Sunday, December 16, 2012

Power of Christ's Atonement

Today is Sunday and our 25th day in the Intensive Care Unit. As I got up from my cot and 

looked out the window to the Nashville high rise of businesses, I’ve been thinking about how 

many of us will be partaking of the sacrament today and the wonderful blessings of the 

atonement. As Sister McKee comes out of the coma a
nd becomes more aware of her 

surroundings and her body, she is also more aware of her pain. The pain of the trach, the pain 

of a tube into the stomach, the pain of a previous tube in her head and the back of her head 

being sutured as well, the realization that arms and feet do not want to move when commanded 

by the brain, the shear fatigue of being in bed for three weeks produces so much weakness 

which is difficult to tell what is stroke or what is atrophy of the muscles. All of these painful 

feelings and frustrating thoughts take me back to so many things that the Savior has taught us.

 The atonement is the ultimate gift for each of us. It takes away our sorrows, sadness, 

frustration, suffering and pain and, oh by the way, it heals our sins as well.

As many of us will be partaking of the sacrament today may we hand over to the Savior through the atonement , suffering , sorrow, sadness, frustration and pain. We are so dependent upon Him in all aspects of our lives. He has given us so much and we owe all to Him. Those things that are out of our control , we must hand over to Him. This is a huge act of faith and also requires us to do all that we can do first. Every day I decide (ALL) that I can do with my family, with Sister McKee, with 170 missionaries , and then clearly know that I must hand the rest over to the Savior, to the atonement , that heals ALL things.

Sister McKee is breathing through the trach still and is on the respirator 18 of the 24 hours each day. Today they will try her off the respirator and breathing on her own through the trach for 8 hours. She is still moving feet, hands , eyebrows , trying to mouth some words (as she cannot speak) and can also move her tongue. Again we rejoice in “small things” . We love you. Thank you for your cards, your kind gifts, your humble prayers and your incredible faith. Today one of the nurses over her oxygen came in and sat by me and said, “ Ya’lls faith is pretty impressive. I’ve never really been around Mormons but I have to tell you that I can see that the Lord is performing a miracle on this woman. Even those in my department that are not God fearing are beginning to believe that there is a God and He answered ya’lls prayers. There is no way that any of us expected to see her come through this and start responding. Praise be to God.” The sincerity and faith of some of our caretakers is very supportive. Our nurse from yesterday only works here once a month. He loved the message we shared and took a “Finding faith in Christ” video home with him. The Lord continues to give us many missionary opportunities.
As we hand “ALL” over to the Savior today while partaking of the sacrament we will also be filled with gratitude for such great friends and family. May the Lord bless you on this beautiful Sabbath day.

William McKee family


  1. Dear President,
    Thank you for keeping us updated on your dear wife. We haven't personally met you but feel we know you through our son Tyler (Elder Duffin). He loves you both so much. We are grateful to you and continue to pray for you and your family. Love, Rex & Susan Duffin

  2. Dear President,
    You, Sister McKee, and your whole family are in our hearts, our thoughts, and our prayers. We marvel at the strength of your testimony, the depth of your understanding of the atonement, and your charitable hearts that draw everyone to you and your message of the gospel. Holding you all close in our hearts and prayers.
    Tom and Kris Allen

  3. Dear President McKee and family,

    Last week our daughter joyfully received her mission call to serve in the Tennessee Nashville Mission. She enters the MTC on Feb. 13. We just found your blog this afternoon and are deeply saddened to hear about Sister McKee's hospitalization and the intense trials that all of you are enduring. We have immediately added your names to the temple prayer rolls here in SLC and Bountiful and to the Choir prayer roll. I assure you we will be including you and Sister McKee in ALL of our family prayers and fasts. Although we have not met you yet, we have felt an immediate bond and you are part of our eternal family. We want you to know that we love you, and we are pouring our our hearts to the Lord on your behalf for His continued miracles. We have learned first-hand how the Lord's ways are mysterious. We have empathy for your current ordeal, having spent many long days and nights and weeks in the hospital working through a medical miracle. At times we were forced to walk through the darkest abyss with only the rod of iron and a glimmer of hope to hold on to. It is at that point when you realize the "nothingness of man" and must choose to surrender everything into the hands of God. An amazing burden was lifted when we finally just gave it all to God and said "Thy will be done." Elder Neal A. Maxwell was an expert in trials (both enduring them, and understanding them) He called these experiences "the agony and ecstasy of soul-stretching", and "the fiery furnace of the mortal school curriculum".

    So, although we cannot take this cup from you, please know that you are not enduring your wine press alone.

    "Jesus’ perfect empathy was ensured when, along with His Atonement for our sins, He took upon Himself our sicknesses, sorrows, griefs, and infirmities and came to know these “according to the flesh” (Alma 7:11–12). He did this in order that He might be filled with perfect, personal mercy and empathy and thereby know how to succor us in our infirmities. He thus fully comprehends human suffering. Truly Christ “descended below all things, in that He comprehended all things” (D&C 88:6)." - Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Enduring Well, 1997

    With Love and Prayers,
    The Abel Family
    Bountiful, Utah