My Dad is my hero. He is an amazing example to me. He was baptized a little over a year ago and I want to share with you one of the things that lead him to being baptized. It's an experience that testifies of Priesthood blessings and how the Lord leads us through trials.
This is a picture of my family back in 1996. Garett, my twin brother is on the far left and I'm on the far right. What you can't see by this picture is what we were truly going through at the time. This picture was taken right after my Dads first chemotherapy treatment.
|The back of the picture|
It was June 15, 1996 when my Dad was diagnosed with "Gastric Lymphoma" or stomach cancer. My Mom happened to be a nurse in the Cancer Center at the hospital and had worked with cancer patients for years. She knew the depth of the risk of my Dads cancer.
My Dad told me about the experience of finding this out:"It was the weirdest thing. Mom was working in the Cancer Center at the time and a lot of time I would pick her up for lunch. When picking her up, I would go in there and see the people being treated for cancer. There were two lines of recliners that patients would sit in and get infused with chemo therapy. I remember thinking how thankful I was that I wasn't in one of the recliners.....I went in and got my stomach scoped. I was out of it but I remember hearing the doctor say "It doesn't look good. Two days later, I was in one of those recliners....I remember praying and asking the Lord to please let me be able to be here to watch my boys grow up."
He had a tumor the size of a grapefruit on the wall of his stomach.
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
Priesthood authority, the authority to act in Gods name, has been restored through a modern day prophet. It's the same Priesthood that Christ held and his Apostles. As a result, blessings of healing have been restored.
It was that very same day when my Dad had his first chemo treatment that he called over two worthy Priesthood holders to come and give him a Priesthood blessing. Even though he wasn't a member, he had the faith that it would help.
My Moms' testimony on the blessing that my Dad received:
"The Spirit was so strong you could feel it in the room. Brother Cooper gave the blessing and he was so overcome with the Spirit he was somewhat weak after giving it and had to stand in one place for a minute to gain his strength and composure. He later said that during and after that blessing was the strongest he had ever felt the Spirit. After that blessing I had peace in my heart and knew that everything would be okay. After that I really didn't worry about Dad dying, I felt that the Lord would heal him along with the chemotherapy and everything would be alright."
My Dad was healed and has been cancer free ever since. Not only that, but this was a trial in my Dads' life that helped him to have a softer heart towards the restored gospel. He has since been baptized and would attribute this experience of getting cancer as a big turning point towards accepting the gospel into his life.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
The Lord puts trials in our lives to help us to grow, to learn and to become more like Him. He chastens us because he loves us. When we look at the situations we are in as "learning experiences", we will grow and reach that full potential that the Lord sees in us.
I am so grateful that the church of Jesus Christ has been restored on the Earth along with the Priesthood. It's that Priesthood that saved my Dad. Because of this trial, my family is even closer to becoming a forever family. The Lord is very aware of each of us.