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Friday, November 2, 2012

Of Blessings, Healings and Pretzels

My husband's patriarchal blessing tells him that he has "the gift of healing." Traditionally, we have viewed this gift rather narrowly. For example, since he holds the priesthood, he is able to administer a healing blessing to those who are sick or injured.

In order to not abuse or exploit this gift, he tries to remain humble about it and follow Church policy and procedures in exercising it. For example, he doesn't brag about it and he follows all correct procedures when he offers, or is asked to administer, a healing blessing.


In the 1980's he and another priesthood holder were dispatched to give an infant a blessing. It was not intended to be a healing blessing because the infant had been treated by a renown children's hospital and been sent home to die. Medical science could do nothing for the child. The blessing would be to comfort the family and help ease the infant out of this life.

In the blessing, my husband pronounced that the child would live and be a special light and influence in the family. Many other precious promises were made. A few years later he saw the living embodiment of all these promises fulfilled.

This embodies what we usually think of as the "gift of healing" and there are many examples in his past of this occurring.


Recently though, we decided that his gift needs to be interpreted more broadly. In other words, his gift doesn't appear to be confined to just priesthood blessings. Consider the next example of when he was young and before he joined the Church or had the priesthood.

In the 1960s, he was managing a restaurant. While making french fries, one of his workers dropped a pair of tongs in a hot oil vat used to fry the french fries. Reflexively, the boy plunged his whole arm into the oil to retrieve the tongs. He quickly pulled his arm out but the damage was done. His screams and the oil dripping from his arm relayed to my husband what had happened. He calmly walked the boy over to a sink where he hosed the oil off the boy's arm. He yelled for others workers to bring ice from the freezer. He packed the boy's arm in ice and transported him to the hospital.

Keep in mind that the conventional wisdom, and medical position at the time, was to coat any burn with butter. To this day he cannot explain why he acted the way he did. Initially, medical personnel castigated him for NOT applying butter.

However, they finally concluded that his quick thinking, calm action and especially his innovative solution saved the boy's arm.

My husband seems to know exactly what to do in either a serious health crisis or a minor emergency. For these reasons, I let him doctor me for anything.

Throughout his years managing factories, or as a first responder working in law enforcement, he continued to respond to medical issues with insight and skill.

This past week, one of our new residents called and asked directions to the local hospital. One of her boys had gotten a pretzel stuck in his ear and it was lodged deep, bleeding slightly and she was unable to get it out. The boy could not hear.

Although we had just walked in the door, he told her to bring the boy over and he would see what he could do. Within minutes, he had dislodged the pretzel with an ear bulb. A followup call established the ear is just fine. This saved the young family money, time and angst.

It is evident my husband has the gift of healing, whether in healing blessings or simply the knowledge and inclinations to pursue a correct course of healing action.

There are other multiple examples I could cite.

Sometimes it's a life.

Sometimes it's a limb.

And sometimes it's an ear, with a pretzel stuck in it.