This is part one in a series on identifying blessings during the COVID-19 outbreak. The following experiences were emailed to the Church News in response to Sheri Dew’s column on compensatory blessings. More responses will be published in the coming days. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
On Sunday evening, March 8, before the real down spiral of the coronavirus here in the United States, I knelt at my bed and said my typical evening prayer. At that time I had no real worries about the state of the world, it was still so far away from my little Idaho community. But that night I stopped and did something I hadn’t done in a really long time. After closing my prayer I asked, “What is it that you would like me to do, Lord?” And as clear as I have ever experienced, the thought came to me, “Go forward in faith.” Simple and direct.
It wasn’t until later in that same week, on Thursday, that those words took deep relevance in my daily thoughts. It has become my source of great peace and comfort every day and every moment that I become worried and anxious. I am to go forward with faith. I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who blesses me before I need it, that I can be carried forth from that time on. The Lord knows how I feel and what I am experiencing, and He is helping me through it.
— Kim Hardy, Whitaker Ward, Pocatello Idaho North Stake
Strengthening family bonds
My father was 50 years old when I was born, and now with the birth of my fourth child just 48 hours ago, my father is nearing 82 years old and his health is fading. For the first time in my life, I was able to administer the sacrament with the man who has ordained me to every priesthood office I have ever been a part of. As we kneeled together to bless the emblems of the sacrament, I couldn’t help but feel the Spirit pour into the home I grew up in and the heart in my chest as I followed my wonderful father’s example one more time. There are a million things I wish I could do with my dad again, but today there is nothing I would have rather done than kneel together and offer our simple service of blessing the sacrament for the family we love so much.
— Spencer Munyan, Providence 3rd Ward, Providence Utah Stake
Blessings of the priesthood
How grateful I am for the revelation our beloved prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles received regarding the home-centered Church-supported gospel and implemented a little more than a year ago. It was yet another testament to me that we have a living prophet on the earth at this time and another rung in the ladder of spiritually preparing the Saints of God.
I have also taken to heart President Nelson’s admonition for the sisters to study about the priesthood in our lives. As a widow, I obviously have no priesthood holder living in my home, but those incredible blessings are still mine to receive and enjoy. …
Last Sunday, the first Sabbath with no meetings, I received several calls and texts of offers to administer the sacrament or to just make sure I was OK and healthy. … It’s these times I especially thank God for His restored priesthood that helps me maneuver the insanity through Brethren who heed the call.
— Meledie Knopf, Stillaguamish Ward, Arlington Washington Stake
We have had dear friends minister to us in many ways, and we have had the opportunity to reach out to others in need. Only a couple of weeks before the virus showed itself in the United States, our family began talking about how we could better show love for a dear brother in our ward who is hearing impaired. We didn’t feel that seeing him only on Sunday was enough when we knew how important his ward family is to him. We obtained his phone number the week before the virus hit, and we have been blessed to share time with him despite the fact that we are not currently meeting as a ward. We know it was the Spirit guiding us to prepare to serve this dear brother during this time.
— Amber Bradley, Pear Park Ward, Grand Junction Colorado Stake
Blessings from an injury
On Feb. 26, I went down the stairs at work and missed a step. No big deal, right? I had done it before and never injured myself. Well, this time I managed to fracture my right knee cap and my left foot. I have seen many blessings since my fall and injury. …
The biggest blessing has been that I have felt the Spirit a lot these last three weeks. I have managed to resist the temptation to waste time with not-so-praiseworthy TV shows and instead have worked on my to-do list every day. I just finished reading volume 2 of “Saints” and the March Liahona. (I am German so I like to read the German version.) I work on my French and Spanish skills every day except Sunday. I use affirmations to do my best to keep up my positive attitude. And of course I read the scriptures and the words of living prophets every day.
To be honest, I haven’t been worried about the coronavirus because I have hardly ever left the house anyway in the last three weeks. Thanks to my injuries, my husband does the shopping, and I don’t have to worry about long lines at the store or not finding a parking spot. I am also less likely to come in contact with infected people. Who knew that my injuries would turn out to be such a blessing?
— Karin Cronin, Bountiful 37th Ward, Bountiful Utah North Stake
The kids and I have been doing extra learning activities at home because of the uncertainty of this virus. Today at “recess” we went to see the horses in the back of our house. I went in the house and the thought came to me that I needed to read the Friend magazine. I grabbed an old copy that was on top. I opened it right up to the article “Riding to the Rescue.”
I smiled joyfully as I saw the horse on the page. It was the perfect story to read after seeing the horses. The story pulled at my heartstrings. It was about a man knocked unconscious after his spur hit the horse’s behind as he hopped on. The boys had no idea where they were or what to do. One said a prayer and heard the still small voice tell him to head north. He followed the prompting and saw the dust from a truck in the distance. They were able to save the man’s life with the rescue of the truck.
Heavenly Father is always there for us. He will calm our worries, help direct our path, inspire us and bring comfort and blessings upon us. What a sweet blessing. It was an answer to my prayers as I try to teach the kids and deal with the uncertainty of worldly issues.
— Nicole Summers, Newport Beach 2nd Ward, Newport Beach California Stake
Gratitude for the Prophet Joseph
Yesterday as we administered the sacrament in our home for my two late-teen daughters, my wife, and myself, I was grateful for the opportunity to hold the priesthood of God and to be able to worthily exercise it. When we had partaken of the sacrament, we felt impressed to read the entirety of Joseph Smith—History in preparation for the coming general conference. As we did so, I was struck as we read about Satan’s attempts to destroy Joseph and to bind his tongue just prior to the Lord’s appearance. I was impressed at how similar that experience is to the time in which we live today. …
In the end, the Lord will come and peace will ensue. I’m grateful for living prophets who testify of Christ and help to prepare us for His coming.
— Ron Kjar, Kennesaw Young Single Adult Branch, Cartersville Georgia Stake