In a blog that I recently wrote, I gave reference to a talk that I gave a few months ago on the subject of healing. A couple of my readers made comments about wanting to read the talk I wrote; so here it is. :) I also listed a few links to some really incredible talks that were either used to help me create my talk, or simply inspired and taught me along the way (though I could not even begin to cram all the great talks I read into one talk, so much of what I read is not in my talk).
In addition to a copy of the outline of my talk, I am also including a few links to some of the talks that I can recall reading in preparation for this talk (which have much more info than I could squeeze into this talk!). I wish I could recall the names of all of the talks I used:
Broken things to Mend
Lessons on Healing - healing hurts
He Heals the Heavy Laden
Come Unto Christ
One Among the Crowd
I don't remember all the talks I used (I read around 10 talks, many scriptures from the Bible and the book of Mormon, and the book The Peacegiver, written by James L Ferrell), and haven't found the copies of talks that I pulled up and printed to read, so I simply did a search for other talks to add to this list.
Various links to other healing talks... - At this link you can also type in any work in the search to find articles on many spiritual subjects of interest. I hope you enjoy searching and learning!
And here is my talk (minus a good works cited... sorry)...
Good morning! :D I’m happy to be here with you today and to have the opportunity to speak to you. I hope and pray that I might say something of value to each of you – that you will be uplifted and receive what ever your hearts need at this time. I pray that I will hear the Holy Ghost and say the things that you need to hear.
My assignment today is to talk about a story found in the book of Mark, chapter 5 verses 24-34. Here we read about a woman who had suffered for 12 long years with a medical condition – a bleeding condition. She had spent all her means, going from Dr to Dr looking for a cure – but none was to be found.
After exhausting all avenues for healing to be found on earth, she remembered the Lord, Jesus Christ.
She knew that Christ had healed many people of their infirmities, and had great faith that He could heal her, too. So one day when she knew Christ was walking among a crowd of people, a crowd so thick that Christ was constantly touched, bumped, and as the scripture put it, Christ was ‘thronged” about by many; this woman sought Him out… quietly, resolutely, and completely unnoticed by anyone; then she touched the hem of his garment with full belief that by doing so, she would be healed of her infirmity.
Immediately, the scriptures tell us, Christ felt great power go out of him. The exact words being… “And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’”
The disciples, seeing all the masses of people touching Christ were confused about this statement, not understanding what had happened. But the woman knew, and she knew that Christ knew. We can only imagine what she must have been thinking and feeling at that moment – I am overwhelmed with emotion when I consider the possibilities of what she must have been experiencing. But the scriptures tell us that she “fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.”
It was then that the disciples and others witnessing came to realize what had transpired. As soon as the woman spoke, the Savior spoke these words back to her, “Daughter, they faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of they plague.”
There are many lessons to be learned from this story. We could talk about Christ and the life of virtue which caused him to have such amazing power to heal. We could talk about having virtue in our own lives, and of increased power for good that we would have as a result of living virtuous lives. We could talk about the Priesthood power, and of how living righteously increases the capacity that a Priesthood holder has to use the Priesthood power for the good of others. But today, I want to focus on lessons from another point of view in this story - the gift the woman had of being healed. There are several points I would like to make in reference to healing.
First, this woman obviously had the gift of faith to be healed as spoken of in the Doctrine and Covenants 46:19. A gift that I’m quite certain the Lord desires for each of us to develop and obtain; for we are all in need of healing.
This woman’s faith astounds me. I imagine all the people there… -seeing Christ, -touching Christ, and knowing that each and every one of them must have needed healing in one way or another. But they were not there seeking healing, as she was; or it was simply not their time to be healed, or perhaps they did not have the same faith that this woman had. She was, (as Dennis B. Neuenschwander put it in his talk titled, One Among the Crowd), “the one faithful among the crowd,” who had faith in Christ to be healed.
Second, I find it interesting to note that though the woman in this story possessed this gift of faith to be healed, she also knew that it wasn’t enough to simply have faith to be healed. If so, she would have been healed at the hands of the Doctors without so much as a prayer, or perhaps even in the privacy of her own home without going to anyone. But she knew what she needed to do - she realized that to be healed, she first and foremost needed to go to Christ; she came to understand that Christ is the healer. And she quietly and resolutely pressed forward toward Christ with complete faith that He would heal her.
We can learn from this. We may not live on Earth at the same time that Christ lived upon the Earth; we may not be able to walk the road to Galilee as He once did; but we can still… spiritually, come unto Christ, just as the woman spiritually and physically came unto Christ.
