So this week has had its ups and downs. The girl that we have closest to baptism is being held back by her mom, who's a less-active member. We went to her house yesterday to make sure she was coming to church, but her mom wouldn't even let her come out of the room because she said that her daughter was going to New Hope church with her... It's just hard because the daughter wants to come to church and get baptized so bad, but her mom won't let her.
All four of the missionaries in our branch also got assigned to teach the youth class for sunday school. Our old branch president used to do it, but since he moved there's nobody to teach so they asked us to do it until they can find a teacher. So that's been crazy and fun.
But yesterday at church we had a Marshallese member come up to us and give us shocking news. A couple of weeks ago he went in for a checkup at the doctor and they found cancer. He didn't tell us what type, or where it was, but they asked him to come back in a couple of days for additional testing. The day before he went back he asked my companion and I to come give him a blessing. He then told us yesterday that when he went to the doctor's office they couldn't find any sign of his cancer. They checked and re-checked, but it just wasn't there and they couldn't explain it.
This got me thinking how lucky we are to have the priesthood in our lives. It's literally God's power that he's given to his children on earth so that all of them might be blessed by it. I feel like even though I hold the priesthood, I too often take it for granted.
An example is a couple of weeks ago I was sick with the flu. For like four days I just popped pills, and felt miserable. It wasn't until I finally humbled myself enough to ask for a priesthood blessing that finally got better.
It's so incredible that God has enough trust in us, his fallen children, to trust us with His power. The same power by which the world was created, the same power by which Christ healed lepers, raised the dead, and made blind men see.
A church movie I like to watch tells the story of one of the early church members, John Tanner. His leg had contracted some incurable disease that would soon overtake him and lead to the loss of his life. He went to every physician and tried everything, but nothing worked. When he happened upon the elders they began to come to his house and teach him. They invited him to follow Christ's example and be baptized, but he replied he couldn't. Because of his leg he couldn't endure baptism. Then one of the elders stood up and asked him if he believed that Christ had healed the sick man at the Waters of Bethesda and that His apostles, Peter and John, had raised up a man to walk who was lame from birth. He replied that he knew these instances to be true. The missionary then asked him, if these instances are true, and those people were healed by the priesthood power, wouldn't that same power be found in Christ's church once again restored to the earth today? He then asked if John Tanner had faith to be healed. He replied yes, and was then commanded in the name of Christ and by priesthood authority to walk. His leg was instantaneously healed and he was baptized that night.
We really have a marvelous gift given to us by God, and should do all we can to treasure the significance of this.
Thanks once again for all you do for me.
Elder Sammy Merrill