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Sunday, February 21, 2021

The Gift of Healing Part 2: What's Under the "Tip of the Iceberg" Regarding the Gift of Healing




As we embark on this series of posts/podcasts regarding the Gift of Healing, I thought I should let you in on a little-known fact:

These blog posts, these podcasts, are simply the opening stanzas of a beautful discussion on this profound gift. They are, to use an analogy, just the "tip of the iceberg."

The real discussion, where some real meaty content is found, lies in our Facebook group. For example: just yesterday, a brand new subscriber posted their story of healing from scoliosis which involves two generations of women hearkening to the Lord's quiet reassurances, despite all medical advice to the contrary.

You can't join "The Perfect Day" Facebook group by simply clicking Facebook's "Join the Group" button. There's also a form to fill out, which clearly explains what the group is and isn't about.

We really look forward to your participation and engaging in the discussion about the Gift of Healing (and more!) on our Facebook group. Start the process today by clicking the button below, which will take you to our subscription form. And if you want to remain anonymous in our group, that's fine. Email me at ldsperfectday@gmail.com for some suggestions on how to anonymously participate. 

We hope that our focus on the Gift of Healing will be meaningful not only to you, but those in your life as well. We know that as we turn our hearts, minds, hands and feet over to the Master Healer, He will give us ample opportunities to see that He is still enthusiastically healing people these days, and wants you to not only be a spectator, but also a participant, with Him in these healings.






Monday, February 15, 2021

The Gift of Healing Part 1: Let the Healing Begin


"Jesus was walking to Jairus’s house, but he didn’t go alone. A crowd went with him. He was being jostled, pushed against, pressed into when suddenly he stopped and asked the seemingly ridiculous question, “Who touched me?”

A woman came forward. She too fell at his feet and told him, the scriptures say, “the whole truth." She had been bleeding for twelve years. She was getting worse. She had seen every doctor, done every treatment, and spent every dime. She knew only that if she could press through the crowds and even just touch Jesus’s garment, she would be healed.

It was illegal for this woman to be out with the people. She was bleeding. She was unclean. It was against the law that she, a woman, would touch Jesus, a man. But against all the laws and against all the odds, she reached out to Jesus, she pressed into him with everything she had, and she was healed.

And Jesus thought she was awesome. 'Your faith has healed you. Go in peace.'" (Stasi Eldredge, "Becoming Myself")

It wasn't two men in suits, a little oil dabbed on her head or some trite statement about God being aware of her that healed her. No. It was her faith -- a faith so deep, so profound, that it pressed into Yeshua, and moved Him to compassion.

Just five words:

YOUR

FAITH

HAS

HEALED

YOU.

"I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee..." (2 Kings 20:5)

We latter-day saints are, by and large, dismally inadequate in our knowledge (let alone usage) of spiritual gifts like the Gift of Healing. We tend to gravitate towards things we know and have been familiar with, instead of venturing into the unknown. It reminds me of that scene from Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail: When faced with traversing a deep canyon, he had to take a step into thin air in order to see the real path that lay before him. But we tend to not take that leap of faith into thin air...to our detriment.



When competent medical professionals only take you so far

When it comes to healing, many do what’s found in the General Handbook of Instructions 38.7.8 - Medical and Health Care: We seek “competent medical help,” consulting “with competent medical professionals who are licensed in the areas where they practice.”

Competent medical professionals definitely have a role in our lives. It’s said that “God helps those who help themselves,” and sometimes, the raft that’s going to save us from the floods will be your doctor. If I break my arm, I’ll go to my doctor. If I need to get a blood test to see if my hormone levels are off, I’ll go to my doctor.

For all their expertise though, doctors and other medical experts have yet to cure cancer. Yet I have seen, with my own eyes, a man cured of Stage 4 cancer right on the spot by a person specifically exercising the Gift of Healing. Modern medicine can’t cure a debilitating migraine in a few minutes. Yet I know a woman who healed herself by exercising the Gift of Healing, and commanded a 5-day migraine to go away. It did in a few minutes. 

