In our world, there are many people who are sick. Some of them physically, most of them spiritually. We all stand in need of healing. How does the Lord do it? How does He bring about miracles to either live or to be strengthened and courageous through the battles we face?
Jesus Christ, the Master Creator and Director of the elements of our world understands what we mortals do not. He understands eternal principles regarding matter and spirit. In the New Testament, we read about a time when Jesus was asleep in a boat with the disciples during a difficult storm. The disciples cried out in fear, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” He immediately rebuked the storm, bringing calm to the waters. At that moment, the disciples “feared exceedingly, and said one to another, what manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:41)
In the matter of immediate healings, the Savior knows how to heal a physical body because the matter and elements work together to obey His command. The essential presence of the Holy Ghost also contributes to healings of soul and body. Often healing takes time.
In 1838, Amanda Barnes Smith and her family were on their way to Far West, Missouri. While repairing their wagon, “…a mob attacked Latter-day Saints who were working at the mill, killing 17 men and boys and wounding 15. Amanda, who had hidden during the attack, returned to find Warren (her husband) and their son Sardius among the dead. Another son, Alma, was severely wounded. His hip had been blown off by a gun blast. Amanda later told of the personal revelation she received so her son could be healed.
“Amanda was directed to make a lye, or washing solution, from the ashes of their fire to clean the wound. Then she was directed to make a poultice out of cloth and slippery elm to fill the wound. The next day she found some balsam and poured it into the wound to soothe Alma’s pain.
“She said, ‘Then I laid him comfortably on his face, and said: ‘Now you lay like that, and don’t move, and the Lord will make you another hip.’
“So, Alma laid on his face for five weeks, until he was entirely recovered—a flexible gristle having grown in place of the missing joint and socket, … a marvel to physicians.
“On the day that he walked again I was out of the house fetching a bucket of water when I heard screams from the children. Running back, in affright, I entered, and there was Alma on the floor, dancing around, and the children screaming in astonishment and joy.” 1
Presiding Bishop Merrill Bateman spoke of listening to a special young woman share her testimony. Years before she was a member of the Church, she had been involved in an accident which had left her paralyzed. She testified: “I know that Heavenly Father does not look on the outward appearance, but on the heart. I also know that the true miracle is the healing within, the change of heart, the loss of pride. Although my physical body may not be healed in mortality, my spirit has felt the healing power of the Holy Ghost. And in the Resurrection, a fully restored, perfect physical body will again house my spirit and I will receive a fulness of joy.” 2
The Lord’s redemptive power can heal broken hearts and spirits. We are all in need of spiritual healing from time to time by the casting out darkness that seems to cling to us so fiercely. Just after the destruction in the land Bountiful and before the Lord appeared to the Nephites, his voice rang out from the heavens. It said “…will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?” (3 Nephi 9:13)
He invites us to come willingly so that we can receive the blessing and joy of His power to make us whole in spirit and body.
1. Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of the Relief Society, Published October 2014 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
2.“The Power to Heal from Within,” Bishop Merrill J. Bateman, General Conference, April 1995