Matthew Cowley – Don’t Bless This Girl to Live

This story is told by Elder Glen L. Rudd

Elder Matthew Cowley

Elder Matthew Cowley

One day a young cousin of mine was run over by a big city bus; the rear wheels ran over her whole body and crushed her head. My mother called me and said, “Get a hold of Tumuaki and go to the hospital as fast as you can!” So we did. When we got there, the good Latter-day Saint doctor said to Elder Cowley, “Don’t bless this little girl to live. If she lives, she will be a vegetable. Her brain has been completely crushed worse than anything you can imagine. Whatever you do, bless her to pass away quickly.” We went in the room. The doctor left us. Elder Cowley said to me, “What do you think we ought to do?” I said. “Well, we came to bless her. We’d better bless her.” So he blessed her. He blessed her to be made well. He blessed her to run and jump and live a normal life, to grow up and to become married and have a family. He poured out upon her the great feelings of love of his heart and gave her promises that were almost impossible to think about. Then we left.

For the next thirty days, he fasted quite frequently. He went to that same hospital room and would spend two or three hours sitting at the bed of that little girl who was about ten or eleven years of age, just praying for her. And they kept wondering why she did not die. They did not fix any of the broken bones. The doctors just did not do anything because they knew she would not last. After several days, more than a month, she moved a couple of muscles. She was still unconscious, of course. They began to work with her. It was not too long before she began to respond. The faith and the fasting of this magnificent man who was God’s noble servant began to pay off.

About two years ago, it dawned on me that this little girl, now a lovely mother of four or five children, had never been told what happened in the hospital. She knew that Elder Cowley and I had been to bless her on many different occasions, but she did not know that he had spent a great deal of time at her hospital bed. She did not know that he had promised her some blessings. I went to see her. I said, “Janice, how bad are you from the accident?” “I’m okay.” “Do you have a lot of scars on your body?” She said, “Not a single scar.” I said, “Do you limp? Do you have any aches and pains?” She said, “Not really.” She is a woman now, over fifty years old. She said, “Just the normal problems.” I told her of her blessing. Then I wrote it down and gave her a copy of what had happened so many, many years ago under the hands of this wonderful man. I shall never forget that miracle.

Glen L. Rudd, “Memories of Matthew Cowley: Man of Faith, Apostle to the Pacific,” in Pioneers in the Pacific, ed. Grant Underwood (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2005) 15–31.

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About LDS Scripture Teachings

I write about ways scripture applies in our lives: LDSScriptureTeachings.org
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