Throw-up, lay on the couch, moan, and hope my kids didn't destroy things too much sick.
At one point my little Rose really wanted me to read her a book, but I was so sick that the thought of sitting up made my head spin. She begged and begged, but I just wasn't up to it.
Yet, not to be discouraged, she said, "Mommy, I could give you a blessing and it would make you better."
Her comment made me pause and I thought she was just teasing. But one look at the sincere and faith-filled look on her faith melted my heart and I knew she was in earnest.
I told her I would love her to give me a blessing.
She gently crept up onto couch and put her little hands on my head, and in what was the most earnest and serious voice I have ever heard her use, she poured out her blessing.
"Jesus, I need you to come right now
Make my mommy better.
We need the Holy Ghost.
And we will be healthy and strong.
This is the end."
I have never heard a more sincere, simple prayer in my life. I wish I could have captured the urgency, faith, and love that filled her little voice. It was so sweet.
And you know... I felt a lot better afterwards.
When I sat up I told Rose to grab a book and I would read it to her she got the biggest smile on her face. She'd had faith that Jesus could make me better, and He really did. At least well enough that I could read her Fancy Nancy and Dr. Seuss, and then fall back asleep on the couch.
I think it was a profound spiritual moment for Rose, because several times in the days following she again offered me a blessing when she saw me sick...with an added assurance that she knew Jesus could make me better.
I have been thinking a lot about Rose's blessings the last few days. In the LDS church formal blessings on the sick are administered by men who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood and who seal the blessing by the power of that priesthood. Yet, as I have talked about in my post, Women Giving Blessings in the Early Days of the LDS Church there is a difference between a priesthood blessing and the gift to heal.
The gift to heal is one that is given to all the followers of Christ, male and female. In D&C 84: 64-68 it says,
"Therefore, as I said unto my apostles I say unto you again, that every soul who beleiveth on your words, and is baptized by water for the remission of sins, shall receive the Holy Ghost. And these signs shall follow them that believe. In my name they shall do many wonderful works; In my name they shall cast out devils; In my name they shall heal the sick....The gift to heal is also listed among the gifts of the spirit promised to the disciples of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12: 9 says,
Women in the early days of the LDS church often participated in healing as demonstrations of faith. Women most commonly administered by laying on of hands to their children but were sometimes called to administer to those outside of their families. Women who gave blessings never claimed priesthood authority, but always closed their blessings in the name of Jesus Christ.(If you would like to more about this please read this post.)
Rose's sweet blessing was a blessings of faith.
I realize that at some point I will need to have a conversation with Rose about the difference between the ways in which men and women administer, but I think for now that conversation can wait. At three-years-old I don't want to squelch her fire of faith by giving her deeper doctrine than she can understand. I love it that right now she understands that through her faith she can work miracles, and that her faith in Christ is a power that she can use on behalf of others.
She is discovering how to access her spiritual gifts.
Rose's simple faith in Christ's power really made me reflect on an experience I had last year. Jon and I were on vacation with some friends and between the four of us we had seven kids under the age of six. One night as we all knelt together for family prayer, I offered the prayer. As I prayed I had the most unusual feeling come over me. I felt the distinct impression/prompting that I could (and should) pronounce a promise and a blessing upon all those little children-- a promise that none of those seven precious souls would be lost to the adversary's power.
The feeling was overwhelming and it scared me. I had never before pronounced a promise or a blessing upon anyone, and I wasn't sure if I was "allowed" to. So even though the prompting had come strongly, and the words to say had come in to my mind, I didn't say them. I was scared by the power that was being offered to me. Afterwards I was really sad. I felt like I had just missed an important spiritual opportunity, and I wished more than anything I had spoken those words. Later in the privacy of my room I said them, but I felt like the opportunity to speak them as a promise and a blessing had passed (though I still hope that the Lord will grant that blessing to those children despite my weakness).
That experience taught me that as a disciple of Christ, who has made sacred covenants, I have access to spiritual power and gifts beyond myself. Through Christ I have the ability to work miracles, to heal, to cast out devils, to bless, and to prophesy. What I realized though was that I had some sort of mental block to using that power. For too long in my life I had dwelt on what I could not do (administer priesthood ordinances) that I saw I hadn't taken the time to fully develop what I could do (perform miracles through faith). I had confused working miracles, healing, prophesying, and blessing as being synonymous with priesthood authority but they aren't.
They are gifts.
Gifts of faith, and they are available to all who follow Christ.
Even, three-year-old girls.