Being an Example in All Places
In speaking of those who are unafraid to live lives of righteousness and example, I am reminded of one of the missionaries who served in Eastern Canada when I was the mission president there. He was a special young man by the name of Elder Roland Davidson. He was dedicated and hardworking and obviously loved the gospel of Jesus Christ. And then he became very ill. After weeks of hospitalization, as the surgeon prepared to undertake extremely serious and complicated surgery, the surgeon asked that we send for the missionary’s parents. He indicated that there was a great likelihood that Elder Davidson could not survive the surgery. His parents came. The evening before the surgery, his father and I, in that hospital room in Toronto, Canada, placed our hands upon the head of that young missionary and gave him a blessing. What happened the following day provided for me a never-to-be-forgotten example of the influence of a true “believer.”
Elder Davidson was in a six-bed ward in the hospital. The other beds were occupied by five men with a variety of illnesses. On the morning of Elder Davidson’s surgery, his bed was empty. I learned later that the nurse came into the room with the breakfast these husky men normally ate. She took a tray over to bed number one and said, “Fried eggs this morning, and I have an extra portion for you.” Bed number one was occupied by a man with his toe wrapped up in a bandage. He had suffered an accident with his lawnmower. Other than his injured toe, he was well physically. He said to the nurse, “I’ll not be eating this morning.”
“All right,” said the nurse. “We’ll give your breakfast to your partner in bed number two!”
As she went over to bed number two, he said, “No, thank you. I think I’ll not eat this morning.”
She said, “That’s two in a row. I don’t understand you men, and there is no one this morning in bed three.” She glanced at the bed Roland Davidson had occupied, and then she went on to bed four, bed five, and bed six. The answer was the same from each one: “No, this morning I’m not hungry.”
The young lady put her hands on her hips and said, “Every other morning you eat us out of house and home, and today not one of you wants to eat. What’s going on here?”
And then the man who occupied bed number six came forth with the answer. He said, “You see, bed number three is empty. Our friend, Davidson, is in the operating room under the surgeon’s hands. He needs all the help he can get. He is a missionary for his church, and while he has been lying on that bed he has talked to us about the principles of his church—principles of prayer, of faith, and of fasting wherein we call upon the Lord for blessings.” He continued, “We have come to admire Davidson as a person of great goodness and compassion and faith. He’s an example of what a follower of Christ should be. He has touched our lives—each one of us—and we are fasting for him today.”
The operation performed on Roland Davidson was a success. In fact, when I attempted to pay the surgeon, he refused any money, saying, “It would be dishonest for me to accept a fee. I have never before performed surgery when my hands seemed to be guided by a power which was other than my own. No,” he said, “I wouldn’t take a fee for the surgery which Someone on high helped me to perform.”
For more great stories from President Monson, be sure to check out Consider the Blessings.
In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of his call as an Apostle, Consider the Blessings presents fifty of the true accounts President Thomas S. Monson has shared over the years. With beautiful photographs and heart-touching content, this is a book to treasure with the whole family.