Dead Son

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Excerpt from an April 1975 General Conference Address by Vaughn J. Featherstone: 1

I know of a great man who held his dead son in his arms, and said, “In the name of Jesus Christ and by the power and authority of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, I command you to live.” And the dead boy opened up his eyes.

This great brother could not have possibly done that had he been looking at a pornographic piece of material a few nights before or if he had been involved in any other transgression of that kind. The priesthood has to have a pure conduit to operate.

And what a valuable thing a covenant in our lives can be, if we will let it guide us. Another problem: an overweight girl from Ogden went to see her bishop. In the purity and goodness of charity, trying to help the girl, he counseled her that it might be a good idea to lose a few pounds. Pitifully heartbroken, she went home and told her father. It had cankered her soul. The father, of course, negative toward the Church all of his life, waiting for something like this, sprung like a cat on the bishop’s back, and they came down to see me and wanted their memberships transferred out of the bishop’s ward. I asked them why, because I didn’t know all this background, and they said, “Well, our bishop suggested to our daughter that she might lose a few pounds and make herself a little more attractive.” Now I want you to know that I defended that great bishop. I said to this family, “You are wrong. That sweet bishop, out of purity and love for your daughter, felt and did that which he was impressed to do. I am sure it was a message from God to your daughter, and she let it canker her soul. The strange thing is that she was probably up in her bedroom the night before praying, ‘Heavenly Father, I am lonely. I need someone. Please help me. Help me to find someone so I won’t be so lonely.’” And yet oftentimes we are offended because a sweet bishop gives us some instruction which is hard for us to live.

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