My companion and I were recently called by a sick member of The Church. He was sick and desired us to stop by and give him a priesthood blessing. Giving blessings to the sick and afflicted was a common practice in Christ’s primitive church, and it remains the same in His church that He restored in this day and age, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. (James 5:14)
When we arrived at this member’s house, his wife led us to where her husband lay sick in his bed. We were surprised to see that his condition was actually quite serious. He barely possessed enough energy to speak to us, but he expressed his gratitude repeatedly. We anointed him with consecrated oil and sealed a blessing upon him using the power of the priesthood. The Spirit became strong and this gentleman pointed it out as soon as the blessing was done. He thanked us kindly for the service and testified to us of the power of the priesthood and his faith in the Lord.
He then began to explain what had happened to him. Some medication he took reacted badly and he fell. Unable to get himself back up, he called several members of the congregation in hopes that someone would be able to assist him. One member would have gladly helped, but had no gas to make it to his house. The others never returned the calls. It was his neighbor who eventually found him and was able to lift him back onto his bed. My sorrow for this man quickly turned to anger against those members, and I imagined that if I was in this man’s position I would be a pretty bitter person.
This member’s attitude was completely opposite. Rather than complaining about his unresponsive friends, he quickly praised them. With long, tired breaths, he told us what good people they are, and that they simply live busy lives. He told us that years ago, he had made a conviction to never speak ill of anyone. This man’s show of Christ-like love brought tears to my eyes, which I quickly wiped away.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (John 13:34)
This man truly understood the meaning of Christ’s commandment to love one another, and he helped me to develop a stronger testimony of this commandment. Though he was physically weak, I could feel the Spirit strongly in his words. In a way I almost felt rebuked, but I knew that my companion and I had been sent to see this man and feel of his spirit. He was content, and although he is being put through a sore trial, he is happy. This is the power of Christ-like love.