Many years ago, on a Halloween night, it was my privilege to be of assistance to one who had temporarily lost his way and needed a helping hand to return. I was driving home from the office rather late. I had been stalling on Halloween, letting my wife handle the trick-or-treat visitors. As I passed St. Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, I remembered that a dear friend, Max, lay ill in that very hospital. As he and I had become acquainted years before, we discovered that we had grown up in the same ward, although at different times. By the time I was born, Max and his parents had moved from the ward.
That Halloween night, I drove into the parking lot and entered the hospital. As I stopped at the desk to inquire as to his room number, I was informed that when Max had registered at the hospital, he had listed as his religious preference not LDS but rather another church.
I entered Max’s room and greeted him. I told him how proud I was to be his friend and how much I cared about him. I talked about his career in banking and as an orchestra leader on the side. I discovered that he had been offended by a comment or two from others and so had decided to attend another church. I said to him, “Max, you hold the Melchizedek Priesthood. I would like to give you a blessing tonight.” He agreed, and the blessing was provided. He then informed me that his wife, Bernice, was also very ill and was, in fact, in an adjoining room. At my invitation, Max joined me in giving a blessing to her. He asked me to help him. I coached him. He anointed his wife. There were tears and embraces all around as I sealed the anointing with Max, his hands on his wife’s head with mine, making that Halloween evening one ever to be remembered.
As I left the hospital that night, I stopped at the desk and told the receptionist that with the permission of Max and his wife the record should be changed to reflect their membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I waited and I watched until it was changed.
My friends Max and Bernice are now both on the other side of the veil, but they spent the last period of their lives active and happy and receiving the blessings which come with testimonies of the gospel and attendance at church.