As I was reviewing some of John’s older posts, I remembered an experience I had with John many years ago. Back in Alaska, John and I attended church at the same building but at different times. One Sunday, I bumped into John in the hallway as I walked out of a room. He looked at me for a few seconds and said, “What have you been doing? Your countenance is so bright.” I told him I had just given a blessing. He commented that the person whom I had blessed must have been a special person.
The person was indeed special but not in the way we might think. In fact, this person rarely came to church; he smoke and drank and struggled as many of us do with the weaknesses of the flesh. I can’t even recall why he came to church that particular Sunday. But, he did ask for a blessing.
As I laid my hands on this man’s head, I was privileged to be shown a glimpse of his premortal life: he was a mighty man there–a leader of what seemed to be tens of thousands. I saw him there in the premortal world on a hill testifying of the Father’s plan. It seemed that many thousands of Father’s children listened intently to his powerful testimony. I was taken aback and humbled as this information came to me. I had a new understanding of who this man really was.
With tears running down my cheeks, I pronounced a blessing from our Father in Heaven upon him. This man was told that he was a mighty spirit in the premortal life, and because of all he did in heaven, he would be taken care of in this life and the next. The love of the Savior for this brother was almost more than I could bear as I felt it come to him through the blessing.
His wife was also in the room during that experience. She, too, was inactive. When the blessing was over, she stared in disbelief first at me and then at her husband. She struggled to believe that what she heard was true, but she felt the spirit so strongly she could not deny it.
I learned something that day which has always stayed with me. I need to treat everyone I meet as special brothers and sisters from heaven, because they really are. Here was this man struggling to overcome many of this world’s vices—simply fighting to stay alive. His outward appearance was a sharp contrast to my new view of him gained from a brief glimpse of his premortal life where he was held in such high esteem by our Heavenly Father as one of His royal sons.
As I go through this Christmas season and throughout the coming year, I pray to remember and live that lesson: To treat everyone as the Savior would, as if they are royalty. It is life changing to act like the Savior in everything we do. The best way to start and continue this journey is to follow the Spirit and take it as our constant guide. It is as simple as that.