When priesthood blessings only take you so far

Per the General Handbook, we also receive “priesthood blessings,” calling “the elders of the church” to “let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” 

Yet as we’ll read in a future post here, President Nelson has been very critical about the quality of priesthood power (or shall I say the lack thereof) among today’s priesthood holders. It is he and other apostles -- not I -- who have proclaimed to the world that priesthood blessings aren’t bringing about the results they should be. Most, if not all, tend to be prayers and requests, not pronouncements of power. And in a church whose truth claims are predicated upon the maxim “By their fruits ye shall know them,” ineffectual priesthood blessings are a very problematic situation.

“Exercising faith”

But a third method for receiving healing that’s mentioned in that General Handbook section -- “exercising faith” -- is still a mystery to many, if not most.

“We know too little about spiritual gifts. This is evident in our communications, and it is also evident in our failure to seek after and use spiritual gifts.” (Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Spiritual Gifts”, Brigham Young University Women’s Conference, March 28, 1986; https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1986/09/spiritual-gifts)

This is regrettable, because if Brother Joseph were alive today, he’d be saying we should be making faith our first solution with respect to healing, and not a two-word afterthought:

"I preached to a large congregation at the stand, on the science and practice of medicine, desiring to persuade the Saints to trust in God when sick, and not in an arm of flesh, and live by faith and not by medicine, or poison..." (Joseph Smith, History of the Church 4:414)

In the New Testament, Yeshua promised His disciples that “signs shall follow them that believe,” including casting out devils, speaking “with new tongues,” and healing the sick. Note that the Lord said it would be those who believe -- not just men. It’s anybody who believes in Him. Let that sink in.

“During our time here on earth, we have been charged to develop the natural gifts and capabilities Heavenly Father has blessed us with. Then it will be our opportunity to use these gifts to become teachers and leaders of God’s children wherever they may be found on earth. To exercise these gifts, we must develop a purity of heart.” (Elder Robert D. Hales, “Gifts of the Spirit,” Ensign, February 2002)

See that pronoun? “We”! It’s not just one specific gender. It’s not just anybody with the title “Elder,” “Bishop” or “President” in front of their last name. It’s ALL who believe.

OK, fine. So how do we proceed?

If you want to exercise your faith -- the same power that created the heavens and the earth, lit 16 stones for the Brother of Jared and parted the Red Sea -- via the Gift of Healing, then you’re going to need to exercise faith: an imperfect knowledge of things hoped and wished for, but not seen (see 2 Corinthians 5:7). 

So, what’s required for you to exercise faith?

“Let us here observe that three things are necessary for any rational and intelligent being to exercise faith in God unto life and salvation.

First, the idea that he actually exists;

Secondly, a correct idea of his character, perfections, and attributes;

Thirdly, an actual knowledge that the course of life which one is pursuing is according to His will. For without an acquaintance with these three important facts, the faith of every rational being must be imperfect and unproductive. But with this understanding, it can become perfect and fruitful, abounding in righteousness unto the praise and glory of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Lectures on Faith 3:2-5)

You need to not only know that God exists, but know His character, perfections, and attributes. And you need to know His will. The Lectures on Faith describe these three points as a “sure foundation for the exercise of faith in God.”

Want a really good example of how someone exercised that faith and turned it into a genuine, bona fide miracle? Then come with me, 2,000 years ago...

He Left the Boat


“Kayfa, also known as Simon Peter, messed up. We know more about his mess ups than the mess ups of anyone else in the New Testament. He messed up rebuking the Lord, denying the Lord, comparing the Lord to Moses and Elijah, and sinking into the water. Peter seems, often, to be stumbling through the New Testament. The main thing about Peter is not that he stumbled, but that he walked. He may have stumbled... but at least he walked. He was the only apostle who started sinking into the water, but at least he walked on the water. None of the others sank, but none of the others walked. Which had the better portion? It was the one who at least walked on the water. And Peter became the leader of them all. Most of the disciples and most of us would rather avoid the risk of stumbling, falling, and sinking by choosing not to step out in faith.” (Oswald Chambers, “Kayfah : A Man Called Peter”)

We latter-day saints are told to stay in the “Good Ship Zion,” and so we do. But as Pres. Oaks’ aptly described above, perhaps we’re taking that in-boat orientation a bit too far. Collectively, we aren’t stepping out of the boat, pursuing (let alone exercising) gifts of the spirit. We avoid the perceived risk of sinking in the water, so we never leave the perceived safety of just going to medical professionals (who often just treat symptoms, not actual causes, of medical maladies) and priesthood blessings (many of which the church president has condemned as ineffectual).

