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Mormon HealingRecently one of my online friends requested that I write about healing stories within the Mormon faith.

My first thought was to share the traditional stories those of us who have been around the Mormon Church for awhile have all heard.  I’m sure there are many bloggers out there who are well more versed on the history of Mormon faith healing and miracles,  but for those of you interested, there are quite a few Mormon faith healing stories of the first Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith.  Those of you who have stories to share on the history of healing or perhaps a relative who was miraculously healed, please share in the comment section because I know there are a lot of faith healing stories out there which would be beneficial for all of us to hear.

Also, as I researched, I found numerous inspirational stories of faith and healing from Mormons all over the world.  For example, the LDS Addictions Recovery website has some amazing testimonials of people who were on the street and totally addicted who turned their will to God and were healed.

Another miraculous healing I recently read in the very inspiring book Let it Go by Chris Williams.  This book is about Chris’s experience with a drunk driver hitting his family’s car.  Chris’s wife, unborn son, daughter, and one of his sons were instantly killed.  His other son was in very critical condition and had brain damage.  Doctors thought that he had a very slight chance of survival, and if he did survive, would have permanent brain damage.  Chris relates a story of how he felt God’s love encircle him and as he laid hands on his son to give him a blessing of healing, he felt God tell him to say his son would be completely healed.  Three weeks later, his son was o.k. and released from the hospital.

While all of these examples are awesome, and the Good Lord has shown His hand countless times, I thought that I would share a few personal stories that were very impressive for me at various stages of my life.  As I reflect on each of them, I am grateful for God’s merciful hand in my life.

I’ll start with the story of my sister being brought back to life, then share a personal story of healing within myself, and conclude with a recent story about my wife and our unborn daughter (due this June 20th).

The Day my Sister Died (and lived)

I was seven years old, but that didn’t stop my father from granting me my wish to help out on the farm.  On this particular day I was busy pulling down a 80 lb hay bales, and rolling them to the feeding trough, cutting the strings and distributing the hay for the yearling calves.  I wanted to make sure I was doing my job correctly, so I was very focused on making sure I did as my father had taught me and not clump the hay all in one spot.  Rather, spread it out evenly so all the calves could get a good meal.

My focus was suddenly snapped as I heard a shrill screaming shrieking noise that startled me.  I wondered what could be making that noise and when I looked a few hundred feet away from where I was it scared me even more.  The noise was coming from my father.  Tears were streaming down his face and he was running faster than I had ever seen him run in my life.  What was even more frightening was my little sister, who was 3 1/2 years old was laying limp and lifeless in his arms.  I dropped everything I was doing and ran towards my grandfathers house where I saw my father running.

By the time I entered the pantry my grandmother, grandfather, and father were surrounding my young sister.  She was laying in my father’s arms limp and they couldn’t find a pulse.  My grandmother had called for help and in the meantime, grandpa and dad proceeded to give her a blessing.

My father knows more precisely what was said in the blessing, but if I recall it correctly, he commanded her to be healed and promised that she would live a life of service to God.  Shortly thereafter, her pulse returned and her stay in the hospital was very short.

She was daddies little girl and always followed him around the farm wherever he went.  I’ve had conversations with him about how proud of her he was and how much he loved his little girl.  On that particular day, as he was pulling hay bales down, he didn’t realize that she had slipped out of grandpa and grandma’s home to follow him.  He pulled a line of hay from a stack that was 13 bales high, each bale weighing 80-100 lbs. which came crashing down right on top of her.  It was the first healing miracle I witnessed and it made an impression on me that the Lord can and still does work miracles through His faithful servants.

Today, my sister is one of the most dedicated and committed members of our family to the Lord, Jesus Christ as she and her husband serve as pastors and missionaries for a local Foursquare Church.  They are also beginning the process of planting a new church.  She is a sweet blessing to our family and I thank the Lord that her life was spared at that time.  Many times throughout my life she has touched me and moved me to be a better person who is more dedicated to the Lord.

My Blessing of Healing

Those of you who follow this blog know of my struggles I’ve had in the past with anxiety and depression.  Those of you who read my book know how big of a challenge it was for me to overcome anxiety and depression, especially in my personal relationships.

Shortly after I was married to my wife, I was still struggling with sever anxiety.  I was traumatized by my parents’ divorce at a young age and I still had panic that my wife may leave me or be taken away from me.

A couple weeks after we were married, I was visiting a friend of mine.  My wife was on a trip to Taiwan and I was scheduled to go visit her.  However, I was in a state of panic wondering if she would still want me knowing I was suffering so much from anxiety, etc.  I asked my friend to give me a blessing.

In the blessing, God talked to me through him.  I felt words of comfort and he also pronounced a blessing of healing, that I would be freed from anxiety.

