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Faith Not To Be Healed


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Expectation, entitlement, "give it to me or I will hold my breath until I turn blue", etc. And when we don't see what we expected come our way, we go away unimpressed and even angry. We are a honey-bunch of stink weeds, and we still get more than we ever deserve.

Miracles take on a changed aspect when testimony of literal truths alters into something else. The memory, the conviction that miracles occurred, remains, but the religious world view, changed as it is, must reinterpret what occurred. I still accept that phenomenal things occurred, but the word "miracle" becomes problematic for me. I see those timely, welcomed interventions as necessary for the common good, for the destiny or path of my life. And I believe that I have input as to what is good for me and what is less good, and I choose the most good. A miracle is not unnatural or in defiance of reality for this world. And the miraculous is constantly happening to everyone. Miracles are therefore as "common as dirt" and just as miraculous: they are part of the background, "working" there all the time, and we don't see it very much....

Edited by Questing Beast
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I guess, if you have faith, it comes down to 'Thy will be done'. But where there has been hurt caused, then forgiveness has a healing quality but we sometimes need God's help even with this. In the physical context, when nearing the end of life, we catholics have an act of resignation ' O Lord my God, whatever manner of death is pleasing to you, with all its anguish pain and sorrows, I now accept from your hand with a resigned and willing spirit'. In giving things up to God that we cannot change, he in turn grants us peace.

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A miracle is not unnatural or in defiance of reality for this world. And the miraculous is constantly happening to everyone. Miracles are therefore as "common as dirt" and just as miraculous: they are part of the background, "working" there all the time, and we don't see it very much....

I've always thought this as well, that we have miracles around us all the time but don't pay attention. Sometimes the miracle is in understanding the challenge and being able to place it in proper perspective.

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I guess, if you have faith, it comes down to 'Thy will be done'. But where there has been hurt caused, then forgiveness has a healing quality but we sometimes need God's help even with this. In the physical context, when nearing the end of life, we catholics have an act of resignation ' O Lord my God, whatever manner of death is pleasing to you, with all its anguish pain and sorrows, I now accept from your hand with a resigned and willing spirit'. In giving things up to God that we cannot change, he in turn grants us peace.

Reminds me of the Serenity Prayer. Here's its most oft-quoted excerpt:

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.

:)

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Sometimes the challenges we face in this life are not for our benefit but for the benefit of others.

That's an interesting thought. Children certainly challenge their parents (and vice-versa ;)). What other ways do you feel that principle comes into play?

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I've always thought this as well, that we have miracles around us all the time but don't pay attention. Sometimes the miracle is in understanding the challenge and being able to place it in proper perspective.

He that hath eyes to see, let him see! :)

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Haven't heard/read Dr. Bednar's CES talk (didn't see a link)--but when God doesn't answer my prayers the way I want Him to answer them, I think of the Apostle Paul, as he described his situation in 2 Corinthians 12--

7 ... a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

For the Christian, there is purpose in suffering. To me, this is a profound comfort when I experience adversity. When I was growing up in the LDS Church and well into my adulthood, there was always a strong element of prospertity theology--that if we just worked hard enough, willed ourselves to believe enough, etc., then all blessings were possible. Many understood passages like D&C 82:10 ("I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say") and 130:21 ("And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience...") to imply a quid pro quo. But judging from this thread, such sentiments may no longer prevail.

A healthy change IMO--if this really is the case.

--Erik

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Haven't heard/read Dr. Bednar's CES talk (didn't see a link)--but when God doesn't answer my prayers the way I want Him to answer them, I think of the Apostle Paul, as he described his situation in 2 Corinthians 12--

7 ... a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

For the Christian, there is purpose in suffering. To me, this is a profound comfort when I experience adversity. When I was growing up in the LDS Church and well into my adulthood, there was always a strong element of prospertity theology--that if we just worked hard enough, willed ourselves to believe enough, etc., then all blessings were possible. Many understood passages like D&C 82:10 ("I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say") and 130:21 ("And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience...") to imply a quid pro quo. But judging from this thread, such sentiments may no longer prevail.

A healthy change IMO--if this really is the case.

--Erik

Eldar Bednar is talking about Priesthood(the ability to act for God on earth) Authority which has been restored to the Church of Jesus Chirst of Latter-day Saints.

