Whatever your next step is, keep your sights high, Brother Blackwelder told LDSBC students. He likes to give back to others, and he shared that he and his wife would happily pay the application fee for any LDSBC alumnus who applied to Harvard University.
Brother Blackwelder also spoke of an unforgettable experience that had saved his life. He had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and needed a kidney and pancreas transplant for his body to continue to function correctly. It troubled him, but he knew his best option would be organs from someone young who had avoided drinking and drugs but had died in a severe accident.
As the days went on, Brother Blackwelder received phone calls that ended up being false alarms for the surgery he needed the most. Sometimes having hope also means having to wait, he said. And wait he did, continuing to grow weaker.
On September 3, 2013, a tragic accident occurred while two LDS missionaries were driving in Idaho. One did not survive, and when Brother Blackwelder learned he would receive the transplant he desperately needed from 19-year-old Elder Taylor Ward, he felt immensely grateful for the opportunity he would receive to stay alive.
Brother Blackwelder pointed out how even when prospects looked dim he waited patiently for what he needed the most. He urged students to wait patiently as well for what they needed and wanted the most. Do remember that behind the wait the Father is at work, he said.