Faith Enough to be Healed

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by Montserrat {Chocolate on my Cranium}

Over 15 years ago I had the privilege of visiting teaching a wonderful older sister, Toni, who lived just down the street from me. She was confined to a wheelchair because of the effects of Multiple Sclerosis. Her husband, Don, was so sweet, making sure she was comfortable and had everything she needed. He escorted her to every meeting and outing she wished to participate in.

lds.org

One day while visiting her we were discussing faith. The lesson mentioned that if we have enough faith it can heal our physical maladies. Toni, confined to her wheelchair, bore testimony that she knew that was true. My partner bluntly asked Toni, “Then why aren’t you healed of your MS? Do you not have enough faith?”

Toni smiled and answered, “Let me tell you a story.”

Toni proceeded to tell how in February of 1994, Pres. Hinckley was visiting our area of Nevada. She was just beginning to suffer increasing symptoms of MS. The ward had fasted on her behalf, she had received multiple priesthood blessings of healing, and yet she was getting worse, not better! She was beginning to doubt that she had enough faith; maybe she wasn’t good enough or worthy enough to be noticed by Heavenly Father. When Pres. Hinckley visited, Toni made a special request to meet him and if possible obtain a priesthood blessing.

Her request was granted.

Toni told of the excitement she and her family felt. Finally, she would be healed. How could she not after receiving a priesthood blessing from an apostle of the Lord? The time for the blessing came. Hands were placed on her bowed head. She was ecstatic when she heard these words, “Toni, you have enough faith to be healed.” This was it!

And then these words, “But it is not the Lord’s will. You can be of more service to others in your condition now than if you were whole.”

Toni shared with us how those words changed her. She realized she was known and loved by God. She did have enough faith to be healed but it was not the Lord’s plan for her. His plan was better. After that blessing, Toni never looked back. She only regretted that she missed opportunities to serve while she spent her time wishing to be made whole.

In Elder Dallin H. Oaks’ book, Life’s Lessons Learned, the first chapter is about the lesson on faith their family learned during the sickness and subsequent death of his father from tuberculosis. His father had also received countless priesthood blessings promising healing and a full recovery. Elder Oaks shared snippets of letters his mother wrote to his father while he was confined in a TB sanatorium several states away. She wrote, “You shall be healed if your faith is great enough! . . . Recovery is according to our faith . . . The blessing is ours for the faith and asking. . . If our faith is great enough there is no blessing God can withhold from us.”

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, Walters

At his father’s funeral their stake president spoke these words: “All was done medically and in faith . . . in prayer that could be done for him. . . . No doubt the most earnest and sincere prayer that was ever offered was the one offered while the Master was in the Garden of Gethsemane and prayed most earnestly to His Father. ‘May this cup pass by me’ . . . but it closed with these remarks, ‘not my will, but thine, be done.’ So it was with the Savior Himself. His prayer was not answered because it was not the will of the Lord, and so our prayers have not been answered as we have asked . . .for [Lloyd's] recovery, but we have always said, ‘thy will be done.’”

This is an important concept of faith that we must learn. Sometimes it is the Lord’s will that we are healed or that some desire is to be ours if we but show enough faith in our actions and prayers. But other times it is not. Our test is to show our trust in the Lord no matter what the outcome.

In Luke 9:11 we read,

And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing (emphasis added).

Sometimes the healing we receive isn’t the healing we want but it is always the healing we need. Our healing might not come by having our illnesses or ailments cured but rather we are healed with added patience, or strength, or understanding to help us bear our illness or burden. This is comforting to me. The Lord heals what needs to be healed.

This was the case with Toni. Though she wasn’t cured of the MS she was blessed with added patience to bear its painful effects. With grace she shared joyous gratitude for her physical condition because she was also blessed with an increased understanding of the suffering others were going through. A year after Toni shared her experience with us, Toni and Don were killed in a car accident. He died first, instantly at the scene. She held on for three more hours, we believe waiting for her sweetheart to prepare everything for her arrival in heaven. Attending their joint funeral were hundreds of people in our small community who had been touched by their service and influence. Many of us had been recipients of Toni’s thoughtful birthday cards, phone calls of encouragement, and prayers uttered on our behalf with her enough-to-be-healed faith.

Elder Oaks taught:

Faith, no matter how strong it is, cannot produce a result contrary to the will of him whose power it is. The exercise of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is always subject to the order of heaven, to the goodness and will and wisdom and timing of the Lord. That is why we cannot have true faith in the Lord without also having complete trust in the Lord’s will and in the Lord’s timing. When we have that kind of faith and trust in the Lord, we have true security in our lives. President Spencer W. Kimball said, “Security is not born of inexhaustible wealth but of unquenchable faith.”

