This morning I awoke 20 minutes before my alarm and lay in bed unable to return to sleep, feeling an anticipation of something I needed to do. I finally arose with my alarm, reflexively said prayers with my wife and prepared for the day. As I drove to work I began to speak with the Lord, giving gratitude for the atonement, asking His forgiveness and the companionship of His spirit, praying for protection from the adversary and importuning His influence upon those in the world that had authority over my work, and my family in any way. I prayed for each one of my family individually and then turned my thought to what I had been feeling so strongly about since I awoke.
For the past week I had been intensively studying the early days of the restoration of the church and the key players who were called to assist Joseph. I was excited to continue studying this topic because new knowledge and a new paradigm were rapidly unfolding before my eyes. However, as I turned my thoughts toward this topic something else was abruptly interjected into my thoughts.
The day before, we had been informed that my oldest daughter’s not yet 4 month old baby girl, born premature, was not improving in the function of her lungs. A month prior she had been put on oxygen because her lungs were not moving enough oxygen and it was over working her little heart, but more troubling was that baby Claire was now struggling with apnea when not on oxygen.
The thought that was forced upon my mind was a dream and the interpretation that I had received a few years prior.
In the dream my youngest daughter had come to me begging my help with a mission she had been given and accepted from the Lord. The Father had asked her if she would freely sacrifice her life to atone for a variety of sins committed by her immediate and extended family. Without her sacrifice all would be lost. She was directed to ask me to perform the sacrifice.
I was horrified! My mind raced. What could I do to alleviate her death? I was filled with unspeakable pain and terror. Why couldn’t I take her place. In time I was convinced. She was calm and willing to do this for her family, her sister and her family, and her extended family. I knew it must be and so I was resolved despite my immense pain. She submitted bravely without struggle and I did as directed.
I awoke in the black of night racked with inconsolable pain. I knew it was only a dream but it had been so real and intense. I lay crying and grieving, unable to shake the extreme emotions I was feeling. In despair I turned to Heavenly Father in prayer pleading for Him to take away my pain and comfort my aching heart. As I lay crying and pleading for relief I began to realize many things. God was showing me a small glimpse of what He and His Son had gone through for the salvation of His entire family. He had wanted to see how I would respond and if I would submit to His will even in a dream.
As I lay awake His peace did come and I was wrapped in His comfort. I was even filled with joy for the experience, the realization that my daughter still lived, and for the incomparable atonement that was wrought by Jesus Christ. Rest came, days pasted and the dream was only recorded in my memories, until now.
Now in conjunction with the memories of my dream the thought of baby Claire came into my mind. It was impressed upon me that one of the rolls that baby Claire had accepted was to come into her family with these health problems to act as a savior to draw her parents and grandparents in remembrance of their covenants and back to their eternal family. In effect, to offer redemption to her own family by turning them by their own agency whether softly or harshly back to a more strict adherence to Father’s plan.
Whether our lack of remembrance and re-commitment has been hindering baby Claire’s healing, or the softening of our hearts and will to Father would restore her health I was not promised. Though I was impressed that our response could be submissive and the result would be soft and easy to us, or our response could be resistant and the response could be more harsh.
In submission to what I have been asked to do I share this experience with my family. My prayer is that we turn to Father and seek a soft response from Him in behalf of our precious Claire.
I love my family. I want every one of us all for eternity. I want our little Claire to be healed. This is my humble prayer and my petition to our loving Father.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen