Good morning from Lima Peru! I hope you´ve all had a great week this week. Thanks for your emails-- I love hearing about your experiences. Things are going well here in Escardo!
This whole week has seemed to have the same common theme: the power of the Lord to heal. Hermana Belt and I have had quite a few experiences this week with people that told us stories of healing, physical as well as spiritual. We met a man named Eduardo who works as a security guard in an apartment building. Eduardo told us that he had had an accident and was blind for a year before he realized that he needed God to help him restore his sight. He said, I started to go to church again and I started to pray. My sight was returned to me without the help of any doctor. When Hna Belt and I left after talking to Eduardo that night, I started thinking to myself, What does it really mean to be healed? Just to be fixed and made better? What does someone need to do to be completely healed?
I started reading in the scriptures and in my trusty Jesus the Christ to help me out with my questions. I read about the miracles of healing that Christ performed throughout his mortal ministry. One of my favorite stories is in John 5 when he heals the crippled man at the pool of Bethsheda (sp?). Christ asked the man, ¨wilst thou be clean?,¨ perhaps reminding the man of his long forgotten hopes of being healed. Christ tells him to ¨rise, take up (his) bed, and walk.¨ The man is immediately healed and goes to the temple to offer his love and gratitude. Christ meets him there and then tells him, ¨Behold, thou art made whole.¨ The man had been healed physically of his malady, but it wasn´t until he had gone to the temple to give thanks that he had been made ¨whole,¨ or spiritually healed. Being healed doesn´t mean being put back together again. Being healed means that we are made ¨whole,¨ we are complete. The maladay, whether it be physical or spiritual, is cleaned away as if it had never happened. We are made better than we ever were before.
Another story of healing that I love is the woman who touches Christ´s robes in the throng of people, believing that if she can only just touch his clothes, she could be healed. Christ stops and asks who has touched him, for he perceived that ¨virtue had gone out of (him).¨ Talmage explains that this virtue is literal power, that when the woman touched the robes of Christ ¨there was an actual giving of His own strength.¨ Faith is a principle of power, the Lord is and was influenced and in great measure controlled, for he ministers according to the law. I was a little shockdto learn that faith gives us so much power, but it´s true! Faith is a divine law, and if we have sufficient faith that Lord is bound by our obedience and faith to bless us. I don´t want to make it sound like we control the blessings that come from the Lord or that we can tell him when we have enough faith. What this means is that we have to give everything to Him, sacrifice every drop of doubt we might have and ask not, ¨can Christ heal me?¨ but rather ¨Will Christ heal me?¨ In Mark ¨6:5 we read that Christ ¨could there do no mighty work.¨ Every blessing that we receive is first based on our personal faith and obedience.
In all of my reading of healing I read words like ¨fully restored,¨ ¨restored whole,¨. Just like in the story of the woman who touches Christ´s robes, we can be made ¨whole of (our) plague.¨ We can receive personal strenth from the Lord Jesus Christ and from his perfect love. His atonement and love are our ¨balm of Gilead,¨ and we can be made whole again, the slate wiped clean as if we were never stricken with our enfermity.
Confidence is a stepping stone to belief, which in turn is a stepping stone to faith (Jesus el Cristo 321). In Doctrine & Covenants we learn that our confidence will wax strong if we are clean and virtuous before the Lord, so in order to have that sufficient faith we need to first do the little things: read the scriptures, say our prayers, and go to church. Then will our confidence wax strong which will lead us to sufficient faith.
Last night we went with one of the counselors in the bishopric and his wife to give Eliane a blessing of health. For me it was another manifestation of the power of priesthood. The priesthood is real. It is a power that is also bound by the personal worithiness, diligence, and faith of the person giving the blessing as well as those present. I know that in the Lord´s time Eliane will be healed. In the meantime the Lord is helping her family to be healed spiritually, giving them his own personal strength and love.
I love you all so much! It´s a little scary sometimes thinking about all the new things coming up-- all the changes and everything happening around me--bt I know I´ve got the love and support of you all :) Thanks for everything! Hope you have a great week. Peace!