Since we are all in need of healing, this is an important lesson for us all. We are all broken in one way or another. We are all in need of repair. In the May of 2006 Ensign issue, there is a talk given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles titled…Broken Things to Mend.
Here brother Holland lists some of the things that many stand in need of healing from. Brother Holland came to the same conclusion about what is needed for healing to take place that the woman in the book of Mark came to – namely… our need to come unto Christ and rely upon Christ and His Atonement to obtain healing. In this talk, He speaks of the many instances throughout the scriptures where Christ admonishes, “Come unto me.” And he talks about how to come unto Christ.
I would like to quote a paragraph or two from this article to you now…
“Are you battling a demon of addiction—tobacco or drugs or gambling, or the pernicious contemporary plague of pornography? Is your marriage in trouble or your child in danger? Are you confused with gender identity or searching for self-esteem? Do you—or someone you love—face disease or depression or death? Whatever other steps you may need to take to resolve these concerns, come first to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Trust in heaven’s promises. In that regard Alma’s testimony is my testimony: “I do know,” he says, “that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions.” 13
"This reliance upon the merciful nature of God is at the very center of the gospel Christ taught. I testify that the Savior’s Atonement lifts from us not only the burden of our sins but also the burden of our disappointments and sorrows, our heartaches and our despair. 14 From the beginning, trust in such help was to give us both a reason and a way to improve, an incentive to lay down our burdens and take up our salvation. There can and will be plenty of difficulties in life. Nevertheless, the soul that comes unto Christ, who knows His voice and strives to do as He did, finds a strength, as the hymn says, “beyond [his] own.” 15 The Savior reminds us that He has “graven [us] upon the palms of [His] hands.” 16 Considering the incomprehensible cost of the Crucifixion and Atonement, I promise you He is not going to turn His back on us now. When He says to the poor in spirit, “Come unto me,” He means He knows the way out and He knows the way up. He knows it because He has walked it. He knows the way because He is the way.
“Brothers and sisters, whatever your distress, please don’t give up and please don’t yield to fear. I have always been touched that as his son was departing for his mission to England, Brother Bryant S. Hinckley gave young Gordon a farewell embrace and then slipped him a handwritten note with just five words taken from the fifth chapter of Mark: “Be not afraid, only believe.” 17 I think also of that night when Christ rushed to the aid of His frightened disciples, walking as He did on the water to get to them, calling out, “It is I; be not afraid.” Peter exclaimed, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” Christ’s answer to him was as it always is every time: “Come,” He said. Instantly, as was his nature, Peter sprang over the vessel’s side and into the troubled waters. While his eyes were fixed upon the Lord, the wind could toss his hair and the spray could drench his robes, but all was well—he was coming to Christ. It was only when his faith wavered and fear took control, only when he removed his glance from the Master to look at the furious waves and the ominous black gulf beneath, only then did he begin to sink into the sea. In newer terror he cried out, “Lord, save me.”
“Undoubtedly with some sadness, the Master over every problem and fear, He who is the solution to every discouragement and disappointment, stretched out His hand and grasped the drowning disciple with the gentle rebuke, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” 18
“If you are lonely, please know you can find comfort. If you are discouraged, please know you can find hope. If you are poor in spirit, please know you can be strengthened. If you feel you are broken, please know you can be mended.”
(To see his works cited, or the rest of his talk, just click on the link to his talk in the list of talks above.)
No one is immune from sin, sorrows, or infirmities; we all go through some of each of these. Thus, the gift of faith to be healed is a gift that we all need, and we all have the privilege and opportunity to seek after it.
With that in mind… how do we “Come unto Christ” so that we too may be healed?
Brother Holland provides several steps that we can take to help us to come unto Christ.
The first step is found in Alma 32:27 – Desire to believe…
If we don’t yet believe we can be healed – we can start by desiring to believe, - then let that desire work in you, even until you do believe.
Thinking of times in my life when I needed healing, I realize now that there was a time when I thought I had to fix everything. I didn’t realize that I was relying upon myself to do things that I wasn’t capable of doing. Thankfully, I learned that I had to have faith in the Atonement, trusting that Jesus Christ would heal me, rather than just begging Him to help me to know what I needed to do to be healed. In other words, I needed to realize that I could not heal myself. I needed to pray, not only to know what I should do to be healed, I also needed to ask, in faith, for Him to heal me… to acknowledge that He is the healer, and believe He would heal me.
Second – Though not everything we struggle with is a result of our actions, we must repent of anything we are doing which contributes to the problem - and forgive others for anything they are doing or did which contributes.
