When the Spirit Calls…

By Gary McDonald of Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

The temple shall be dedicated to the pursuit of peace. It shall be for reconciliation and for healing of the Spirit.  Doctrine and Covenants 156:5a

I received a call from a member of our congregation who asked me to visit her father in the hospital. I agreed to meet her there. My wife, Claire, went with me. We went in, sat down, and waited.

While waiting, a woman came through the emergency-room doors, pushing a wheelchair. In the chair sat a woman in perhaps her late teens or early 20s who was doubled up and crying loudly.

 She was seriously upset and wracked with pain.

Something inside me said, “You’re an elder. Go over and offer the sacrament of laying on of hands for the sick.” I told myself, “No.” I really didn’t want to do that for a complete stranger in such a public place.

Then I began to feel guilty.

Shortly after, our friend came in with her father. She checked him in quickly because they thought he was suffering a heart attack. We followed them into a ward and waited. When the doctor finished I offered the sacrament of laying on of hands for the sick. The prayer comforted this man of faith.

As we were leaving we passed the young woman in the wheelchair. She was still crying loudly and in great pain. Again the voice inside urged me to offer the sacrament to her. Again I denied the voice and kept walking. We went through the doors and were almost across the parking lot when I heard a voice ring out. “Gary. Come back. There’s someone here who needs prayer.”

I knew who that someone was, and we returned.

I introduced myself to a person who might have been her mother. I explained I was a minister and asked if she wanted me to pray for her daughter. She immediately said, “Yes.”

She was grateful. During the prayer she kept saying, “Thank you Jesus.” After the prayer we visited a while and then left. Later we learned the young woman had quieted down after the prayer and seemed comforted. The lesson for me was, when the Spirit calls…answer.

Prayer for Peace:

Holy Spirit, we are listening for you. Call us to reconciliation and healing of the spirit. Call us to peace. We will answer your call.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Growing a Gracious, Generous Heart

Open your heart to God’s grace and generosity with a “breath prayer.” Let your breathing slow and deepen. Spend several minutes focusing on breathing in God’s generosity. With each breath, silently name one gift for which you are thankful. “God, I breathe in the gift of  _______ with thanks.” With each breath out, name one gift you want to share from the overflow of your heart.

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will answer your call and do what you call me to do.

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