Abby B., Idaho, USA
Illustration by Dilleen Marsh
It was a pleasant August evening in Wyoming’s Wind River Range mountains. My family and I were hours away from civilization and six miles from our car. It was the last night of our three-day backpacking excursion, and none of us felt ready to hike the six long miles back to our car the next morning. As the cool of the night settled on our camp, my mom placed a pot of water on the stove to boil for hot chocolate. While waiting for the cocoa, my toddler sister dragged me into the woods for a game of hide-and-seek. When it grew dark, we decided to head back to camp.
As soon as we set foot in our campsite, a loud clang broke the silence of the night. Screams erupted in front of me. I looked up and saw my six-year-old sister, Hannah, standing near the pot that had held the boiling water. The water had fallen onto her leg, causing a gruesome second-degree burn that began to blister. Immediately, my parents dumped bottle after bottle of cold water on her leg. Whimpering, she was carried by my parents to the tent.
My siblings and I separated and each prayed for our sister. As I prayed, I felt comfort that Hannah would be OK. When we met back in camp, our family gathered in prayer and my dad gave Hannah a priesthood blessing. In it, he promised her that she would have the ability to hike the trail to the car with only minimal pain or discomfort. I looked at the red blister on her leg. It would take a miracle for his promise to be fulfilled, but I trusted in Heavenly Father to heal her.
Morning came bright and early. We took down camp except the tent where Hannah still slept. Then after gently waking her, our anxious family stood by to see whether or not she would be able to walk. We watched her take a first step and then a second. With only a slight limp, she walked out the tent door. We knew our prayers had been answered. True to the promise given in her blessing, Hannah hiked almost the full six miles to the car “with only minimal pain or discomfort.”
In Doctrine and Covenants 42:48, the Lord promises us, “He that hath faith in me to be healed … shall be healed.” I have seen the fulfillment of this promise. I know that through faith, Hannah was able to hike through the mountains without pain. My testimony of the power of the priesthood has grown tremendously from this experience. I will be eternally grateful to my Father in Heaven for the mercy he showed to a six-year-old girl in the wilderness.
Blessed by a Familiar Book
Sariah K., New York, USA
When my family first moved to Italy, I was in eighth grade and was extremely shy. I had a hard time making friends with people at school, and I was the only Church member in my grade. At lunchtime I felt so utterly alone that I ate as quickly as I could and rushed to the library to study or work on the computer.
This habit went on for months until one day I started studying at a new table. There was nothing that made this table particularly different from those around it, but the decision to sit at it changed my life. When I looked at the bookshelf by it, I saw the Book of Mormon. I was so excited to see something familiar. I decided to study the Book of Mormon each day during my lunch period.
Even though I didn’t have any friends in school, I soon learned that I could rely on Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I could feel myself becoming happier as I gained a testimony of His Church. Because I knew I was keeping the commandments, I gained more confidence in myself. Soon I tried out for the school play, and I gained the friends I desired and prayed for.
As I look back on that difficult first year in Italy, I am grateful there is “opposition in all things” (2 Nephi 2:11). Through this and other challenges, I was able to learn that the Church is true and also the greatest life lesson of all: Jesus Christ lives.
Baptizing My Brother
Jackson B., Montana, USA
Last year I had the opportunity to baptize my little brother. It was by far the most spiritual and rewarding experience in my life. As the second of nine children, I was 17 when my little brother Jase asked me if I would baptize him. I immediately felt unworthy. Although I hadn’t stolen anything or committed any major sin, I still felt as if I weren’t ready for such a great honor and responsibility. I felt like this was something my dad would be better at.
I explained my concerns to my parents, but they assured me that I could do this and that it would mean a lot to Jase if I did. With my parents’ encouragement, I agreed to baptize Jase and began to prepare myself mentally and spiritually so I could truly be worthy to use the Aaronic Priesthood power I had received.
On the day of the baptism, as my brother and I stepped into the font, a calm feeling came over me, and I was able to recite the words and perform the ordinance without a mistake. I believe many blessings have come from this one event. I not only drew closer to my brother, but I also drew closer to my family and the Lord. I know that this experience will always stand out as one of the most special in my life and that it will help me as I strive to prepare to serve a mission and give others the same opportunities to be blessed by the power of the gospel in their lives.
Just as Jackson B. wanted to live worthy to use his priesthood, you can too. Watch a Mormon Messages for Youth video about this topic, “Sanctify Yourselves,” with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at lds.org/go/33E.