I have grown up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints my entire life, I have had priesthood blessings on countless occasions and seen the power of the priesthood working over and over again, and I still stand in awe at the miracles that are wrought through the name of Jesus Christ by his servants on the earth each time I see another miracle happen.
My adopted grandparents, Andrew and Diana, are Catholic-Italian-New Yorkers, and my former neighbors. They have a rich history of faith, family, and love for America. In 2003, I believe, Andrew's daughter Marie (across the country in New York) was on her death bed literally dying when I felt the urgency to offer to call my adopted grandparents and the elders from our Church to coordinate a priesthood blessing for Marie. Andrew and Diana were open to that, and the elders went to the hospital and administered a blessing for the sick, using holy consecrated oil. That same night, or within 24 hours, Marie was moved to the top of the transplant list, when there had been no hope for her before, and she got a liver transplant. She is still living to this day. It was undoubtedly a miracle that was wrought because of the faith of those involved and because of the will of the Lord. After hearing the accounts of how dire the situation was from the Ferrante's, there is no doubt in my mind that Marie would have died had it not been for the priesthood blessing she was given, and the power of the faith involved that day.
On Friday of last week, Andrew was hospitalized. He couldn't breathe and the paramedics couldn't get his heart to stablize. He had a surgery to get 2 stints and a balloon in his heart. Saturday morning the proceedure failed and they had to do it again. The doctors told his family that he had only hours to live, even with the machine pumping his heart for him. Diana called my father in tears, telling him that she was losing Andrew. We all basically went to the hospital to say our good-byes to Andrew and to give our love to Diana and their family at the hospital--Dante, Linda, Amanda, and Maria. Diana asked us to pray for him, so we did. Yesterday, on Sunday I called and asked her how she was doing, and we talked about what was happening. As we talked, she brought up what happened with Marie, and I felt impressed to ask her if when she asked us to pray for him, if she meant that she hoped my father would have given Andrew a priesthood blessing, and she confirmed that was what she was hoping would have happened when we visited the day before. I promptly called my father, and an hour and a half later my dad and Mitchell annointed, and sealed a blessing for the healing of the sick for Andrew. It was a sweet moment in time. We all gathered around the bed in that hospital room and bowed our heads in prayer as a blessing was bestowed upon Andrew. Andrew was told some special things in the blessing--things like that he would be blessed with health, that he was a good father and a good man, that the Lord knows him by name and is very aware of what he's going through right now. We all had tears and hugged afterward. Later that evening, Diana received a priesthood blessing as well. I can still feel the power of the blessings that were bestowed upon them. It was such a peaceful feeling.
This afternoon (Monday), I called Diana. Andrew's heart is pumping on its own without the machine. He is being moved out of ICU, and gets to go to another room on a different floor as he works on recovery. The staff didn't say it's probable that he'll get to go home, but it could be possible. Diana told me this, and I was filled with so much joy.
Our God is a God of miracles. The Lord is mindful of everything we go through. If we trust in Him and show our faith in Him we get to see miracles in our lives that wouldn't have happened if we didn't show that we trust in the Lord. I do not know how long Andrew will get to live, but I do know that the Lord has answered our prayers, and that he gets some more time here, and that it's a gift from God. I believe in the power of the priesthood. I know the priesthood is the power of God on the earth today, and I am grateful to know men in my life who bear it worthily and are able to give priesthood blessings on a moments notice to those who need it. I feel like I have such a wonderful gift, and I am so grateful that Andrew and Diana allowed us to share this gift with them when they asked for a priesthood blessing. We love them so much. They have changed our lives for good. I would do anything for them. I love my adopted grandparents as if they were my blood-grandparents. I am so fortunate to have them in my life, and to get to hear that Andrew will be around a little while longer. He could still use prayers to help him in his recovery, but we are so overjoyed that we get to hear he is in a stage of recovery.
I get a little sick to my stomach when I think, "What if I didn't follow the prompting to ask Diana if she meant she wanted a priesthood blessing," and I get sick to my stomach when I think what would have happened to Marie if I didn't listen to the Spirit and the urgency of it. I really do believe that there are situations in our lives that are time sensitive and the outcome depends on our willingness and ability to follow the promptings of the Spirit. I never want to be in a situation again that would cause me to have regret because I didn't listen.
Trust in the Lord. Follow the promptings of the Spirit of the Lord/Holy Ghost. Believe in the Power of the Priesthood. It is REAL.