(This story is also referenced in by Dallin H. Oaks, “Miracles,” Ensign, Jun 2001, 6)
"I was finishing up the monthly reports for the Fo'oi Branch when the Spirit told me to stop and look out the window, but I was too busy. The second time the Spirit spoke to me, he said, 'Iohani, stop now and look out the window.' Still I went on working. The third time I felt like someone was pushing me off the chair and told me to stop and look out the window. I was surprised to see a group of people hovering over something in the road and rushed out to find my family in trouble.
Many people, all at once, were trying to tell me what had happened. I could only see the body of my little girl Tisina with her head crushed and lifeless body laying in the street. My wife Salote had crossed the street to go to the home of Lolo and Mataele about 2:30 in the afternoon after sacrament meeting. Malina, Ana, Sale and Tisina were told to wait until the road was clear to cross. They couldn't figure out how Tisina came loose from Malina's hand and tried to run after her mother, but she ran into the road and was hit by a car. The driver was unaware that he had hit Tisina and that her lifeless body was laying in the road. The next car was full of American soldiers who had just returned from a sight seeing tour of the Village of Ha'Atafu and stopped immediately to help. Malina was the first one to try to pick Tisina's body off the street. Sale ran to hold her little head up but was too scared. Ana ran over and started to lift Tisina's body and saw the blood coming out through her mouth, nose, ears, and eyes. She was so frightened she dropped her and ran off. Salote came running and saw the blood on her face. She fainted by the roadway. Friends and neighbors came with a bucket of cold water to pour over Salote's face, then she finally came out of it.
My missionary companion, Samuela Vehikite, brought a mat to carry Tisina's body inside their house. A van arrived with American soldiers and offered to take Tisina back to the army hospital at Houma where an American doctor could see what could be done for the child. I agreed, so they put Tisina inside their truck and started for Houma, about a mile away. Though shocked, I finally got my composure and ran after the truck and said, Please stop, please! ...I just changed my mind. I forgot something very important to do for my daughter right now.
In my mind, I had forgotten to give Tisina a priesthood blessing. I asked the soldiers if they would please back up their truck and bring Tisina into the home right away. At this time, other churches had just barely let their members out from church. Sekona, a Samoan, call out and said, 'Iohani, don't try to act like God, but send your daughter to the hospital and see if a doctor can help her.' Many were afraid and some were very upset with me, but I understood something that non-members did not.
I called Samuela Vehikite to assist me by anointing the consecrated oil on Tisina's head and as I began to utter the prayer, I couldn't say a word. My mouth was locked. My mind was blank. No words would come. But in a few minutes the Spirit spoke to me in my mind that there were so many unbelievers in and out of the house that had no faith that Tisina would ever recover from her accident, that I should send the people home.
I immediately opened my eyes and asked the people if they wanted Tisina to come back to life to please leave my home now so we can pray for her. Oh my! Non-members were furious and started to spit at me. Some picked up rocks and started throwing them at the house as they were leaving, calling me names. I knew the American doctor might help Tisina walk again, but how about her brain? I knew that only God who created her, who gave her life, would be the only one who could help Tisina completely recover and bring her memory back to normal again.
I asked Salote to go ahead and fix supper for the family, but I would go and pray for Tisina. I prayed and prayed and thanked the Lord for all His blessings to us, for sending us on a mission, but how I wouldn't like to part with any of my children yet because we have no white material for her burial nor funeral cloth in Tongatapu, but in Vava'u we did. I reminded the Lord of how He saved the Israelites by parting the waters of the Red Sea, how Christ raised people from the dead, and of the simple faith of a missionary who just had his daughter run over by a car and had been killed, you can understand of my love for her. I reviewed how Lazarus was raised after being in the tomb for four days, through faith and the power of the priesthood. I prayed and thanked the Lord for those great prophets of old and their faith and special callings in the church from Adam down to the prophet Joseph Smith. I said, 'I don't want a funeral away from all my family, and if this little girl has a special mission on earth to do, please spare her life so she can fulfill that blessing and her mission.' I was on my knees over four hours that evening. Finally the Lord heard my prayer and said to me, 'Tisina won't be with you tonight, but tomorrow.' A humble and very sweet warm feeling came over my heart and a great worry and fear was lifted from my shoulders that evening. I thanked God for the answer that I received.
I opened my eyes slowly, filled with deep gratitude and tears of joy. I went over to Salote and said, 'Not tonight, but tomorrow.' Salote and the children didn't touch any food that evening. Everyone was shocked and felt so bad about Tisina.
Samuela Vehikite and I waited and waited all night long and about 3:00am, we felt the Spirit fill our souls and knew that this was finally the right time for us to give Tisina her priesthood blessing. Samuela Vehikite anointed her and I sealed the blessing, I thanked the Lord and expressed his love to me in answering my prayers and said, 'Tisina, by the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood which we hold, we ask Thee, our Heavenly Father, to bless Tisina from the top of her head all the way down to her toes, that every bone, muscle, nerve, blood vessel, skin, nails, hair or any part of her body that has been broken, lost or damaged, through the power of the priesthood which we hold, we command it to return to it's normal place and start to function and to do their work, that she will be able to stand and her body will be returned and renewed with all its parts and start to function as they were before. We promise you through the holy power of the priesthood that when the sun rises in the morning, you will be raised up together with the sun. And when other witnesses hear this testimony of Tisina, they will also testify that Jesus is the Christ and through Him the Lord healed Tisina. Not tonight, but tomorrow, Tisina will walk with the rest of the family as the Spirits whispers.'
After the blessing everyone knelt down before they went to bed and in a circle offered a prayer, then we retired. I came into the room where Tisina still had her face covered with the cloth. She was still dead. I picked her up and laid her little broken head on my arm and kept her body close to me. Hours seemed to pass. I finally dozed off and on for about two more hours and about 6:00 a.m. I felt someone playing around my face and touching my hair. I slowly opened my eyes and to my surprise saw Tisina standing up playing with my face and hair with a big smile on her face.
I slowly reached out to feel Tisina's head. It was normal. I started to feel her hands, legs, face, everything that had been promised had come true. Samela Vehikite remembered that in her priesthood blessing that when the sun rose up in the morning she would rise up together with the sun. So he opened the window shades and sure enough, the sun had just barely risen in the sky. How excited we were to have our little daughter back with us again. We sang a special hymn to thank God for her return and said a long prayer of thanksgiving by me. A few minutes later a knock came to our door. Our Aunt Marie and Uncle Maile Niu, brought Tisina's burial clothing and her burial box and asked where the dead child was. I said she was the one that answered the door.