Sister Stratton’s Miracle

By Diane K. Cahoon

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(A true incident)And whoso shall ask it in my name in faith … shall cause the blind to receive their sight (D&C 35:9).

“She can’t see! The fever has left Sister Stratton completely blind!” The news swept rapidly through the little pioneer town of Virgin, Utah. Sister Emily Amanda Gardner Stratton, beloved Primary president in the Virgin Ward, had lost her sight following a sudden illness. She had lovingly and faithfully served the children in the southern Utah town for fifteen years, and she had helped many of the ward members in times of trouble. Now it was she who needed help. But how could they help her?

The local doctor had done everything he could for her and had advised her family to take her to the nearest hospital, which was in St. George, Utah. It was her only hope if she was to see again.

For weeks, the doctors in St. George tried every treatment that they knew, but nothing seemed to work. When their last treatment failed, Sister Stratton sent word that she wanted to come home.

The children and Primary workers in Virgin had prayed diligently for her recovery. When they heard that the doctors had given up, they were even more determined to do whatever they could to help their dedicated Primary president.

Someone suggested that they hold a special fast for her. They knew that if they had faith and fasted and prayed, Heavenly Father would help her in ways they could not.

It was difficult to go without food all day, but even the youngest Primary children fasted and prayed for their beloved leader.

That evening, they all met at the tiny meetinghouse to close their fast with prayer. Afterward, they felt great peace and joy and knew that Heavenly Father had heard their prayers. The sunset was glorious, casting rays of red and gold throughout the western sky as they went to their homes.

A few days later, Sister Stratton’s wagon creaked as it rolled along the dusty road toward Virgin. The children and Primary leaders hurried to greet her and tell her of their special fast.

“What time was your fast meeting, children?” Sister Stratton asked.

“It was at sunset!” one child exclaimed.

Sister Stratton sat back. Her eyes filled with tears as she spoke. “At sunset on that day, I was sitting in a chair by the west window of my hospital room. As I looked up, I saw the sunset for the first time since the fever stole my sight. Yes, children, I can see!”

The loving prayers and faith-filled fasting of the Virgin Ward Primary had been answered with a miracle. For the rest of Sister Stratton’s life, she was blessed with perfect eyesight.

Illustrated by Jerry Thompson