We have so many examples of miracles in the Holy Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. Miracle after miracle, such as:
- The healing of a leper. (Luke 5:12-13)
- The healing of a man with palsy. (Luke 5:18-25)
- The raising of a dead man. (John 11:1-2,5,11,14,43)
- The healing of a blind man. (John 9:1-12)
Just to name a few. But many have said that miracles ended with the Bible. Many say Jesus Christ is not God. They denigrate the great and crowning glory of mankind, the Atonement, as a falsehood. They deny the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ: Jehovah of the Old Testament and the Messiah of the New Testament. They say that God no longer speaks to man.
I challenge all that and I say miracles do exist to this very day. I say that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and a member of the Godhead, our Savior and Redeemer. I say the Atonement did happen, that Jesus was crucified, died and broke the bands of death with His Resurrection. All this is truth. God is the same yesterday, today and forever.
In my library is a personally inscribed, leather-bound copy of this classic treatment of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. As I have perused its pages, I have paused at the section entitled “The Miracles of Jesus.” I remember as though it were yesterday President [J. Reuben] Clark asking me to read to him several of these accounts while he sat back in his large leather chair and listened. That was a day in my life never to be forgotten.
President Clark asked me to read aloud the account found in Luke concerning the man filled with leprosy. I proceeded to read . . .
When I had read these scriptural stories aloud, President Clark removed from his pocket a handkerchief and wiped the tears from his eyes. He commented, “As we grow older, tears come more frequently.” After a few words of good-bye, I departed from his office, leaving him alone with his thoughts and his tears.
As I reflect on this experience with President Clark, my heart fills with gratitude to the Lord for His divine intervention to relieve the suffering, heal the sick, and raise the dead. I grieve, however, for the many, similarly afflicted, who knew not how to find the Master, to learn of His teachings, and to become the beneficiaries of His power. I remember that President Clark himself suffered heartache and pain in the tragic death at Pearl Harbor of his son-in-law Mervyn S. Bennion, captain of the battleship West Virginia. That day there had been no ram in the thicket, no steel to stop the shrapnel, no miracle to heal the wounds of war. But faith never wavered, and answered prayers provided the courage to carry on. (Thomas S. Monson, “Miracles of Faith,” Ensign, Jul 2004, 2–7)
May I briefly share a recent experience in my life which testifies of a loving, giving Father in Heaven?
As I have mentioned before, in previous posts, my husband will be receiving a kidney transplant next Tuesday, April 15, 2008. He was diagnosed with renal failure seven years ago when he weighed 425 pounds. He has worked out, when he was strong enough, enough to have lost 130 pounds. A miracle in and of itself because he did not use drugs, appetite suppressants or have a gastric bypass. He just paid attention to what he ate and drank and exercised when he was strong enough.
The last two years have been particularly hard on him, multiple hospital stays and ICU stints with every single one of them. He’s grown weaker and weaker as the 7 years of dialysis began to take a huge toll on him. But he could not get a kidney transplant until he’d lost all the weight.
The week Mitt Romney dropped out of the presidential race we found out the donor we’d counted on had also been disqualified. For the first time in my life my unshakable faith was shaken. No, not because of Mitt Romney, but because suddenly, there was no longer a donor and my husband was in the hospital one more time, having gone septic again, and I feared he would not live long enough to find another donor.
My heart was broken and I cried out to my God in pain, sorrow and fear. I couldn’t understand how this had happened and I didn’t know where to go from there. I had believe all along, with a deep and abiding faith, that this woman would save Alvin’s life. But a familial disease she’d never mentioned before suddenly took her out of the running.
Three days after Alvin was admitted to the hospital a young woman came to visit. She learned of the loss of the donor and immediately stepped up to the plate. Three weeks after that the phone call came and she was a match.
A modern-day miracle.
As the process moved forward, rather quickly, we learned that Alvin had to lose a drastic amount of weight in a relatively short amount of time. We tightened our diet more, began working out four times a week and redoubled our efforts. He lost 22 pounds, but it was not enough. There were 50 stubborn remaining pounds, all centered around his belly, that were not coming off. He’d gone from a 58″ waist to a 44″ waist, and it still wasn’t enough. But we kept working out and praying hard. Family and friends joined us in the fasting and praying, weight continued to come off. Still not enough.
I received a phone call from our transplant coordinator and she said Alvin would need to have a tummy tuck before the transplant, or rather, tummy tuck and while Alvin was still open, the kidney would then be placed inside. The catch? Although the $250,000 surgery and post care were completely covered by insurance, the tummy tuck was not. We had a week-and-a-half to raise the $2,500 in cash.
Upon further questioning, I learned that any fat around the abdomen could damage the newly implanted kidney which would be placed right behind the abdominal wall. To insure the protection of that kidney, that remaining fat had to be removed.
We’d just concluded a medical bankruptcy and had nothing left. Nothing at all. Again, my faith was shaken. It should not have been, but it was. How on earth would we raise $2,500 in a short amount of time. We’d sold everything that could be sold. The bankruptcy court took our tax return and everything in our bank accounts. We literally had nothing left.
Again, I knelt in anguished prayer and when the answer came to me it was something we did not want to do. Alvin and I are hard workers and prefer to work for what we get than ask for help. It’s simply how we were raised and who we are. But the answer came to send an email to family and friends and explain the situation asking for help.
It took me four days of begging for any other solution, any pay off for the incredible amount of work I’d put in on numerous projects, any pay off for the thousands of dollars owed to me . . . but nothing happened. This past Saturday I knelt once again and the same answer came to me once again. I reluctantly walked down to my home office and composed an email. I set up a Paypal account for the purpose of collecting the donations and a bank account to download them into. And then I hit send.
My heart heavy, I went upstairs to our bedroom, curled up on our bed and cried. This may have meant to be a humbling experience, but instead it was so humiliating to us that we could scarcely hold our heads up.
Within fifteen minutes money began to pour in. Over the course of the next 48 hours more funds began to accumulate until we have almost reached the required monies.
A modern-day miracle.
I have been the recipient of miracle after miracle in my 44 plus years of life. And yet, this day in this week in this month, more miracles have poured in than we can possibly count.
Yes, sometimes faith is shaken. But if you keep believing, more so, if you simply trust in the Lord then, if it is His will, the miracles will come. If they don’t come, there is a specific reason and purpose and it gives us the opportunity to ask what we are to learn.
I testify with my entire heart and soul that we are children of a loving Heavenly Father. I testify that His Son, Jesus Christ, descended from His heavenly throne to fulfill His mission of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39) Through Him, and only through Him, is the path to eternal exaltation. We were never meant to walk this path alone. The development of faith, which precedes the miracle, is sometimes a slow process, but it is a journey and a gift. But I promise you that great happiness await when we reach out to the Savior and give Him our burdens.
I testify to you of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored in its entirety. We were meant to be happy, even in the toughest and most tragic set of circumstances. That peace, which brings happiness, comes from the Holy Ghost, the Comforter and the Testifier of Truth.
Believe, for God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Miracles still exist and they always will.