“Power in the Priesthood”—Source of Revealed in Manhattan Miracle

The following experience gives those who have faith in the priesthood an idea of how priesthood power is accomplished.

Sister Veda Mortimer was present in her Manhattan Ward, in New York Stake, in September 1959 when Elder Harold B. Lee set apart and ordained members to new callings. They were in the bishop’s office which was located in the basement.

She writes, “As it is not a large room, the twenty people in it filled it almost completely. A chair was set in the center of the bishop’s office. Brother DeWitt Paul took a seat on the chair in the of the center room, his back toward the door. Elder Lee took his place behind Brother Paul to give him the ordination and blessing as the newly called stake partiarch. Just as Elder Lee lifted his hands to place them on Brother Paul’s head, I both saw and felt a shaft of bright light come onto the back and top of Elder Lee’s head. It was like bright sunshine suddenly coming through a square window, eight to ten inches square, and shining down on a 45-degree angle on the back and top of his head. It was as if a shade had suddenly been drawn to let in the bright sun.

As I bowed my head, I saw the light and thought, ‘What a coincidence that that shaft of bright sunlight should shine on Elder Lee just at the particular instant that he was putting his hands on Brother Paul’s head’.

Just as quickly as I thought this , I realized there was no window in the office, and therefore it could not be sunlight. The only opening in the room was the door, which was closed…in that same instance I understood that it was a stream of light from heaven, a light that needed no physical window to enter the room.

…I understand now how patriarchs can give blessings and how sacred ordinances can be performed with the help of the Lord. I am most grateful to the Lord for the privilege of this experience.”

Remembering the Miracles, Brent L. Goates, p. 41-42
Also related in Oct 2002 General Conference, The Stake Patriarch, Boyd K. Packer

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