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Gratitude

My little 9-month-old girl, Seren, was hit with several things at once the other day.

I was plowing away at work that morning when Kristi called me on the phone to tell me that she had just come back from the doctor's with Seren. Kristi worries more about our two little girls than she did with Remi and Zac, and so it wasn't out of the ordinary to hear that she had taken her there.

I asked her what the doctor said.

"A urinary tract infection."

"What?! Are they sure?"

Kristi explained that they were going to run more tests to be sure because a UTI is so rare for little babies. They didn't have any idea of the cause, but they sent Kristi home with a prescription. (To date, while they confirmed the diagnosis, they still aren't sure what caused it.)

Well, the following day, Seren started to vomit, have diarrhea, and a terrible fever.

Seren is our most pleasant baby. Actually, she is the most pleasant baby that I have ever met. She almost never cries, and she is extremely happy to see anyone that she knows. If she feels lonely, she resorts to singing or swaying or laughing to get the attention of an adult instead of to crying. If she gets tired, she will often just fall asleep in your arms instead of getting really fussy.

In fact, at the beginning of each calendar year, all my children get father's blessings. In her blessing, I felt distinctly impressed to tell her (even though she is only 9 months) that a gift of hers was to always find happiness in life, and that her role on our family would be to cheer up her family members when they were down.

That night, she cried. She cried and cried and cried and cried. She squirmed and twisted her body, and she could not be comforted. We rocked her and consoled her for and hour with no progress. We took her temperature--it was 103 degrees.

We worried.

It was 12:30 at night, and I was in my pajamas, but I handed Seren off to Kristi, and I began to put on my suit. I excused myself from the room and went to the living room to offer a fervent prayer to my Heavenly Father.

I would like to say that the prayer was an incredible outpouring of emotion, but it wasn't. I had faith that my Heavenly Father loved Seren and had ordained me to an office of His Priesthood, and that seemed sufficient this time. My heart was broken and my spirit was contrite as I asked my Heavenly Father to direct the words of the blessing that I would give to Seren.

Those who have the priesthood for giving blessings are called Elders. In James 5:14, it says:

14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

Believing this principle to be true, I laid my hands softly on Seren's head, anointed her with oil, as the scriptures instruct, and blessed her. I blessed her that her fever would break so that it wouldn't do any permantent damage to her body and I blessed her that she would find sleep.

Within a few minutes of the blessing, I felt her forehead, and it was cool again. A feeling of gratitude for my Heavenly Father entered my heart, and I said a silent "thank you" to Him as I contined to rock Seren.

She was still fussy for another 20 minutes, and so I walked into the living room, again, still rocking her, and I whispered into her ear another blessing in the name of Jesus Christ, commanding her body to sleep.

I took my little Seren straight into her crib, laid her down. She was asleep before her head hit the pillow.

We haven't had a night like that with her since. She vomited once the following morning, continued to have the diarrhea, but that intense fever never returned and she has easily gone to sleep each night.

Now, I don't mean to imply that anyone should hang their testimony on this story. I simply wished to thank my Heavenly Father for His love for His little ones. I know He loves them, and I am privileged to have the spiritual and temporal means to take good care of the ones that I have.

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