View the final version of this essay at Mormon Personal Essays
As I laid in the hotel bed that night, I thought about my mom, laying in the bed next to mine. She had been acting suspiciously detached from the group all night. I was beginning to get really concerned about her, because she is usually very active and engaged with those around her. She is a certified elementary teacher, so she has to be.
I faded into sleep and began dreaming about mansions, museums, informative plaques, and our charter bus which had become our home away from home.
We were halfway through my 8th grade historical tour of Washington D.C. and the surrounding states, nearly 3,000 miles from where our family lived at the time in California.
When I awoke, I could hear my mom in the bathroom, talking on the phone in a hushed but frantic tone. I glanced over at the clock to see that it was only just after midnight. I walked over to the closed bathroom door and listened for a few seconds. I knew something was wrong, but I didn't quite understand what. Then I heard her talk about taking her emergency medication. That's when I knew my mom was having one of her heart episodes. Unfortunately, the situation was much worse than I realized at that time.
My mom has a heart condition called Supraventricular Tachycardia, or SVT. Before leaving for our trip, she had gone to her doctor in California to fill a prescription as a precautionary measure in case of an episode away from home. When she began feeling the symptoms of an oncoming episode the day before, she had taken a dose of this emergency medication. Her symptoms worsened as the night progressed, so she took another dose before she went to bed. Unable to sleep due to discomfort and anxiety, she had called my dad for advice and support.
I went into the bathroom and talked to her for a few seconds, but she assured me that she was fine, that the medication was just taking a while to take effect. Her thick, dark hair framed her face, which was whiter than the white silk pajamas she was wearing. Worried, I went back to bed, but I was unable to sleep.
The next morning, my mom's condition had not improved. I got ready for the day's adventures and gathered with the rest of our tour group just outside her hotel room. They had been informed of my mom's medical condition, and they were also concerned for her health. Privately, my mom had asked the local LDS bishop and two missionaries to come give her a Priesthood blessing.
We stood outside her hotel room and watched the three men walk toward us side by side, their broad shoulders filling the entire hallway. Their pressed black suits, badges on their chests, and obvious religious association caused some members of our group to wonder if she was being given her last rites, a Catholic tradition meant to prepare the dying person's soul for death. Thankfully, this was not the case.
They administered the blessing and then it was time to get on with our packed schedule for the day. I stayed with the tour group and my mom stayed at the hotel with one of the other accompanying moms. We boarded the bus and prepared to go to the first museum. Before we left, though, several members of the group decided that we should pray for my mom. We were unified through faith and prayer even though we were of different denominations.
My mom made a complete recovery and we all went away with strengthened faith in the power of God and His miraculous mercy and love for all of His children. In the Book of Mormon, Moroni declares, "And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a god who can do no miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles.
"And who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? And there were many mighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles.
"And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles" (Mormon 9:15, 18-19).
I know that these things are true. God truly is a God of miracles. I have witnessed His hand change and bless my whole life, every day. My mom's healing was miraculous and strengthened everybody's faith, including those not of my faith.
The Book of Mormon is the word of God, and it testifies of Christ. I join with Moroni in exhorting all "that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever.
"And again, I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny not the gifts of God, for they are many; and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are administered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all; and they are given by the manifestations of the Spirit of God unto men, to profit them" (Moroni 10:7-8).