While an Arctic cold front brought record-setting low temperatures outside, hearts were warmed inside Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City Feb. 5 because of a visit by President Ezra Taft Benson and Sister Michaelene P. Grassli.
The prophet and Sister Grassli, general Primary president, visited the fast and testimony meeting conducted by the branch at the hospital."This is a blessing to me," President Benson said in brief and tender remarks near the conclusion of the meeting. "I love you, and I am grateful that we have places like this. God bless you. I thank the Lord for the faith of you who are here at this time."
After the meeting, the prophet lingered to greet individually each of the 10 or so children who had left their rooms to attend the meeting in the hospital auditorium, some walking and others being carried in the arms of their parents or pushed in wheelchairs. One girl, who had recently left the intensive care unit after several weeks, was still bedridden, and her bed was wheeled into the auditorium for the meeting.
Some of the parents bore testimony of the power of faith and prayer in coping with life's trials.
After the visit was completed, President Benson turned to Sister Benson and said, "Our lives will never be the same after meeting with these children."
Sister Grassli did not speak during the service, but afterward visited many of the patients in their rooms.
"You get a special feeling when you enter the hospital," she said afterward. "I think it's because there is so much love generated from the medical staff, from the families and from the children who make up the daily routine."
The hospital branch is part of the Salt Lake Ensign Stake. Branch Pres. Robert Edwards said the purposes of the branch are to hold a sacrament or fast and testimony service on Sunday morning for patients and their families, and to visit the patients in the hospital during the week.