My dear family and friends. I do hope and pray that this message will find each of you well and happy. My thoughts the last few days have been on the many miracles that I have witnessed in my short life of 66+ years. I fully regret not recording most of the miracles I have witnessed. Perhaps this post on this blog might help a little.
So with this in mind, I will try to follow the impression of the spirit that I am feeling. As I think of miracles I also think of angels and priesthood blessings. They seem to go together at least that is how I have experienced these in my life.
Maybe I can share a few experiences I had years ago when I was serving in various leadership positions in the church. Some I have shared before with others. Some I have not. The ones that seem to be very sacred to me I share only with the guidance of the Holy Spirit in hopes that It might help one of you.
In one of my first weeks in one of the leadership positions, I was asked to come and give a blessing. This good husband was distraught. He knew his wife was soon to leave this earthly existence. He was so concerned because he had 4 very young children to take care of and was so worried about how he would be able to handle what was coming.
I was so humbled as walked into the living room where this good wife and mother lay in a hospital bed awaiting her graduation. She was so frail, just barely skin and bones. As I walked in her eyes lit up. She extended her arm and pulled me in to give me a hug. She said, "she was so happy to see me and told me she loved me". Of course, she loved the office I held and my willingness to come to her side. I proceeded with the assistance of her husband to give her a blessing. It was mostly a blessing of comfort to ease her mind that her husband and children would be taken care of. That the Lord would watch out for them and that she would be able to participate in their lives from the other side of the veil. I believe it was only a day or two when she passed. Following is a poem the family asked that I read at her funeral service:
No Empty Chairs
Words by Orrin G. Hatch and Music by Janice Kapp Perry
Look around our family table, every person in his place.
Memorize this happy moment and each familiar face.
Look around our family circle, feel the love that we all share.
Life is sweet and so complete with each loved one gathered here.
There are no empty chairs at our table,
No empty feelings inside,
When all those we love are together,
Here side by side.
Time will fly and all too quickly, some will leave to try their wings,
Empty places at our table will tug at our heartstrings.
But the number at our table will increase as children come,
Bringing to our family table, sweet innocence and fun.
We'll add a few more chairs to our table,
A lot more laughter and love,
As our joy is multiplied daily,
To fill our cup.
When there comes a time for parting, there will be no tears because,
We will set a grander table where all may live in love.
There we'll wait for all our loved ones, who will come to take their place.
At the feast that lasts forever, in God's eternal place.
We'll have no empty chairs at our table,
No empty feelings inside,
When all those we love are together,
There side by side.
May the circle not be broken, may each on return to be,
Safe within this peaceful haven, through all eternity.
We'll have no empty chairs at our table,
When all are gathered above,
No more empty chairs at our table,
In heaven's home of love.
I think of another instance, I was asked a few days in a row to give a blessing to an individual who was suffering from alcohol poisoning and was told that he would probably not make more than 2 or 3 more days. He was not an active member of the church. Nor were his family and his girlfriend's family. Yet, they still had faith in blessings for comfort. On my way to the hospital for about the 3rd time having preciously being told they expected him to pass at any moment. I plead with the Lord to bless me to speak His words and to give the proper blessing that would be for him and for his family and others present.
Upon arrival and hearing the concerns and worry from those present I proceeded with the blessing. The Lord used me as his voice commanded him to live. To begin to expel the excess alcohol out of his body and to heal and be made whole. However, He also gave him a very stern warning. That if he as much as took another sip no matter how small of alcohol. He would forfeit his life. I ran into him a few years later and he was still alcohol-free, and so grateful to the Lord.
While serving in another position we were at a youth conference at Martin Cove in Wyoming. I will share two special occasions of priesthood blessings and the ministering of angels.
I had been asked to speak at the first stop of the youth. So earlier in the morning, I hicked up to Dan Jones Cove to prepare my thoughts before the youth arrived. As I neared the cove I ran into some of the full-time missionaries. They cautioned me to be prepared to perhaps not have our gathering there. There were hundreds of rattlesnakes and there was no way to get them all out of there with the little help they had.
The spirit instructed me to walk into the cove, put my arm to the square and pronounce a priesthood blessing. In the blessing the snakes were commanded to leave the cove, return to the surrounding rocks and not return until after we had left. When the groups arrived I told them they would be protected as long as they stayed in the grassy areas. We had a great devotional that early morning.
