Peace in the Night

“Ana, Ana, wake up!” The urgent cry finally woke me, and I instinctively jumped out of bed. From outside came more anguished words from my sister’s husband—“Hurry! We’ve had an accident. Your sister is in the hospital!”

It was 1977. Only four years earlier I had left Costa Rica to live in Los Angeles, California. Now my sister was close to losing her life, thousands of kilometers away form the rest of our family.

After making our way to the medical center, we climbed the stairs, took an elevator, and located the intensive care unit. We opened the doors, and there, surrounded by doctors and medical equipment, was the inert body of my sister.

A nurse saw us and led us away. We waited in the cold hallway all night long, feeling no comfort from the stark walls as the hours ticked away. When the doctor finally met with us, his prognosis was not encouraging.

As I sat there on a cold bench, my thoughts turned to the power of the priesthood. My sister was not a member of the Church, but oh, how I wanted her to have a blessing! I called by bishop and asked if he would administer to her. When he assented, my heart overflowed with gratitude. I knew that everything would be all right.

A short time later, he arrived and gave my sister a blessing. Then he gave me a blessing. I was told that “the Lord knows where your sister is most needed.” Of course, I believed that she was most needed here. She had three small children to rear.

Two days after the accident, my sister died. The Lord took her home.

What I remember now is the serenity that took possession of me during those difficult hours. Exactly one year after her death, I did vicarious work for her in the temple. I have no doubt that the power of the priesthood is real.

[illustration] Illustrated by Doug Fakkel