(Continued from last week…)
During the 1970’s Fred Bohman, who was a purchasing agent for the LDS Church in South America, was living with his young family in Quito, Ecuador. It was there that he met Segundo Moldanado in a marketplace. After discovering that they were both Latter-day Saints, they struck up a friendship. Fred tells us what happened…
Segundo Moldanado and I became friends, not terribly close friends because he lived in Octavalo, a six-hour journey from Quito. But there was an immediate liking and trust between us, though we spent little time together.
Several months later my wife Mary and I lost our first son. He was seven months old when he suffocated in his bed. We were sick with grief and guilt, wondering what we might have done to prevent his death.
It was at this very unhappy time that Segundo and his wife made the six-hour journey to Quito to see us. He said they had come to tell us of their conversion to the gospel and about the death of their son. They thought that by sharing their experiences with us we might find comfort and strength and a stronger faith in the afterlife.
Because they were Indians and [were] used to speaking their native language, their Spanish was broken, but it was good enough for Mary and me to understand clearly what they were saying.
…Not long after Segundo had joined the church, he was in the marketplace one day, when his oldest son began screaming because of a terrible pain in his head. Within a few hours the son was dead.
Segundo and his wife were beside themselves with grief. One moment they wondered what they might have done to deserve this, the next they were angry with the Lord for allowing something so cruel and seemingly senseless to happen to their son.
They began fasting, determined to find out why it happened. They received no answer during an entire week of fasting. But they did not stop. They were determined to continue until they had an answer.
It was during the second week of the fast, while they were kneeling together in their hut, that it happened. The whole side of the house suddenly disappeared and they found themselves looking out into a beautiful garden full of flowers, trees, green grasses—the most beautiful place they had ever seen, but totally unfamiliar.
As they looked into the beautiful garden they saw their son who had died running towards them. He ran up to his parents, threw his arms around Segundo, saying, “Don’t worry about me. I had no choice but to go back.”
Then they looked up and saw another man standing in a white robe, who said, “Segundo, you have a righteous desire to know the fate of your son. The Lord has heard your prayers.” This man, who showed them the wounds in his hands and feet, taught them for an hour or so until the vision or dream ended, and the walls of the house closed in as they had been before.
After relating the story of…the death of his son, Segundo looked at me and said, “Fred, I know where your son is. He is with ours. He has specific tasks to perform. Don’t worry.”
Somehow my wife and I found comfort in those words. Thanks to Segundo we were able to believe more firmly that our son had not really died, but just passed on to a different kingdom where he needed to be” (Beyond the Veil, vol. 2, comp. by Lee Nelson, 1996, pp. 95-101).
KATIE from Idaho
Back in the 1980s, a little seven-year-old girl named Katie from Idaho drowned in a YMCA pool, and was resuscitated and kept alive in the hospital by machines—she was in a deep coma, had massive swelling on the brain, and an artificial lung was breathing for her. Miraculously, three days later she woke up, and in twenty-four hours, made a full recovery. In a follow-up examination, the doctor asked her, “What do you remember about being in the swimming pool?” Katie said: “Do you mean when I visited the Heavenly Father?” Later, Katie told this doctor that a tall and nice bright lady took her to meet the Heavenly Father and Jesus. “The Heavenly Father asked [her] if she wanted to go home. Katie cried. She said she wanted to stay with him. Then Jesus asked her if she wanted to see her mother again. ‘Yes,’ she replied. Then [Katie woke up]” (Melvin Morse, Closer To The Light, 1990, pp. 1-6).
(to be continued…)