After the good Lord cleared the cove I was astonished as I saw our groups of youth from our stake in their assigned families start the 2-3 mile trek from camp to the cove. As each group left I witnessed another 20 or more (angels) join their group and walk with them to the cove. They were dressed in their pioneer clothing. The spirit testified to me that these were the spirits of some of the pioneers who made their way to Martins Cove. It was such a humbling experience to be allowed to witness this great miracle.
Two more examples and then I will stop. This next one is so very very special that I was allowed to act as a proxy for the Lord Jesus Christ himself. I was crossing the cultural hall when I was stopped mid-step. The spirit told me to go to the primary room and to represent the Lord Jesus Christ himself. To act in his place. to kneel down and to give every primary child a hug for Him. Most of the adults asked if they could participate also. I will never ever forget that special experience. The pure love of Christ flowed through me to each of those special children. I long so much to feel that special love like that again. I eagerly await the day that I can bathe the feet of my Savior with my tears of gratitude and love. I love him!!!
The next, as most of you know my daughter Brittany, passed away about 6 years ago. She had ALS. Such a wicked-wicked disease. I had the privilege as her father to give her many blessings through this ordeal. Many the time with my natural eyes and my spiritual eyes I and other presents say her home filled with angels.
I recall one time early when she had begun to lose lots of her motor functions. She had been helped to the bathroom. I believe my wife was taking care of her at this time. For some reason, she had to go probably to pick up a grandchild at any rate she was only gone for a few short minutes. Brittany needed help to get off and couldn't get anyone to answer. With her sweet and great faith, she said something to the effect. Ok ladies, on the count of three lift me up and put me in my wheelchair. She counted to 3 saw a very brilliant light as she was lifted gently into her chair.
During virtually every blessing she received, I felt the strong impression to bless her with a great and marvelous miracle waiting for her. Of course, we wondered what that meant. Would she be fully healed? Perhaps gain back her arms or legs. She was always so worried about not being able to talk and communicate especially with her girls. In one of the blessings, she was told she would have her voice until the time it was no longer needed. She received that miracle. Although it took a microphone and a speaker next to her lips she could still talk enough to barely hear her with that help up to the moment that she passed.
A few minutes before she passed we awoke from the medications that kept her calm and peaceful. She looked at her nurse and asked if she was die-ing? The nurse answered yes. She told Brittany because of her anxiety and all the things going on she would need to administer her medicine to help her relax. She then proceeded to let each of her family members hug her and express their love for her and the great example she set through this whole ordeal with the courage and bravery she exhibited. She was able without the microphone to say I love you to each of us. By then she was getting anxious and very uncomfortable. Her nurse told her she did not think she would wake up again after giving her medication and asked if she was ready. She was. Shortly after the spirit helped me to understand the great miracle that had been waiting for her. To leave this existence and be greeted by Jesus Christ. What greater miracle could there have been.
There are many talks and music relating to this subject. But, today it's just my impressions, thoughts, and feelings.
Now please understand there is nothing special about me. I am just an ordinary human like each of you. I am no one of any consequence. Other than I know with every fiber of my being that I like you are a child of God. He has blessed me so richly throughout my life. My greatest blessing of all other than testimony and knowledge of who He is. is my eternal companion Debbie. Without her, I would be nobody. Because of her love and unending patience, I am who I am. As weak and feeble as that is. She is my everything. If I ever make it home to my Heavenly Father to live it will be because of her loving help. I love her with all my heart.
My wife and I love each of you. We testify that Jesus is the Christ. Our Savior, our Redeemer our elder brother. He and our Heavenly Father love each of you. They want so much for you to return to their open arms. I invite you to do that. Open your heart to them. Talk to them, learn of them as you read the scriptures. I promise you in His name great blessings await if you only read one sentence a day in the scriptures. Angels are ever near, listen to them as they speak the words of Christ. Ask for their assistance. Ask that you might see and hear with your spiritual eyes and ears also. Ask for your heart to be softened. Serve others share your love with them. He lives. He loves you.
In his holy name, Jesus Christ, Amen
We love and pray for each of you
Steven and Debbie Larsen