Seven years after the accident that put my daughter Jen in a wheelchair unable to walk, I drove her to the Washington D. C. Temple to witness a wedding, not knowing we would have an amazing experience that fulfilled the prophecy in Joel 2:28: your young men shall see visions.
After the ceremony that binds a man and a woman together in marriage not just for time but for all eternity, Jen began powering her wheelchair toward the elevator when I saw a handsome young man dressed in his temple clothes coming toward us. A handsome young man, maybe about Jen’s age, twenty-five. I expected him to pass by with maybe a smile in our direction, but instead he stopped about a foot from her chair and just looked at her. When he didn’t say anything, I finally asked him, “Are you from here?”
“I’m from Ohio,” he said. “Sometimes our ward goes to the temple in Canada, sometimes we come here. It’s about the same distance either way.” He still kept looking at Jen who hadn’t said a word.
“I’m Ann. This is my daughter Jen,” I said. He kept staring at Jen, and in the silence I began to feel that tingling I had felt on numerous occasions since my daughter’s accident that twisted her brain stem. The kind of feeling I got during the priesthood blessings our friend Brent pronounced. What was this young man going to tell us?
“I’m James Makenzie. I have something to … I need you to know …” He hesitated a moment then he said, his eyes on both of us almost simultaneously. “Last night I had a dream. In the dream I was in the temple, giving a young woman in a wheelchair a blessing.” A dream. A blessing. As I tried to absorb the words, Jen turned her head slightly in my direction and said, “I prayed last night for a young man to give me a blessing.” “You did?” I knew this daughter who said very long prayers at night. “Why did you pray for that? Brent gives you blessings,” I said.
At that moment Brent and his wife appeared around the corner to the dressing rooms in their street clothes. I walked toward them and said, “There’s someone I want you to meet.” I motioned them to follow me, introduced them to James, then told the young stranger, “Since the accident Brent has given Jen some incredible priesthood blessings.” To Brent I said, “James said he had a dream last night, and that he was supposed to give a young woman in a wheelchair a blessing today. He wants to give Jen a blessing.”
“Well then, let’s do it,” Brent said. He led us to an empty room that opened off the hallway. I maneuvered Jen’s chair into the room then sat beside his wife on a cushioned chair beneath a crystal chandelier that was filled with dozens of small bulbs. A room filled with light.
Brent and James stood on either side of Jen’s chair. “I don’t have any consecrated oil,” James told Brent. “Do you?” Brent shook his head. “Well, I think that’s all right. I didn’t use oil in my dream,” said James.
Overwhelmed by white carpet, white chairs, white walls, and white light, I felt as if I were in a heavenly place that I knew I wouldn’t want to leave as I watched the two men, the young one and the older one, place their hands on Jen’s head. James lowered his head, and I closed my eyes, listening intently. When the blessing ended and James left the room, Brent said to me, “That blessing was consistent with every other blessing Jen’s had.” It amazingly was.
The next morning in Sacrament meeting our bishop began quoting from the 89th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, the words swirling in my head: All saints who remember to keep and do these sayings … shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures, words from James McKenzie’s blessing lighting my mind: There is much knowledge that hasn’t yet been revealed, but as you study the scriptures, through personal revelation you will receive hidden knowledge.
Trembling, I opened the Bible to one of my favorite passages, Joel 2:28-29. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. “>We were living in those days. The Lord had poured out His spirit on James and Jen, servant and handmaiden. In his temple he let us know again that he ministers to us through his servants here on earth.
I wrote this experience in a letter to my missionary son, and he responded with this epistle on faith.
Faith is everything. What is the first principle of the gospel? Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. What does he say in Genesis? “Let there be light.” Could this have happened if he did not have faith. Faith is a godly attribute. In the Missionary Training Center our teacher would ask us to list god-like attributes. There came the usual assortment of answers: love, kindness, charity, perfection. What about faith! We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the gospel are first, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Do we understand faith? It’s essential for us now as well as throughout the eternities. So let’s figure out how to obtain it. In the Book of Mormon, Moroni says, “And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.” I know Jen believes so just keep praying and reading. Enoch and the brother of Jared moved mountains. Joshua “made the sun stand still.” Alma and Amulek toppled a prison to the ground. What better prophet than Alma to teach us about faith. It’s important for Jen to walk, but more important is eternal life. Never lose focus of why we study and pray. Jen will eventually walk but in the Lord’s due time. It may not be until time ceases. Do your part.