms in an otherwise lifeless body. I knelt along side the man determined in my mind to release him to the next world. I felt a strange sensation and had a distinct thought that I should bless him to live. I fought off the feeling rationalizing that it was just another attempt to get me to mis-use the priesthood. As I started the blessing, the impression came even stronger. So trusting that Heavenly Father knew what He wanted done, I followed the feeling and blessed him to be healed. As I withdrew my hands from his head, he opened his eyes and looked at me. He said, “Elder, I don’t feel very good. Will you drive me to the hospital?” In time he was completely healed. For many years and having given countless blessings, I have always wondered how everything worked. Sometimes the person was healed immediately, other times they were not. I watched people question their own faith, their worthiness to receive the blessing, the power of 3
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the priesthood, the worthiness of the person exercising the priesthood, and even the existence of God, Himself based on the receiving or not receiving of the sought after blessing.
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  • Winter '10
  • Esplin

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