Saturday, January 29, 2011
Eight years ago this week my sister, Lauren, at the young age of eight was admitted to Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. She had recently been diagnosed with a rare skin disease called PLEVA but what was even more rare was that it was trying to take over her body by breaking down her immune system. After only a few days in the hospital they admitted her into the intensive care unit, intubated her to help her breathe, and put her into an induced coma.
As I stood there for weeks and watched her as she lay there unconscious with tubes and IVs of every kind coming out of her the only thing I could do was pray. At the young age of 12 I quickly gained a strong testimony in prayer, fasting, and in priesthood blessings. Through these I came to know that my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ were aware of me. They knew my situation, what I was going through, and what my parents were going through. More important He knew what my sister was going through. There is a scripture in the Book of Mormon in Alma 7:11-12 that reads: "And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." I know my Savior, Jesus Christ, knew the pains and afflictions that my family and I were going through. When I went to Him in prayer this is when He was able to succor, or comfort me. This is what brought peace into my life at this difficult time. And it was this peace that built my faith. I soon had the feeling, despite the odds and what some doctors would call hopeless, I knew she would be ok!
Some may question how that was possible at such a rough spot in my life but to me it because so simple. I was able to gain faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I was able to gain faith in my Heavenly Father's plan for me. I knew that no matter what happened, if my sister lived or died ,that I Would see her again! My family was sealed together by the Priesthood of God both on earth and in heaven. That same priesthood was what could save her life if we offered up a prayer of faith (James 5:15).
I know that it was by that prayer of faith and through the priesthood that she was healed. I know it is by faith that miracles still happen. I am grateful for the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the Priesthood of God that is on the earth once again today. I know it's real. I am grateful for my sister Lauren. She is my hero. I'm grateful for the faith she has, that she is an example of the believers (1 Tim 4:12), and that she is alive and well today.
The Book of Mormon states in Ether 12:27: "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness, I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." I know that my faith has been made stronger because of this experience. And though it was a tough thing to go through at the time I know I that I was humbled and am a better person today because of it.