Aaron R. (also known as Rico) is a life-long British member of the church. He supports QPR F.C., listens to Mumford and Sons and is currently completing a Ph.D in Sociology. He has two daughters (Amelie and Jude) and lives just outside London in a tiny flat with a wife who wishes he would get a proper job, earn some real money and stop blogging at Mormon Matters. We’re delighted to have Aaron as our guest.
When my first daughter, Amelie, was 7 months old she fell off the table onto the floor.
A mixture of neglect and thoughtlessness caused the accident. We tried to comfort her as best we could and she seemed to settle down fairly quickly. We thought everything was fine, although we acknowledged how lucky we were.
Later that day, we took Amelie to the park but noticed that she was not responding to sound in the way we grown accustomed in those first few months. We tried different tests but nothing seemed to elicit the expected response. We began to suspect the fall had caused some damage to her hearing.
Walking quickly back to our flat we discussed the possible options and my wife suggest that I give her a blessing, and I agreed. As we sat together as a family on my couch, my wife holding my daughter, I anointed her head (still soft from her birth) and then gave her a blessing.
I have always struggled to give blessings of healing. I fear making false promises to individuals who might desperately hold onto any idea of hope or healing and then see them fail. Moreover, though I believe in God’s power to heal, I also am unsure about the role I play as a Priesthood holder. Am I a vehicle, conduit, or petitioner?
With hands placed upon my daughters head, holding back tears, I could find no words. The impressions I have experienced so readily with other blessings of comfort or ordination seemed to dry up; and I was left alone. Brigham Young’s words haunted my attempts to connect with God’s spirit and love: ‘In many instances our anxiety is so great that we do not pause to know the spirit of revelation and its operations upon the human mind. We have anxiety instead of faith.’
Anxiety crippled my faith.
I muttered some empty words with a heavy heart and closed in the name of Jesus Christ. Our hospital visit showed no signs of damage and our daughter, to this day, has no problem with her hearing.
Driving home we discussed my blessing and whether it had an impact; I was skeptical because of my own lack of faith in giving the blessing. I felt that we had simply mis-read the signs, but my wife believed that it was possible that the offering of my faith to the Lord was enough. ‘Lord I believe; help thou my unbelief’.
This struggle returns to me now, because my step-father (one of the greatest and most faithful people that I know) is dying of Motor-Neurons Disease; and I want to heal him – for me and for my mother.
But I am not sure that I have the faith.