John grew up in a home where his mother was devoutly Catholic (still is) and his father is Serbian Orthodox. He went to private Catholic school from kindergarten to graduation. When I met him 16 years ago he was an atheist. It has been an interesting journey for a Catholic-raised atheist and a returned missionary Mormon girl. When John joined the church, he was nervous to tell his parents. He didn't want to hurt them and he wanted them to understand that he was happy.
Over the years we have seen miracle after miracle in the opportunities we have had to explain certain things about our doctrine or culture and help them gain a better understanding of what members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are and what they believe. We have talked about our callings, talks in General Conference, our belief in a living prophet, social activities, missionaries, etc. They even went to see the Hill Cumorah Pageant and invited some friends to go with them. We truly feel that as we've increased their understanding that any fear or apprehension they may have had about the church is gone, and they see value in our religion and respect it. This is such a blessing to us.
On a previous trip to see his parents, I asked John if he might ask his father if he could give him a blessing (he was having some other health issues) and John was hesitant about it for legitimate reasons. On this trip to Buffalo, John asked his mother if he might be able to give his father a blessing and she agreed. He found some extra virgin olive oil and consecrated it. He put it into a small container to take to the hospital and as they were getting ready to go, his mom kept asking if he had the oil with him. She was not only allowing it, she was encouraging it and supporting it. John's sister and husband arrived at the hospital as well, and John was able to give his father a blessing using the Priesthood authority that he holds in front of his mother, his sister and her husband. John told me that when he was finished he looked at his sister and she had tears in her eyes. I asked him if he remembered what he was able to say in the blessing and that he needed to write the whole experience down before he forgets anything.
The next miracle we hope for is John being able to give his mother a blessing of comfort and peace.
As for John's father, he is doing better. He is off the ventilator and breathing on his own. The antibiotic seems to be working and his lungs seem to be getting stronger. He is still in intensive care, but he was moved out of isolation. He has a long way to go, but he is going in the right direction.
Unexpected Experiences. Unexpected Miracles. Unforgettable Life.