In my own quest for healing in my life, I have found that I need to constantly look at my life and identify what small things I might be doing which contribute to situation(s) which promote or advance the need to heal; what do I do, which is disobedient to the Lord, or perhaps just foolish? What small acts keep me from fully coming unto Christ? These things don't always look like sins. They are often very small... often simply doing something that doesn't feel right, or that we have a feeling to avoid. It is very important that we don't rationalize not obeying the gentle, quiet messages from Christ (whether He speaks to us from scripture, prophets, or as the still small voice which speaks to our souls).
We are given examples of this in the Garden of Eden. Before partaking of the fruit, both Adam and Eve were innocent. They had obeyed the Lord perfectly and Satan had no power over them. But careful study of the scriptures shows us that even just one act of heeding to Satans temptations, rather than to the Father... causes Satan to have power over us to enslave us to do his awful will. In D&C 29:40 we read,
“Wherefore, it came to pass that the devil tempted Adam, and he partook of the forbidden fruit and transgressed the commandment, wherein he became subject to the will of the devil, because he yielded unto temptation.”
So – Adam was tempted of the Devil, he obeyed the Devil, thus breaking a commandment of God, and thus, he became subject to the will of the devil.
Did it affect him immediately? We can see as we look at the conversation Adam and Eve had in the Garden of Eden with Christ, that their sins did affect them immediately…
“And I, the Lord god, said unto Adam: Who told thee thou was naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat, if so thou shouldst surely die?
And the man said: The woman thou gavest me, and commandest that she should remain with me, she gave me of the fruit of the tree and I did eat.” Moses 4:17-18, Genesis 3:11-12
“And I, the Lord God, said unto the woman: What is this thing which thou hast done?
And the woman said: The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” Moses 4:19, Genesis 3:13
In James E Ferrell’s book – The Peace Giver, Brother Ferrell expounds upon this scripture story, pointing out that just one sin, and Satan had the power to blind Adam and Eve to the responsibility they had to their sins; they both seemed to think that since their actions were provoked by another, that they didn’t do anything wrong. Unless we know what we do wrong, how can we repent? What can cause us to come unto Christ if we don’t even fully know we are doing wrong? --- Hardships? Maybe being cast out of the Garden, and having to live a life of hardship… Hardships tend to bring us to our knees and help us to come unto Christ even when we are blinded by Satan and do not see clearly our sins (we may see our sins to some degree, but tend to rationalize them, or think they are not as bad as the sins that we don’t commit, thus not bringing ourselves to repentance the way hardships bring us to repentance).
“Third,” (brother Holland points out) “in as many ways as possible we try to take upon us His identity, and we begin by taking upon us His name.” This starts with making and keeping sacred covenants with the lord, beginning with baptism and ending with temple covenants. It also includes partaking of the sacrament and other covenants we make along the way, which remind us to be true followers of Christ by doing the things that He does.
2 Nephi 31:13, 17 teach us these principles: “Follow the Son, with full purpose of heart,… with real intent, … take upon you the name of Christ. … Do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer [will] do.”
For some, healing may be needed because of mistakes made or sins committed;
For some the need for healing is emotional, for others physical…
For some healing is needed because of choices that others have made which have caused pain and damage in one’s life.
Regardless of the reason for the need to be healed – we can all learn from this woman’s great example. We can learn from her great faith to be healed. We can learn from her quiet resolute determination to go to Christ for healing, even when others around her did not have the same goal in mind.
We can be comforted as we remember that in the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ went through all that we go through; because of this, as Elder Oaks said,
“He knows of our anguish, and He is there for us. Like the good Samaritan in His parable, when He finds us wounded at the wayside, He binds up our wounds and cares for us (see Luke 10:34). Brothers and sisters, the healing power of His Atonement is for you, for us, for all.
***I believe we can all develop the gift to be healed – and be healed, just as the woman who touched Christ’s garments was healed - through Coming unto Christ and having faith in His Atonement. I know this to be true. This is a gift that the lord desires us all to have, and He paved the way for this to happen for each and every one of us when He suffered in Gethsemane.
I bear you my testimony that I know Christ lives and loves us. And that it is for the purpose of healing us each and every one of us that Christ came to Earth. Through the Atonement of Christ, we can be healed from our pains, sorrows, infirmities, and sins. He already paid the price. He already paved the way for us to be healed. He is filled with virtue and power enough to heal us all. There is no end to his matchless power and love for us.
May we follow the example of the woman of Galilee who went to Christ to be healed?
May we press forward with resolute determination to come unto Christ and bask in his healing love… this is my prayer for each of us here, and for our families; in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.