Eli looked at the pile of homework his friend had dropped off after school. Eli had missed another week of school because of an ear infection.
That evening Eli’s parents came into his room. His mom sat on the side of Eli’s bed and took his hand. “Eli, the doctor thinks you need an operation,” she said.
“What kind of operation?”
“He wants to put tubes in your ears to keep you from getting more infections,” Mom said. “It won’t hurt, and you’ll be out of the hospital in a day.” She squeezed his hand.
Eli trusted his parents. But the idea of having an operation scared him. He thought about the story he had heard in Primary about Joseph Smith. When Joseph was seven years old, the bone in his leg became infected. The infection got worse until the doctor decided that he must remove part of the bone or Joseph might lose his leg or even die.
In Joseph Smith’s day, doctors gave people liquor to help numb the pain during an operation, but Joseph refused the liquor the doctor suggested he drink. And he refused to be tied to the bed. He said that if his father held him, he wouldn’t move. Joseph’s father held him tightly in his arms throughout the painful surgery. The operation was successful, and Joseph recovered.
Eli thought about Joseph’s courage and faith in his father. “Can I have a blessing, Dad?” he asked. Eli knew a priesthood blessing could help him. At the beginning of the school year, Eli’s father had given him a blessing.
“That’s a great idea,” his father said.
Eli’s mother folded her arms and bowed her head. Eli felt his father’s hands on his head. His father’s voice grew in confidence as he blessed Eli that he would not be scared and that he would recover completely.
When the blessing was over, Eli was no longer afraid. “I can have the operation now,” he said.
Three days later he went to the hospital and returned home the next day. The ear infections soon stopped, and Eli quickly made up the schoolwork he had missed.
Eli was grateful that he was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that he could be blessed through the priesthood.
“The priesthood is … an opportunity to bless the lives of others.” 5
President Thomas S. Monson
“Priesthood Power,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 50.
Illustrations by Dilleen Marsh