Serving in the Church

Can You Give Me a Blessing?


Can You Give Me a Blessing?

The snow was falling hard as I slowly drove up the hill. If I could just get to the top, I thought, I could make it home safely. But as I negotiated a curve, I saw a downhill car swerving out of control and coming straight at me. I had time only to scream before the impact, and then I blacked out.

I had no sense of how much time had passed when I tried to open my eyes. The snow bit at my face as it blew in through a shattered side window. I struggled to remember basic information, like where I had been going before the accident. Alone and frightened, I cried out from the throbbing pain in my shoulder and chest. I pleaded with Heavenly Father that my injuries wouldn’t be too extensive and that I would be all right.

A few moments later I felt a hand holding mine. Instinctively, I grasped it. I opened my eyes and saw a man in a black coat and hat standing outside my crushed car. He said his wife had seen the crash from their home, and he came to see if he could help. He held my hand and told me I would be OK.

I tried to ask the man if he was a Latter-day Saint, but all I could whisper was, “Can you give me a blessing?”

He said yes and then reached through the broken window and placed his hands on my head.

I don’t remember what he said. But I remember thinking that I would be all right because I had received a blessing. I felt peace and comfort.

When the ambulance arrived, I lost track of the man. A few hours later I left the hospital with a broken rib and many bumps and bruises but no serious injuries.

That morning I had prayed that I would travel in safety, and at first I thought Heavenly Father hadn’t answered my prayer. But I soon realized that He had and that He had not left me alone. My prayer was answered through a willing priesthood holder who lived just a few steps away from the site of my accident, an accident which could have left me in a much more serious condition.

I wouldn’t recognize the man’s face if I passed him on the street. I wouldn’t remember his voice if I heard him say hello. But I am grateful for this stranger who was worthy and willing to administer a priesthood blessing when I needed one.

According to Their Faith

“Only Melchizedek Priesthood holders may administer to the sick or afflicted. Normally two or more priesthood holders administer to the sick, but one may perform both the anointing and the sealing alone if necessary. …

“Brethren should administer to the sick at the request of the sick person or of those who are vitally concerned so the blessing will be according to their faith.”

Handbook 2: Administering the Church (2010), 20.6.1.

Illustration by Brian Call