Posted by: blackfootsmj1 | June 7, 2011

My first “real” Miracle…and how God saved my life

I grew up a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day. I had always known it was good. But, to be honest, I didn’t understand much, nor did I have a personal testimony of the Church or its beliefs at the age of 14. Shortly after my 14th birthday I was sitting in Church and we heard the Joseph Smith story in class. This was a story I was familiar with. I knew when he was 14 years old Joseph had prayed to know which church he should join. In response to his prayer Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ. They appeared to him, and shortly after he was called to be a prophet. Later, through the power and gift of God he was able to translate The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. When I heard this lesson in class it hit me that I was 14 and if Joseph Smith had this experience why couldn’t I?

So I began to pray, and pray, and pray for a sign and that I could know that God existed and that this was his church. Time passed. Nothing happened. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I gave up hope. I didn’t expect anything to happen anymore.

Then…One, hot August morning, that all changed. I lived on a small farm, in the busy metropolis of Blackfoot, Idaho. Population, 10,000. I did everything I could to avoid helping my father load bales of straw, which were ready to load and stack for our cows.

Similar straw bale to the ones we had

I hated working on the farm. I hated being hot and itchy from all the straw in the  dry Idaho air. Frankly, I just wanted to be done. And, I think my dad did too. We could fit about 27 of these 900 lb straw bales on our trailer. We’d load them up with the tractor, then my dad and I would use big tie down straps to stabilize them. The bales were as wide as they are tall.  3 ft tall, 3 ft wide, and about 6 ft long. After we had tied it all down my dad and I would drive the truck the mile or so back to the farm where we would stack the bales again.

When we arrived back at the house I would usually go inside and my dad would stack the bales and we’d do another load and continue the process. But this time I knew we could be done quicker if I helped my dad take the tie down straps off the trailer. My dad went to get the tractor and I began to take off the straps. My dad told me, “Son, be careful, the bales aren’t very stable.”

I then went on my way. There were about 5 or so straps on the trailer to hold down the bales. I hated the straps. I could NEVER get them undone and all they did was frustrate me. As I started on the first strap I felt an uneasy feeling that I shouldn’t mess with the straps and to just wait. But I thought I was just being a chicken and chose to keep going. I got to the 3rd strap and felt the same feeling…that I shouldn’t continue. But, I did. I then got to the final strap. As I put my hand on the tie-down, I felt really uneasy about taking it off . But I told myself that I  had already finished with the first 4 and there was no reason to be afraid.

As I undid the strap I heard my father yell, “Michael, move!” I turned to run away from the truck just in time to see the bales shifting off of the truck towards me. I made it about 2 steps before I felt the force of a 900 pound straw bale hitting me in the back and knocking me to ground. I remember thinking to myself, “Man, what a terrible way to die.”

I woke up to my dad pushing the bale off of me and lifting me up to the trailer. I looked at my foot. It looked horrific. But then I realized I couldn’t really breathe. The air had been knocked out of me. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t breathe. Finally, I let out a breath and realized I would probably be ok. I looked down at my foot. To say it looked like the peel of a banana would be no understatement. My mom wanted to call an ambulance, but my dad wanted me to just go to the hospital and have them look at it. He carried me to the house, then to the car. We drove to the doctor and I waited for x-rays. By this time I was in a lot of pain.

The results did not sound good. I had functionally shattered my foot and and broke my ankle. But the worst part was many of the bones had been displaced. Doctors had no idea what to do and there was nothing to really plate the other bones to. They put me in a soft cast and told me to go to a specialist in the morning. Shortly after, I told them my back really hurt. They decided to take another x-ray, only to find out that I had a transverse process fracture of my lowest vertebrae in my back.

Unsure about what would happen in the morning, we drove home. My dad and grandfather then gave me a priesthood blessing. My mom called family and asked them to pray for me and to put my name on the rolls in the temple. The next morning I woke up to my mom telling me we needed to go to the other hospital. We waited for what felt like an eternity. Doctors did x-rays and ct-scans and I overheard the doctor pull out my mom and dad to tell them what they had found. I really did not know what to expect.

As the doctor put up the x-rays I couldn’t believe what I saw. Every bone in my foot had lined up perfectly. In the position they belonged. The breaks were still there, but they had already began to align themselves. I could see the x-rays from 12 hours previous and even I knew the bones were displaced and severely damaged. I didn’t see that in the new x-rays. To make things more miraculous, the break in my back was gone. The doctors and nurses we met the following day all commented on how lucky I had been.  But I knew what the real cause of the miracle had been.

I remember riding in the car with my parents on our way home. I then asked my dad how he knew to ask me to move out of the way. He said, “Son, I had no idea those bales were going to fall. I didn’t even know they had fallen until I heard the noise and felt the ground shake.” I told my parents about the voice I heard. I know, that I heard an audible voice tell me to move. I wouldn’t listen to the subtle prompting of the Holy Ghost and instead had to hear the voice of my father in order to know to move. I know God was looking out for my safety, and I know He loved me enough to tell me to move. I know the Priesthood blessing and having my name in the temple led to my miraculous healing.

Through the coming weeks every doctor I saw admitted that it was a miracle that I  wasn’t hurt worse than I was and that my recovery was so quick. 6 weeks later I was walking on my own and there were no real long term problems as a result of my accident.Ever since that experience I have worked to remember how I felt that day. I know that God loves us. His priesthood is back on the Earth for the blessing of His children.

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