William’s Faith


(Based on a true incident)
All things are possible to him that believeth (Mark 9:23).

Twelve-year-old William Moroni Palmer leaned against his mother’s arm. “Read the story about David and Goliath,” he said.

“I read that one to you yesterday.”

“Then how about Daniel and the lions?”

“You already know that by heart.”

“I know. But David and Daniel were so brave. I wish I was as brave as they were.”

“They were more than brave,” his mother said. “They also had great faith in the Lord. They knew He would help them.” She put her arm around her son. “Besides, you are as brave as they were. Every day you face a world of darkness, and every day you face it with a smile.”

William reached for the Bible his mother held, and she put it into his hand. He gently caressed the cover. “Oh, I wish I could read it!”

His mother tousled his hair. “You can read it in your mind,” she said, her voice growing firm. “Daniel 6:23.” [Dan. 6:23]

William sat up tall. “‘Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.’”

“Very good,” his mother said. “Because you have memorized it, you can read it any time you’d like.”

Just then his father stepped into the room. “It’s official,” he reported. “Elder Heber C. Kimball is coming to the conference your mother and I will be attending in Ogden.”

“He’s in the First Presidency now!” His mother jumped to her feet and ran to the front door. “Hyrum,” she called to William’s brother, “come here, please. I have something wonderful to tell you!”

For the next several hours, William’s parents, his married brother and sister, and even nine-year-old Hyrum excitedly talked about the upcoming conference.

William only listened. Ever since he had learned that President Kimball was coming, a great shivery feeling had filled his heart. Did he truly have enough courage—and enough faith—to ask what he so desperately wanted to ask?

After a while, his mother returned to his side. “What is it, Son?” she asked. “Aren’t you excited too?”

William nodded. “Yes, but …” He swallowed hard. “Mother, would you ask President Kimball to come to our place after the conference and bless me so that I can see?”

His mother pulled him into her arms. “Dear William, do you believe that you can be healed?” she asked.

William thought of Daniel climbing out of the lions’ den. He pictured David swinging his slingshot above his head. “I know I can, Mama, if he will come and if the Lord wills it.”

“Then I will bring him. He gave me a blessing to heal me when I was dying in Nauvoo, and he promised that he’d shake hands with me in the west, so I’m sure that he will come.”

When conference day arrived that day in 1858, William’s father gathered his family for prayer. He prayed that he and his wife would have a safe journey, that all would be well at home, and that William would receive his sight, if it was God’s will. Then the boys’ parents left for the conference.

While they were gone, William spent most of his time in his parents’ room, praying. “Please, Heavenly Father,” he pleaded, “let President Kimball come.”

Finally, just as the warm afternoon air was beginning to cool, William heard the clickety-jingle of the family surrey. He ran to the front door and listened harder. The Apostle’s voice!

“Is this the boy you told me of?” President Kimball asked as he stepped through the door.

“It is,” his mother said. “But would you like to eat with us first?”

This must come first. He has waited long enough.”

William’s father placed a chair in the middle of the room for William to sit on. Then he and President Kimball gave William a blessing.

“Open your eyes, Brother William,” President Kimball said, “and you shall see.”

William’s eyes flew open. He sat stunned for a moment, then jumped from his chair and ran out the door. “Oh! I can see! I can see! Oh, Mama, I can see!” Then he fell to the ground and hugged it.

How grateful he was that God had not only restored his sight but had also taught him that if he had faith in Him, all things were possible.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Mark Robison