The Power Of Faith


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Gene R. Cook

Let me tell you an example of a young man.  We'll call him Raymond.  I think the family of this young man exemplifies the love, confidence, and trust that must exist in family relationships.

Raymond found himself quite ill as he was serving his mission in a distant land.  He had many digestive problems and the mission president was considering sending him home due to his poor health.  To compound his problems, one day while out walking, he found himself with a severe pain in his left foot.  He couldn't even walk to the discussion he and his companion had planned.  They went to the doctor who said, "It's just arthritis caused by the damp weather.  If you'll stay off your foot for two or three days the pain will pass."

The young man did so.  He also had a priesthood blessing, but nothing happened. He was a district leader at the time, and his district had just begun to baptize in a city where there had not been baptisms for some time.  He could not understand how the Lord could allow him to remain down for those days when his district was just beginning to have success.

A week went by, two weeks, three weeks, a month in bed.  He was still incapacitated with no change in the pain in his foot.  Finally, he was taken to the mission home in the capital city where more suitable medical facilities were found.

An X-ray was taken.  One of the bones in his foot had been fractured or broken and had then grown back together incorrectly.  The doctors talked of either breaking the bone again or giving him some special electrical treatments that were supposed to fuse the bone 
correctly, but it would take another month.  He was down again, going for treatments twice a day.  The treatments didn't make any difference.  This problem, on top of his other medical problems, had him somewhat discouraged, and again the consideration came to 
send him home.

One morning, after nearly three months, he stepped out of bed to find absolutely no pain in his foot.  He stepped on the foot gently, then stamped on it, then ran with his companion for a mile that morning, totally healed.  With great joy he returned immediately 
to the field to work.

Two more weeks went by.  A letter arrived from home that said, "Dear son," and then followed a paragraph or two of chastisement for not having told his family about his ailments in the mission field.  They indicated that they had learned of his problems from another 
missionary, a friend of his, who had written home.  In great love they wrote, "We have begun a fast and constant prayer for you as a family.  We also have placed your name on the temple prayer list and hope that it might be of help to you."

As he tearfully read the letter and examined his journal, he found that the day that he had risen from his bed healed was the very day the letter had been written, the very day his family began praying and exercising faith for their distant son.

How could that be, across 7,000 miles?  I suppose no man knows, but the reality of the power of faith cannot be denied.  Remember the counsel--trust in the Lord. 
Your Faith Combined with Theirs:

My brothers and sisters, think of the great love your parents have for you and the sacrifices they have made for you which reach not just across 7,000 miles but across the eternities.  Stay close to your families.  Counsel with your parents and your brothers and 
sisters. Your faith combined with their faith will see you through any problem.  They can help you tremendously with the major decisions, the big ones you face in life.

The Lord said, "Honour thy father and thy mother:  that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee" (Exodus 20:12).  The ties that draw you close to your family ought to be continually strengthened.  How ungrateful some of us are.  How 
little we know of the sacrifices of our parents for us.

How many of you know, for example, how many times your mother was up with you when you were a child with all the sleepless nights, how many times she wiped your tears, bandaged your knees, taught you of God, and cheered you up, even when she was discouraged and her heart was broken.

What do you know of your father who worked to sustain your family when he didn't feel like it, when he didn't want to, when he was discouraged and down--but he daily, monthly, yearly, went to work anyway.  How much time and effort has it taken to raise you to the point you are at this time?  How many thousands of hours, sleepless nights, fasting, and prayers have they invested in you for you to reach this point in your maturity (see 2 Nephi 4:5-7)?

How wise you would be to write them and express your love to them regularly. They hang on every word that comes from you of whom they are so proud.  Allow them to be part of your life.  Let them assist you in those key decisions.  If those relationships 
are not now in order, find a way to put them in order.

"Trust in the Lord" - Gene R. Cook - BYU Dev.