We could be doing better, but we aren’t.

Want proof? Then fine -- message me back with how many people were publicly cured of Covid via the Gift of Healing. Many of Yeshua’s healings were public. Why should we, His followers, be any different?

Imagine if we were considered “The church that cures Covid!” Do you think our missionary efforts would become kind of effortless? But no, we are not. I haven’t heard of very many people cured on the spot from Covid. And why not? Well, we’ll get into that soon.

But what matters is, God is calling you to step out in faith! Don’t you think that it’s better for you to have stepped out in faith than to have never stepped out at all? Just ask Peter.

The Gift of Healing on a Silver Platter

This year, LDS Perfect Day will focus most of its posts on one thing: the Gift of Healing. Here’s what you can expect in the weeks and months to come as we present perhaps the most comprehensive examination of this gift found anywhere on the internet:

  • Why there’s an urgent, critical need for the Gift of Healing...more so than at any other time in mankind’s history.
  • Why church leaders are consistently saying why you can’t count on priesthood blessings.
  • The real reason why we don’t see the Gift of Healing being exercised in this, the restored church.
  • What traditions you must unlearn so you have a snowball’s chance of exercising the Gift of Healing.
  • At least six myths/traditions latter-day saints believe which inhibits the Gift of Healing in their lives and the church as a whole.
  • Knowing God’s will: A prime pre-requisite in exercising the Gift of Healing.
  • How to proceed in healing people.
  • One of the most important things one can do with the Gift of Healing (which most don’t do). 

Now, if you’re wanting or hoping for a step-by-step, bullet-pointed list of how to exercise the Gift of Healing, then I recommend revisiting this blog in about a year or so, when we’re done discussing healing. That’s because you’re likely not ready to implement it. Also, healing presupposes that you are able to discern God’s will regarding not only whether a person should be healed, but also how it should be done. God’s methods of healing are diverse and not subject to some kind of micro-managed, Pharisaical list.

The woman with the issue of blood had the faith to reach out her hand, and she was healed. Peter left the safety and security of the boat because he took Yeshua’s plea to “come follow me” seriously. In the process, he performed a miracle no other mortal has reportedly done. 

At least for a moment, both of them were firmly transfixed on the Savior, and as they were, they experienced a miracle. 

How about you? Are you willing to focus everything -- everything -- on Him, so you can experience a miracle, too?

Are you ready and willing to do what it takes to exercise the Gift of Healing?

If so, are you ready and willing to leave the safety and security of what you *think* you know...and to trust in He who knows all things?

You may feel you’re not worthy enough to heal another of some significant physical or mental condition. You’re not a scriptorian. You’re not a leader. You have tons of problems yourself. 

But you know what? None of those things matter! What matters is, Do you believe in God? Are you familiar with His characteristics? Is it His will that you heal another? If so, then congratulations: You’re qualified.

And once you’re qualified, He’ll put you to work. He’ll start you in the shallow end of the pool, so to speak. You’ll pray for someone to heal, and He’ll put you in their path. Sure, you may not heal a broken bone, but a healed heart. You’ll get a lot of those. Then you’ll thank God for the opportunity, and you’ll ask Him for more. 

In time, you’ll heal two people in a day. Then it’s three a day, and four a day. It progresses to the point that you grow into the Gift of Healing. And you know -- you know -- that you are a healer.

And once you have that knowledge, that confidence, that you could only have acquired by working alongside the Master Healer, there is nothing, absolutely nothing -- not even the devil and hell itself -- can stop you.

I invite you to step out of the boat. Join me in planting your feet on the surface of the water. Join me in reaching out to Yeshua, and witnessing first-hand how He can heal you, and others, in ways and extents that are truly miraculous.