When there is war in the world, many people must leave their homes and enter into the battle, going out to fight for their country, their family, and their beliefs.
Some of these soldiers are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While many Latter-day Saints give their lives for their countries, others tell inspiring military stories of miraculous events.
Below are the stories of five war miracles.
Military Chaplain’s Close Call
LDS Living tells the story of Henry McCain, a member who served as an army chaplain in Iraq and Afghanistan.
One day, a bomb exploded right where he had been standing moments before. McCain says that “Everyone in that vehicle turned around and goes, ‘Chaplain, the Lord’s looking out for you. We want you in our vehicle.’” Henry McCain had numerous close encounters during his tours of duty, but he was never injured, and no one who was with him was killed. McCain truly had the Lord looking out for him.
Henry McCain had numerous close encounters during his tours of duty, but he was never injured, and no one who was with him was killed. McCain truly had the Lord looking out for him.
The Gift of Tongues
Joseph R. Banks recounts his miracle in the archive Saints At War. He and three other soldiers had escaped a Nazi POW camp in World War II. One night, they stumbled upon a German soldier who started yelling at them. Banks says that “[b]efore I could think of what to do, I was startled . . . to hear myself respond with a calm, confident German phrase that obviously was appropriate to what he’d asked me. . . He then replied to whatever I’d said with an almost cheerful, ‘Ja, Ja, Ja!’ . . . and went back into the house.”
Banks and his companions quickly hurried away. They asked him what he had said and he responded saying “I told them I had no idea what either he or I said, since I couldn’t speak German.” In the Church we hear of the gift of tongues, but this was truly an instance of the Lord putting words in one’s mouth.
In the Church, we hear of the gift of tongues, but this was truly a case of the Lord putting words in one’s mouth (Exodus 4:12).
Protected by the Priesthood
Larry Maloy recounts his experience in the Ensign article “Blessings on the Battlefield.” He and his friend Rich were two members of the Church serving in Vietnam. One day while they were patrolling, there was an explosion, and Maloy felt through the spirit that Rich was involved. His platoon sergeant called him over. In his hurry, Maloy’s belt carrying ammunition and grenades unhooked and he left it with another machine gunner.
Maloy came over and learned that the explosion had been a booby trap and had severely wounded Rich. Rich asked for a blessing. Maloy says, “The Lord gave Rich a blessing through me. I told him that he would live to return home to his wife and build a family. I uttered words of encouragement and a blessing for his wife to be patient and understanding.”
A few minutes later, the helicopter taking Rich away set off another booby trap. A piece of shrapnel hit Brother Maloy where minutes before his belt of ammunition and grenades would have been. These two soldiers were blessed that day through the power of the priesthood and the coincidence that we call a miracle.
A Gun’s Refusal to Fire
William E. Phipps, Jr. recounts his story in an Ensign article “In a Vietnam Helicopter.” He served as a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam war.
Phipps and a gunner were firing upon what they thought were enemy ground troops. Phipps suddenly realized that they were shooting at a young mother and her baby. He called to the gunner over the radio to cease fire, which was done so immediately, leaving the mother and her child unharmed.
Phipps asked the gunner if he had heard him, the gunner replied that he had not, but explained that he was going to take his finger off the trigger in any case. But before he could do so, the gun had inexplicably stopped shooting.
William Phipps ended his article saying, “An elder’s urgent plea had been answered, instantly, and without formality. In that one desperate moment, the forces of heaven were manifest, and life was spared. The gun had stopped. It just stopped.”
POW’s Prayer for Help
LDS Living recounts the story of Larry Chesley, who was shot down and taken as a POW in Vietnam.
When Chesley was captured, he was stripped down to his underwear. He prayed to God that he could have his boots since he knew he would have a long way to walk.
A moment later, the Vietnamese soldiers returned his boots to him. Though Chesley was a POW for seven years, his faith helped him get through it, and he experienced many miracles.
Amphibious Assaults and Blessings
Thomas S. Monson tells the story of “A Wartime Miracle” where a blessing was performed during World War II. The experience was that of a newspaper correspondent not of our faith.
The U.S. Marines were taking the Kwajalein Atoll of the Marshall Islands when the correspondent noticed a wounded marine who had found his companion bleeding heavily and face down in the water. The marine lifted his companion’s head and called for help, only to be told that there was nothing he could do for his friend.
The marine didn’t take no for an answer, and instead gave his companion a blessing saying, “I command you, in the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the priesthood, to remain alive until I can get medical help.” His companion survived, and the correspondent later wrote in the hospital that “The doctors don’t know . . . [how they made it alive], but I know.”