Gwen Smith lived in sunny South Africa with her parents and four younger sisters. Each week she and her family travelled a long distance to attend their meetings. They rode part of the way on a double-decker bus until they reached the Mowbray station. Then they walked several blocks up Grove Road to the chapel.
Gwen especially enjoyed the beautiful scenery on Sunday mornings as the family walked along together under the shade of the huge gum trees. Towering above the road like a big giant lifting his head to the blue sky was Devil’s Peak. In September when it was spring, the hills were alive with thousands of colourful proteas, daisies, crassulas, and other wild flowers.
Gwen was grateful for the beautiful world in which she lived. And because she was always happy, everyone enjoyed her special smile.
One day Gwen did not feel like smiling. That day she could not help but cry because she had severe pains in her head, her back ached continually, and she had a high fever. Her parents immediately called their family doctor.
After his examination, the doctor reported that all of Gwen’s symptoms—especially the rigid condition developing in her back—indicated that she had meningitis. He suggested that a specialist be called in to consult with him.
Her parents agreed to have the specialist come, but as soon as the family doctor left, they called “Cumorah,” the mission home, and asked LeRoy H. Duncan, who was mission president at the time, to come with another elder and administer to Gwen.
When these brethren arrived, Gwen was so ill that she could not smile. President Duncan and his companion placed their hands on the girl’s feverish forehead and gave her a blessing, praying that she would be made well if it were according to Heavenly Father’s will.
Even before the elders left, Gwen began to feel better. By the time their family doctor returned with the specialist, she seemed almost well. After another examination, the specialist turned to the family doctor and said, “Sir, you must have been unduly alarmed. This child has no symptom whatever of meningitis. All she needs is a few days of rest.”
Although neither doctor could understand the great change in Gwen, she and her family knew they had all been blessed through the power of the priesthood. And once again Gwen’s face was radiant with the happy smile that everyone loved!
Taken from 'True Stories from South Africa,' Friend, April 1972