Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Blessing to Heal

Today I visited Arvydas. He looks so much worse than in his pictures. He couldn’t come to the door. All of his hair is now missing. He had bloody scabs in both ears and his hands are withered and scaly. He can’t open his hands or show his palms.

His muscles have atrophied and his skin condition looks much worse.

He has had some sort of stem cell transplant. We should know in 3-6 months if it takes hold or not.

Although Arvydas is not a member of my faith, I nevertheless asked him if he’d like to receive a priesthood blessing, an invitation which he accepted.

The priesthood is the authority to act in the name of God. It was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith in the 1800s and was passed from those holding the authority on to me and other devout and worthy members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today.

While giving the blessing, by the laying on of hands, I wept for my friend. Prior to the holy ordinance I told Arvydas that I had thought to offer him a blessing while struggling myself in Iraq. I was at the lowest point of my life over there. Surely, he knows what it’s like to suffer. I was able to come home and leave my trials behind, but at the present time, Arvydas, isn’t able to be healed. Be it according to the will of the Lord.

To the invalid begging alms in front of the temple at the gate Beautiful, the Apostle Peter, who held the same priesthood authority, declared, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk…and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.”

Sometimes miracles happen. And yet if all ailments were immediately cured it would eliminate the need for faith. Sometimes our trials and ailments are our greatest assets and most worthwhile investments, though we wish they would disappear and ne’er return. Great blessings can come from great struggles and burdens. I believe I’ve changed for the better because of my pains, struggles, trials and burdens. Of greatest mention is a deeper desire to help others – a greater concern and love for all. The whole world could use more compassion and less war.

3 comments:

Cindi M said...

I had wondered how things were with him, so thank you for the update.

Bloodthirsty Warmonger said...

My sentiments exactly. Priesthood blessings are for the benefit of all of God's children who desire them. My prayers are with your friend Arvydas.

Candace E. Salima said...

My prayers are with your friend, Jeffrey. Many times the trials we are called upon to triumph over seem more than we can bear. It is at that very moment that the Lord wishes us to look to Him, for He has been there all along.