BETA

Teaching moments: Angelic protection

Feeling my youngest son was in danger, I told an older brother, "When you and Jesse go anywhere, he rides with you."

Later, teens met at our home to carpool to a distant Church dance. When a new driver needed directions, my instructions were overlooked and Jesse rode with him.

On their way, they encountered a curve that cannot be taken over 35 miles per hour. Doing 50, their car slid into a ditch, bounced out, and severed a tree which crushed the roof, striking Jesse.

My wife and I arrived at the scene to see our critically injured son in the back of an ambulance, strapped to a body-board. While I was wondering if these were the last seconds of his life, the Spirit whispered, "Angels have saved your son." After that, I gave him a priesthood blessing.

At a local hospital, X-rays revealed bleeding and brain damage, so Jesse was rushed to Harborview Hospital, a trauma center in the Northwest.

Unaware of each other's actions, on separate occasions, my two oldest sons blessed their little brother in unexpectedly similar ways. One said, "Angels have intervened on your behalf." The other was moved to say, "Angels have spared your life."

Predicting permanent brain damage, doctors finally released Jesse from the hospital. Once home, it was as if his uniqueness, spark and spontaneity had been stolen.

So we prayed.

One afternoon, Jesse said something that bespeaks his selfless soul.

"Dad, it is good that I was in that accident."

"Why?"

"Without angels to protect them, someone else could have died. So, I am glad it was me."

At the 1998 priesthood session of general conference, Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve said it is possible "for all Church members who worthily partake of the sacrament to enjoy the companionship of the Spirit of the Lord and the ministering of angels."

Not knowing when we might need help, we must protect personal worthiness as if our lives depend upon it, for they do.

Moroni asked, "[Have] miracles ceased? Nay, neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men."

Angels preserved our son's life because his work was not done. Now, completely healed, he leaves on a mission to Rancagua, Chile, Aug. 28.

—Ricke Reed, Sedro Woolley Ward, Mount Vernon Washington Stake