Since that time, I have never suffered from a panic attack, which is a miracle given that I had suffered for years prior to that.  I feel the Lord’s hand in my life as I am a husband and father of two beautiful kids (soon to be three), which leads me to the final story of healing.

Healing for My Wife and Unborn Child

A few months ago my wife told me she was very weak from bleeding.  Given that she was about 15 or 16 weeks pregnant, I knew that wasn’t a good thing.  We had had a miscarriage before so I thought that perhaps this was the case.  My mind then went to the “what if” situations of if it was something more that could be wrong with her and she was bleeding internally.

As the blood kept coming, I knew we needed to do something.  I called her Dad to see if we could have him come over and watch our kids who were sleeping and then called the hospital and explained the situation.  I then had the impression to give her a blessing of healing.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Mormon concept of giving a blessing, I’ll try and summarize it.  Members of the church who hold the Melchezedek Priesthood have the authority and power to act as the “voice” of God so to speak and give a blessing.  Blessings can be given for comfort, or for healing.  In the case of healing, we annoint the person receiving the blessing with consecrated oil, place our hands on their head, and then speak the words the Lord gives us.  It is a very humbling experience because going into the blessing the person doesn’t know what words are going to be given.  (Read this article for a more detailed description on blessings).

Before I started speaking the words during the blessing, the Lord’s Spirit came over me and I sensed a complete feeling of peace and that everything was going to be fine.  I knew in my heart that whatever happened would be the Lord’s will and I was prepared to accept it.

When I began speaking, I was impressed to speak the words that she would be healed and the baby would be fine.  For a split second I had a bit of doubt seeing how much she had bled (which seemed like much more compared to the miscarriage we had had), but I put the doubt out of my mind and focused on the promptings I received.

Shortly afterwards, her bleeding slowed down and we didn’t even need to go into the doctor that evening.

She is now 26 weeks along and we found out we are going to be having a little girl.

Your Stories

These are just a few “Mormon Faith Healing Stories” that I have personally witnessed in my life.  I’m positive there are many of you out there who have stories to share.  Whether you are Mormon or not, I know that the Lord can and does heal according to His will and the faith of the people receiving and/or giving the healing.  I would love if you shared some healing stories you have seen in your life.  I think it will be a great blessing to those who read this.

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Recently I was preparing for a lesson with my Sunday School class of 16-18 year olds.  We’re studying the New Testament this year.  I found it interesting that in the early Christian church, there was continuous revelation.  The example in this lesson is found in the book of Acts chapter 15.

In this example, Paul and Barnabas come across some church members who are still requiring circumcision as in the Law of Moses.  Paul and Barnabas are not certain if that should be a requirement, so they go to Jerusalem and meet with the apostles for guidance on the matter.  After the apostles discuss the matter, they make a decision through guidance by the Holy Spirit (verses 19-28) and then they write an epistle for Paul and Barnabas to bring back to the church members for sustaining (verses 22-31).  They also send an apostle (Judas) back with them to deliver the message.

This process of revelation to the church is similar for the LDS church of Jesus Christ.  From what I understand, apostles contemplate an issue, pray for guidance by the Spirit, come up with a decision, then present it to the church for sustaining.  On occasion, there will be a letter sent out to congregations from the apostles and read by the local bishop, or the apostles or prophet may read it to the whole body of the church in General Conference (or General Relief Society Conference as President Hinckley did with the Family Proclamation). 

Rarely will revelation actually be canonized.  Over the last 150 years, I can only think of a few revelations that were canonized: Official Declaration 1: that announced the disbanding of polygamy in the 1890s, Doctrine and Covenants section 138 that addresses a vision given to President Joseph F. Smith (Joseph Smith’s nephew) regarding where our spirits go after we die, and Official Declaration 2 that announces that the Priesthood can be given to all worthy males (prior to this revelation black men could not hold the Priesthood). 

I have seen Mormon church antagonists take off-the-wall things that a prophet (usually Brigham Young) said or wrote in a book and highlight that as official church doctrine.  LDS apologists will be quick to answer that in that situation, the prophet wasn’t inspired and spoke without the Spirit on that occasion and since it isn’t canonized it is not official revelation.

However, there are many things that Mormon prophets and apostles have officially stated either through a letter to congregations or announced in General Conference that are not necessarily canonized.  Therefore, I can see how it could be hard for members of other faiths to see a distinction between what is revelation and what is opinion.

Personally, I feel that revelation is official as it is outlined in the New Testament example I shared.  If the apostles have gathered together, prayed, and received guidance from the Spirit on a matter, then announced it to the church officially through writing, it is “official”.  If an LDS leader decides to write a book, or say something off the cuff that’s wacky then that is not official revelation.

What are your thoughts?

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