We will all be faced with times when our faith will be tested. It is up to us to have that unquenchable faith that can heal, move mountains, and create miracles, but also have enough faith to accept the Lord’s will no matter what the outcome. His ultimate desire is for us to be happy. We, in our limited view, may only see heartache and pain and brokenness. But if we submit our will to His with perfect faith in His timing we will eventually be able to become what He wants us to become and realize that yes, indeed, His plan for us will make us whole and perfect and happy.

  • How has faith helped you to heal?
  • In what ways have trials strengthened and confirmed your faith?
  • How has the faith of others influenced you?

About Montserrat {Chocolate on my Cranium}

Montserrat enjoys classical music, playing the piano, reading biographies, eating gourmet chocolate, and playing a good game of Scrabble. A farmer's wife and mother of nine, she thinks spending time with her family is truly heaven on earth!

10 Responses to Faith Enough to be Healed

  1. That’s a great story from president Hinckley, thanks for sharing

  2. Ray says:

    There is a huge difference, ime, between healing and curing, as you mention – and often an even greater difference between what we want and think we deserve and what God is able to give us if we are humble and willing to learn.

    We forget that SO easily – and end up heaping gulit on those who could be wonderful examples of enduring to the end in faith, including, so often, ourselves.

  3. jendoop says:

    This is one of those posts that’s much easier to read than it is to practice. Every day that we’re not cured is another day to deal with the very real struggles – we all want to be cured of something. We don’t have strong faith every day, so we all have moments of doubt. That’s when the clouds pull over and it’s hard to see anything good out of our suffering. Toni is an amazing woman, a good example. I wish I could have more of her perspective and happiness in submission.

    • The gospel in action – or various parts of it – can be hard to live, and it is different for each person. Toni was definitely one who had the gift of faith and the gift to accept her situation. It is a gift I don’t naturally have and need to work on daily. As you pointed out this is an area that can be much harder for some than others to put into practice. I do know from personal experience in my own life that it does get easier to live it the more I try. Being Toni’s visiting teacher I also know she had bad days too, just like the rest of us, but to me that made her good days seems so much more amazing. I am grateful to have had her example in my life.

  4. Rhonda Stuart says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I want to share an experience I have had while I was on my mission. I had a really bad Migraine, I have had them off and on since I was 10. I asked the elders for a blessing and they gave me one. The next night we were at a families house for supper and I still had a headache. One Elder said to me Sister where is your faith. I told him I have plenty faith, it is because of the blessing I can be sitting in this chair and up moving about. Usually when I have a bad migraine I can be in bed in the dark for hours even days. I am here because of that blessing. He did not understand why I was not healed. I have been told that I would have enough strength and health to do what I need to do and to take care of my family and responsibilities. I was not promised perfect health. I feel that my Migraines and other illnesses that I have learned to trust the Lord and rely on him more for things in my daily life. The Lord loves each of us and he knows what is best for us. He will not give us more than we can bear. I am so Thankful to for this promise.

  5. Anne says:

    I had a little daughter who was taken from me and returned to her birthmother under traumatic circumstances. Without telling the whole story, I can testify that it felt as though I didn’t have faith enough to protect my little girl, when in fact it was a matter of Heavenly Father having a different lesson for me to learn. My faith has been strengthened by his terrible No.

    • My parents went through something similar. We had a little foster boy for two years and during the court proceedings to officially adopt the birth mother showed up. She had been told by a social worker that he was dead and had no idea he was still alive until another social worker took up his case. It was a hard decision to make handing him over to his mother knowing he would have a very hard poverty stricken, drug filled life. Yet, they knew he belonged to her, with her. We still miss him terribly and that was 26 years ago!

      • Anne says:

        That is similar, and quite heartwrenching. Only 4 years have gone by since our girl had to leave us, but I completely believe that I will still miss her when 26 and more have passed by. I received comforting words from a former member of my stake presidency who told me one night that he was promised that he had formed a bond with the people he taught while on his mission and that there would be rejoicing and celebrating and love shared between them someday. He said that if that were possible with mission experiences it would certainly be true of loving a child that we were not allowed to keep. Every time I start to mourn and feel sad that she could never be sealed to our family I remember this conversation and I find myself trusting that God is a God of love and that love will continue beyond this life.

  6. Ralph says:

    Thank you,
    This is exactly what I needed to read today!
    My son has a severe heart problem and is in the intensive care unit since 5 months, since his birth.
    We had a miraculous healing that kept him from dying but he is still not “whole”.
    Today Pr. Moonson is passing through Germany and had a visit in Frankfurt. We prayed, fasted and were active in our faith by having him come to us. We hoped he would come and say the words “be thou whole”.

    Even though it did not happen I know The Lord is aware. I am was troubled in the mind, but calm in the heart. This talk by Elder cook : http://broadcast2.lds.org/general-conference/2008-october/2008-10-5060-elder-quentin-l-cook-1000k-eng.mp4
    And your website has braught peace to my mind.

    Thank you, may God bless you for this!
    Ralph

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