Wednesday, July 7, 2010
My son did something today I didn’t do until I was much older. He asked an older man, who is not a member of our church, if he would like his son, Brian, to receive a priesthood blessing. The man said yes.
We believe that worthy men can be called and ordained to the receive the priesthood. Christ had the priesthood. He was a high priest in the Melchezidek priesthood. (See Hebrews 5.) He gave this authority to his disciples. That priesthood authority is the power of God to officiate in His name and enact the ordinances of salvation. Another function of the priesthood is to give blessings to the sick, downtrodden and seeking.
A year and a half ago, Brian played on the same football team as two of my sons. One son, in particular, formed a close friendship with Brian. Together they worked to improve as football players year-round. They also went snowmobiling in the winter, floated the creek in the summer, and played video games often. Brian spent a lot of time at our house. He was always polite and fun. When I opened the door and saw him standing on our back step I always had to return his smile. He brightened everything with his fun, quiet nature.
After graduation, Brian received a scholarship to play football at college. He came to our house when he could but we didn’t see him as much as before. I missed him. I also worried about him. So did my son.
We knew Brian had begun drinking. He told my son several times he liked hanging out at our house and around his LDS friends because he didn’t feel he needed to drink to have fun. It was a different kind of fun. It was clean fun. He didn’t have to worry about what he did.
We asked Brian if he wanted to learn more about what we believed. He said, ‘definitely’ but we were slow in our follow-through and one lonely night Brian was involved in a drunk-driving accident. The accident left him in a coma for a month and now he is permanently brain-injured.
Recently, while visiting Brian, my son explained priesthood blessings to Brian’s father. He then asked his father if he would like Brian to receive a priesthood blessing. The man said yes. My son called, excited that we could help Brian and his family in a way no doctor or therapist could.
The call touched my heart. It took courage for my son, who is still in high school, to ask an adult such a question and explain priesthood blessings to him. It also took faith. How grateful I am that my son has faith in the power of the priesthood—faith enough to know that it can bless the lives of others--and faith enough in its importance to share that knowledge with a non-member.
I also feel very strongly the blessing won’t just bless Brian. It will bless my son and all those people who deeply love Brian, both on this side of the veil and the other. Furthermore, I strongly feel that there are those on the other side of the veil who have prayed that someone would offer to give their beloved Brian a priesthood blessing.
Priesthood blessings always touch more lives than one. And that is so appropriate, because Brian has also touched many more lives than one.