We held a family fast this last Sunday for my son. He has finally shown the first signs of being ready to make some long overdue changes. The morning after we had fasted for him he shows up bright and early at our home to help his dad with something. That in and of itself could have been its own miracle as his sleep habits are wildly out of control and he has not felt a desire to help anyone with anything for at least a year. Miracle number two, he was smiling from ear to ear. Smiles are good. Again, he went at least a year, probably more without ever smiling. When I commented on the smile and downright cheerful attitude he just smiled back and told me he was having a great day. At 8 am he was having a great day? Unless I had seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed that one. I asked him if there was any particular reason he was happy, he told me he wasn’t quite ready to share or talk about it yet. (Now that was simply reassurance I really was talking to the same kid) He did tell me that he had spent a lot of contemplative thinking time the day before, and is simply very happy about some of the things he was thinking about.
We never told him he was in many, many people’s prayers and fasts that day. It seems to be working, however.
Obviously there have been many miraculous advances in medicine in general. Today I am grateful for the availability that we have to access those advances. My family suffers from multiple mental health issues. While much of the research is still in its infancy, we are a lot further along than we were even 20 years ago. I am preparing to attend a full day workshop to learn how to manage the effects of these illnesses. I am excited for the information that will be available to me.
A few months ago I had an interesting experience. We were right in the middle of dealing with a serious mental health crisis with my son. As we were dealing with this particular issue, we found out that Pres. Jeffry R. Holland was coming to visit our ward. It would be a short visit and he would be very busy, but I wondered about the timing. If I really believed that he was an apostle of God, as were the apostles at the time of Christ, could he help our family? Throughout the scriptures are stories of children and families being healed by Christ and the apostles. I knew that I love my child every bit as much as the parents in ancient times, and I knew that I needed help. Was help being sent? Did I have enough faith to receive help? I had many questions about how to help my son that needed answering, that my local leaders were unable to address sufficiently.
I did a lot of praying and a lot of fasting. I didn’t know exactly what type of help I needed. I was not sure exactly what to pray for. I prayed that if there was any way that this apostle could help our family that we would have enough faith to receive that help. I was told that my prayers had been heard, and that it was taken care of. The visit came and went. I had no direct interaction with President Holland. We attended a dinner with him, my son declined to attend, but we brought others to join us. As far as I knew, my son avoided any potential contact the same way he has continued to avoid all potential help. Still, I was at peace that my prayers had been heard and accepted.
This last weekend was LDS General Conference weekend. The incident over the summer was pretty much out of my mind. Then Elder Holland stepped up to speak. He opened his talk by stating that he was going to address those dealing with serious mental health problems. He then proceeded to answer all of my questions that truly needed answering. It was a direct answer to my personal prayers and I can not question that the Lord heard and answered my prayers this summer.
View of Conference Center spire taken from south of the Center on North Temple St., Salt Lake City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)