Faith, prayer, family on path to eternal life

Prayer, faith and family are stepping stones that will "help us to return to our Father in Heaven and gain life eternal; that our very purpose for being upon the earth will be successfully accomplished," said Elder H. Bruce Stucki.

In the Sunday afternoon session, Elder Stucki of the Seventy spoke of answers to prayer and expressions of faith, including those found in a family setting.

He recalled how, as a 9-year-old, he had lost an arrow. His prayer to find it was answered in such a way that "I learned to have faith and trust in my Heavenly Father."

"When we need help, even as a naive little boy with an important concern, our Heavenly Father hears our prayer, and with love He gives us the guidance we seek."

Regarding faith, he told of a young, inexperienced doctor on an isolated island off New Zealand. Thirty years ago, a badly injured child, Shane, who had suffered a serious head injury, was brought to him.

"Shane's mother prayed, the doctor prayed, the nurses prayed and the doctor's wife prayed," said Elder Stucki. With the help of an experienced neurosurgeon in Wellington, New Zealand, who gave advice over the telephone "a successful outcome was achieved," after six hours of surgery. The doctor "was grateful for the many tender mercies of the Lord in his life and especially for the presence of the Comforter during the last 12 hours."

Now an LDS bishop, Neil Hutchison, the doctor, recently met Shane. Today, Shane is an adult — an electrician with his own business who is aware of no defects from the primitive operation.

Elder Stucki quoted several General Authorities, including President Thomas S. Monson, who said, "If any of us has been slow to hearken to the counsel to pray always, there is no finer hour to begin than now" (April 1964 general conference).

Elder Stucki continued: "I sincerely believe that in the sanctity of the family our love, loyalty, respect and support for each other can become the sacred shield that will protect us from the fiery darts of the devil.

"In the family circle, filled with the love of Christ, we will be able to find peace, happiness and protection from the wickedness of the world that surrounds us."