Last week I got news that my brother was very ill and had been in the ER. My brother and I aren't that close and we only talk on the phone once in a great while. I gave him a call to see what the matter was and to find out his condition. He told me that he had been so sick and had such a high fever that he was admitted to the ER. He had had several tests ran on him with no results yet. I didn't recognize his voice. He sounded like a dying toad - very deep and croaky. He had been prescribed some very powerful pain medication to ease his discomfort. He sounded exhausted, fatigued and hopeless.
I knew that he didn't have to suffer like this - the solution was so simple but not always easy. I wanted to tell him this but a part of me was hesitant because he's my older brother and he doesn't always welcome advice, especially when it's not asked for. I couldn't keep quiet though - not after what I had learned over the past month. So I told him.
"Cam, if you have the faith to be healed you can be healed" I started to tell him. I then told him about some incredible women I have recently met who have the gift of healing. I told him that their faith is so great - whenever they call upon the Lord for a miracle, He gives them one. Whether it be a prayer, a priesthood blessing or a plea of desperation - the Lord can heal you if it's His will and if you believe that He can.
I like to believe that it's usually His will to heal you. The Lord needs us to be whole so that we can better serve Him. Sometimes He allows us to experience pain and suffering so that we learn to call upon Him and trust Him. It pleases Him to answer our prayers and grant us our righteous desires.
As I began to share this message with my brother he listened but seemed a little doubtful. He asked some questions and then I told him I would pray for him and if he didn't get better soon to let me know and I would exert my own faith or ask for help from those I know who have this gift.
Sunday morning I was getting ready for church and my phone rang - it was my brother. I didn't have time to take a call but answered anyways.
"Hey Lindsey hows it going?" he asked in a very chipper voice.
"Good," I replied "You sure sound a lot better."
"That's because I am" he said. "Do you have a minute? I'd like to share something with you."
I told him I had a few minutes. He then began to tell me what had happened to him. He told me that he had gone to our cousin's wedding reception the night before and was so sick he had to pull over on the way there and on the way back. He had missed so much work already and it didn't seem like he was getting any better. When he got home that night his wife called their home teacher to ask for a priesthood blessing. The home teacher came over and gave the blessing. Before he left he told my brother that he felt prompted to share a story with him about one of the past prophets who had suffered from an ear infection as a boy and had the faith to be healed. He then told my brother that if he had the faith he could be healed.
When my brother went to bed he was still feeling very sick. He pondered on what I had said and what his home teacher had said and he decided he would try his faith. He said a prayer in his bed asking Heavenly Father to heal him especially of the hiccups and heart burn he'd been suffering from for four days. After the prayer he waited - but nothing had changed - he was still sick.
The thought then came to him that he needed to get on his knees and pour out his heart in sincerity this time. So, this he did. He began to talk to the Lord as though he were in his room. "Lord, I have been so sick for so long. I know you have the power to heal me. I've missed so much work and I can't do this any longer. Please heal me." Then he did something interesting...he thanked the Lord for his sickness.
He continued on and on pouring out his heart and soul and "crying" unto the Lord. When he finished he got back into bed and realized his hiccups had stopped. He waited and waited and...they were really gone. Doubt began to creep in as he thought if he waited a little longer they would surely come back. Then he realized this was Satan trying to ruin his faith. So he cast Satan out and then peacefully fell asleep.
When he woke up he felt 100 percent better. He had been healed! Immediately he got down on his knees and thanked the Lord.Then he called me.
As he told me this story he sobbed and took several moments of silence where he couldn't speak at all. He had been so touched by the Spirit and had tripled his testimony in just a few short hours. I was so happy for him and I told him that this is what I was talking about when I told him that if he had the faith he could be healed. It's so easy for the Lord to heal us - the hard part is for us to really believe that he wants to or is going to.
I had recently learned that thanking the Lord for you afflictions pleases the Lord and in return He will bless you for doing so. I was so happy that my brother had done this. I told him that because he had this experience he would soon have people put in his path who would benefit from his testimony about this experience. The more knowledge we gain and the more our testimony grows, the Lord uses us as tools to help others. He puts us in situations and gives us opportunities to share what we know.
My brother agreed with me and said now that he's had this experience he wants to share it with others. I was so happy!
And Alma cried, saying: How long shall we suffer these great afflictions, O Lord? O Lord, give us strength according to our faith which is in Christ, even unto deliverance. And they broke the cords with which they were bound; and when the people saw this, they began to flee, for the fear of destruction had come upon them.
This is how I have felt over the past month. I have learned that sometimes we need to cast out Satan several times a day. Fear, doubt, anxiety and all negative thoughts come form him. This will always interfere with our faith and our ability to communicate with the Spirit. Also, we need to thank the Lord in our moments of affliction no matter how hard it may be to do so. This shows him that we recognize his will and that we know that he knows what's best for us.
Doctrine and Covenants 122:7
And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
Lastly, we need to thank him again when our prayer has been answered. Remember the story of the 10 lepers.
I truly believe that our faith will be tried again and again until we are refined into the people the Lord needs us to be for these last days. Be grateful for your trials because you are being refined into something very special. As the end times become more difficult we will need to rely on our own faith to harness the miracles we read about in the scriptures. The Lord is preparing us now.
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.