My Husband and I served two years as inner-city missionaries at the St. Benedicts Manor in Ogden. It is a government-housing complex with about 100 members who deal with various disabilities. Mike Hayes gave an impressive talk in Sacrament meeting on one of our first Sundays at the Manor. His testimony was powerful. The missionaries were assigned to visit the members monthly in their apartments. Our first visit with Mike was a cherished experience. We knocked on his door and he opened cheerfully and invited us in. We spent a few minutes discussing his work and career goals. He collected bills for a nearby business; he did part time drafting and had an online business with hopes of success. We were impressed at his ambition with his obvious handicap.
Mike happened to mention that he had only been active 3 years. I asked him what brought him back into the church. He told the following story:
"I am an epileptic. I was having seizures so often my life seemed hopeless. I decided the only answer was to end it. I sat on the bed with a 32-caliber revolver. I was contemplating where the best place to shoot would be—in the mouth or at the temple. As I sat there discouraged and distraught something came over me and I dropped to my knees and prayed. I stayed there for a long time pouring out my soul, pleading for help. I glanced at the shelf by my bed. I saw a book—my old dusty scriptures. I put down the gun and picked up the scriptures. They fell open to 2 Timothy 1:7"
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear but of power, and of love and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord…
"I cried and dropped to my knees and prayed again. I had my answer."
He pointed to a spot on the wall with the scripture printed out below a picture of the Savior. He said the scripture sustained him daily.
I asked him about his health. He said he got an implant to control his seizures and now only has one or two grand mauls a year. He told us he was happy and hopeful—that the gospel had given him a new life.
We left uplifted as we often did with these wonderful people who were trying to live the gospel with challenges most of us can’t even imagine.