Sometimes faith isn’t found in receiving desired blessings but in accepting the will of the Lord regardless of the outcome.
John and Heather were recently married when they discovered that John had cancer. His prognosis was bad. However, the couple had confidence that everything would work out. When Elder David A. Bednar visited John in the hospital, John wanted only one thing: a priesthood blessing.
Recounting this experience in his talk “That We Might ‘Not . . . Shrink,’” Elder Bednar shares that he responded to the request for a blessing with one question: “John, do you have the faith not to be healed?”
In that moment, all three of them understood that faith didn’t mean knowing that God would heal John; instead, it meant knowing that God could heal John and that whatever happened was the will of a loving, invested Heavenly Father. Faith meant being “willing to submit to all things which the Lord [saw] fit to inflict upon [them]” (Mosiah 3:19).
Elder Bednar administered a blessing to John, who was then miraculously and completely healed. Life resumed for the married couple; however, the cancer later returned.
Faith cannot be dependent upon getting the results we desire. God has a greater plan for us that involves trials—ones that we would never choose for ourselves—to help us become greater than we ever could be without enduring those challenges with faith. Though John’s cancer returned, he and Heather chose to have faith in an unchangeable being rather than in John’s changeable health. Because of that, they were able to not shrink from the trials before them, but instead to testify that “Heavenly Father will guide us from where we are to where we need to be.”
Read more about how to gain greater comfort and peace in Elder Bednar’s talk “That We Might ‘Not . . . Shrink.’”
Source: CES Devotionals
—Collin Mathias, Mormon Insights
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Find more insights
Watch “The Refiner’s Fire” to learn how a mother grew from her own family’s fight with cancer.
Read or watch Elder Neal A. Maxwell discuss his struggle with cancer in “Apply the Atoning Blood of Christ” and consider how you can apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ to your own struggles.
One of my professors started class the other day by saying, “I love what I do, but I don’t think I would ever call it my glory. If God’s glory is helping us achieve eternal life, do you think he messes up?” Such a big part of faith is simply remembering that God’s plan is perfect, and He will always help us through whatever trials He gives us.
I really liked this talk from Elder Bednar. I’ve seen from the examples of family members that sometimes not being healed is the greatest healing we can receive. God does everything for a reason. Not being physically healed can allow people to be spiritually healed and strengthened.
Too many members of the church resort to “it must be the Lord’s will” when anything does not go their way after prayer. Is it really? Maybe the harder truth is not that we must have faith to not be healed BUT (the reality) is that most of us lack the faith to actually be healed. Why would here be fewer miracles today than when He was on the earth? The Book of Mormon says if miracles have ceased, it is because of unbelief, and YET so many latter-day saints and other Christians resort to the Lord’s will cop out again and again. Christ gave his power to his apostles and through them to us. Signs and wonders follow true believers. It surprises me how many people want a blessing without earnest, and prolonged prayer and fasting beforehand. Not all will be healed? sure. But I believe it is God’s desire for the saints to exercise enough faith such that miracles, healing, signs, wonders, and gifts will be manifest now in this age more than ever in the past.
I totally agree. It has come forcefully to me that a Priesthood Blessing does not give the responsibility to the Lord, but rather opens communications so the Lord can guide us what to do next. Are we truly listening to Him.
I have taken more than one person to the Emergency Room, simply because they have refused to drink water.
Over thirty years ago, I fasted and prayed and asked the Lord for the gift of the Spirit, of Health. He opened up the scriptures for me. The Lord tested me. Was I willing to change me diet? Was I willing to fire all those doctors? Was I willing to get out of bed, and push myself?
Miracles still happen.
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