10710_000_010My testimony was weak from neglect. I had become spiritually lame.
I was raised in the Church, but by the time I had reached my early 20s, I realized that I was living my life in opposition to the teachings of Jesus Christ. After a few failed attempts to return to Church, I began to believe I wasn’t worthy of forgiveness. Satan’s constant whisperings had convinced me that I didn’t deserve Heavenly Father’s love.
I Was Hesitant to Ask for a Blessing
In the spring of 1999, I received some information regarding my health that concerned me enough that I desired a priesthood blessing. It had been years since I had asked my dad for a blessing, and I was hesitant to do so. My poor choices had caused my parents disappointment and heartache, and my relationship with my dad had been strained for quite some time. I wasn’t certain he would give me a blessing even if I asked, so I tucked the thought into the back of my mind.
Nevertheless, the impression to request a blessing from my father grew stronger. I couldn’t ignore it any longer. I knew that my need for this blessing was about more than just my physical health. It was time to turn my life around.
As I drove to my parents’ home, I said a silent prayer asking for courage and strength. My knees barely held me as I walked through their door. I found Mom in the kitchen, and as I told her about the news the doctor had given me, she expressed concern. After a few minutes I asked where Dad was. She told me he was getting dressed because they were just getting ready to leave for a dinner date with friends. I thought, “Maybe this isn’t the best time to ask.” But the impression remained with me. I knew in my heart that it was now or never.
“What If I’m Not Worthy of Forgiveness?”
When my father entered the room, the question I had been preparing to ask stuck in my throat. I saw my mother glance first at me and then at my father. My words just wouldn’t come. I burst into tears when I heard my mother say, “Your daughter needs a blessing.” I knew that the Holy Ghost was working through her to answer my prayers, because I hadn’t even mentioned that I wanted a blessing.
To my great relief, Dad agreed. Immediately, he called John, the husband of the couple they were having dinner with that evening, and asked if he would assist in the blessing. John was more than happy to oblige. They decided to give me a blessing in his home before the couples left for dinner.
When we arrived, the men went into another room to prepare themselves to administer the blessing. As I waited for them to return, a sliver of doubt ran through me. “What if I’m not worthy of forgiveness?” I thought.
Almost immediately, a feeling of peace came over me and my thoughts turned to the Savior. I found myself thinking about how He had healed the lame, the deaf, and the blind. I felt a kinship toward those broken people because I had been deaf to the words of those who loved me, blind to righteous decisions, and too crippled to walk on the “plain road” (2 Nephi 4:32). I had not made “straight paths for [my] feet” but had allowed myself to be “turned out of the way” (Hebrews 12:13). I had become spiritually lame.
I Felt Whole Again
I will never forget the emotions I experienced as those two priesthood bearers placed their hands upon my head and pronounced a blessing upon me. I felt the presence of the Spirit in the room. As I listened to the words that were spoken, I felt whole again. It was in that moment that I knew I’d been healed. I was lame no more.
In the years since that blessing, many great and wondrous things have come to pass in my life, including developing a healthy relationship with my parents and being sealed in the temple to an eternal companion.
Living the gospel is still a challenge sometimes. It is during these times that I remember that day when I came to an understanding of Heavenly Father’s love for me and of the atoning sacrifice of our loving Savior. I also gained a testimony of the power of the priesthood and a testimony that Heavenly Father does send the Holy Ghost to aid and protect us in our times of need. I am grateful to Him for rescuing me. Not a day goes by that I don’t pray for the guidance of the Holy Ghost, that I may be an instrument in the Lord’s hands for others as my mother was for me.
The blessings of the priesthood are available to all—men, women, and children. God has given priesthood authority to worthy male members of the Church so they can act in His name. Melchizedek Priesthood holders give blessings, by the laying on of hands and by inspiration, to those who are sick or otherwise in need of special counsel, comfort, or healing. If the blessing is for the sick, consecrated oil is used (see James 5:14–15). For more information, go to lds.org/topics/priesthood.