Faith column: Faith in Jesus Christ can heal both bodies and spirits
Having faith in Jesus Christ means relying completely on Him — trusting in His infinite power, intelligence, and love. It includes believing His teachings. Because He has experienced all our pains, afflictions, and infirmities, He knows how to help us rise above our daily difficulties. We can exercise faith in Christ when we have an assurance that He exists, understand His character, and know that we are striving to live according to His will. Faith is a principle of action and power (LDS Library).
Jesus Christ has “overcome the world” (John 16:33) and prepared the way for us to receive eternal life. Faith in Jesus Christ helps us receive spiritual and physical healing through His Atonement (see 3 Nephi 9:13–14).
The faith of my wife and I was tested a few years ago when our perfectly healthy then two-year-old grandson William had a seizure and was subsequently diagnosed with an egg-sized malignant brain tumor. As an ordained Melchizedek Priesthood holder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I knew I needed to prepare to give my grandson a Priesthood blessing. I had never prayed and fasted as hard in my life in preparation for that blessing. I somehow had the idea that his future was all on me, even though I knew it would be the power of the Lord working through the Priesthood that he would or would not be made whole. In the end, it was the combined faith and prayers of hundreds of family members, friends, and community members, along with the skill of a world-renowned neurosurgeon, all in accordance with the Lord’s will, that our little boy is still with us today.
William’s tumor was removed at the Huntsman Cancer Center in Salt Lake City in a complicated surgery that involved overhead MRIs to guide the surgeons’ hands. The prognosis was that he would likely need extensive speech and occupational therapy over an extended period. The first few days post-surgery saw slow recovery, and then a miracle happened. Williams’s older sister Scarlett was finally allowed to visit. Upon seeing her enter the room, William visibly brightened. Within minutes he was out of bed, laughing and walking down the hallways with her. Somehow the sight of his beloved sister let him know that everything would be okay. Scarlett was all the therapy that he would need.
Six-year-old William now lives in Sweden with his family. He is a delightful child, talking a mile a minute, doing complete flips on his bed, and producing prodigious quantities of excellent artwork. He is attending a Swedish-speaking school and is learning to speak the language, while at the same time teaching his classmates English. What a miracle child!
Sometimes another type of faith is required of us. A dear friend recently passed away unexpectedly and way too soon. His newly widowed wife was shocked and deeply saddened by his passing. Despite her intense grief she expressed her belief that her husband’s passing was the will of our Heavenly Father, that for whatever reason her husband was needed on the other side of the veil. She stated her absolute conviction that all would be made right in the eternities through her faith in the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Even when the future seems uncertain, our faith in the Savior can give us peace (Romans 5:1). We can nurture the gift of faith by praying to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ. As we express our gratitude to our Father and as we ask for blessings that we and others need, we will draw nearer to Him. We will also be receptive to the quiet guidance of the Holy Ghost.
Forrest Luke is a member of and priesthood holder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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Jesus takes a vacation in Mark 6:30-34. Or at least he tries to. His vacations go like my vacations sometimes do. Everything that can goes wrong does.