“Please Bless Him, Father”


Richard G. Scott
(Adapted from an April 1989 general conference address. See Ensign, May 1989, pages 35–36.)
Blessed are all they that put their trust in [the Lord] (Ps. 2:12).

There came an anxious knock at the crude wooden door of the dwelling of two elders. When the door was opened, they saw a small girl crying. She had been running and was gasping for air. The elders struggled to piece together her message, delivered amid sobs: Her father had suffered a severe head injury and would die unless the elders saved his life. Men of the village were at that moment carrying him to the missionaries. She pleaded for her father’s life, then ran to be with him.

The elders were in an area with no doctors or medical facilities. There were no telephones. The only means of communication was a rough road up a riverbed, and they had no vehicle. The elders were not trained in medicine. Besides preaching the gospel, they labored diligently to improve the sanitation in their assigned, remote village. But the people of the valley trusted them, and although they did not know how to care for a serious head wound, they knew Someone who did. They knelt in prayer and explained their problem to an understanding Heavenly Father.

They felt impressed to clean the wound, close and bandage it, and give the man a blessing. One companion asked, “How will he stand the pain? How can we cleanse the wound and bless him while he is in such suffering?”

They knelt again. “We have no medicine. We have no anesthetic. Please help us to know what to do. Please bless him, Father.”

As they arose, friends arrived with the injured man. Even in the dim candlelight, they could see that he had been severely hurt and that he was suffering greatly. As they began to cleanse the man’s wound, an unusual thing happened: he fell asleep. Carefully, anxiously, they finished the cleansing, closed the wound, and provided a makeshift bandage. As they gently laid their hands on his head to bless him, he awoke peacefully. Their prayer had been answered, and his life saved. The trust of the people increased, and a branch of the Church flourished.

[illustration] Illustrated by Larry Winborg