The ability to pronounce blessing upon peoples heads. It is not our will but thine be done. That is why the question, "Do you have the faith not to be healed?" is so powerful. We accept that trials are a part of mortality. Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Come what may, and love it!" That does not negate the truth and power of the Priesthood(the ability to act for God on earth).

It is pertinent that we accept that sometimes the Priesthood(the ability to act for God on earth) is not always going to heal us, Gods will may be otherwise. It is essentally accept that Gods ways/thoughts are highers then ours as the heavens are higher then the earth(Isaiah 55:9).

Out of curiousity, do you have anything like the Priesthood(the ability to act for God on earth) in the Christian church you are currently in?

Edited by tyler90az
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Eldar Bednar is talking about Priesthood(the ability to act for God on earth) Authority which has been restored to the Church of Jesus Chirst of Latter-day Saints.

The ability to pronounce blessing upon peoples heads. It is not our will but thine be done. That is why the question, "Do you have the faith not to be healed?" is so powerful. We accept that trials are a part of mortality. Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Come what may, and love it!" That does not negate the truth and power of the Priesthood(the ability to act for God on earth).

It is pertinent that we accept that sometimes the Priesthood(the ability to act for God on earth) is not always going to heal us, Gods will may be otherwise. It is essentally accept that Gods ways/thoughts are highers then ours as the heavens are higher then the earth(Isaiah 55:9).

Out of curiousity, do you have anything like the Priesthood(the ability to act for God on earth) in the Christian church you are currently in?

Appreciate the clarification, tyler90az. As I acknowledged going in, I was making a comment without the benefit of having read the talk (a risky thing to do, no doubt). Regarding your last question, in my experience, there's nothing quite like the LDS concept of "priesthood" found in Christianity. My reading of Scripture aligns me to the traditional Protestant understanding of "priesthood of all believers"--though I recognize Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican's take a different view. (No doubt Paharon will be on shortly to give me another bashing for distinguishing Anglicans from Protestants.) Wikipedia does a decent job describing the Protestant view (and it's foundations in Scripture) here: http://en.wikipedia....od_of_believers.

Does this make sense to you?

--Erik

Edited by Five Solas
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My friend Erik, no I do not understand clearly what you mean by Universal Priesthood.

Do you have the ability to lay your hands on your son or wife and pronounce a healing or comfort blessing?

Elder Bednars question to Latter-day Saints was, "Do you have the faith not to be healed?" I guess one of my questions to you is, do you have the ability to heal your wife or son if a need arises? From what I understand in some churches only the minister can.

Edited by tyler90az
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... For the Christian, there is purpose in suffering. To me, this is a profound comfort when I experience adversity. When I was growing up in the LDS Church and well into my adulthood, there was always a strong element of prospertity theology--that if we just worked hard enough, willed ourselves to believe enough, etc., then all blessings were possible. Many understood passages like D&C 82:10 ("I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say") and 130:21 ("And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience...") to imply a quid pro quo. But judging from this thread, such sentiments may no longer prevail.

A healthy change IMO--if this really is the case.

--Erik

I question whether such sentiments have ever had traction among the vast majority (or even a minority, of whatever stripe) of the Saints and, hence, whether such a "change" is, in fact, necessary ... unless you're referring to your own perception. There have been/are some high-profile examples of members of the Church of Jesus Christ who preach the "Prosperity Gospel," but with due respect, I don't believe its adherents comprise a sizeable minority, let alone a majority, of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One of the Brethren (his name is escaping me at the moment) once said that if another member of the Church invites you to pray about an investment, be sure you have your hand on your wallet while your eyes are closed.

I had a chance to interact with some members of the Church who, I am sure, were exceedingly well-off while serving as a missionary in the California-San Diego Mission. (They never told me, and, apart from living in some rather nice homes, they flaunted neither their wealth nor their status.) This was well before the real estate bubble burst. I like to think that, had they been divested of the major part of their earthly resources and possessions, they would have shrugged and said, "The Lord giveth, and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord," and that they would be substantially the same people without those means as they were with them. The vast majority of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints understand (and always have understood) the scriptures you cite to refer chiefly to things spiritual rather than to things temporal.

And we are Christians, Erik. We may not be Christians © and ™ of your particular stripe, but we are Christians, as you well know.

Edited by Kenngo1969
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I just listened to Elder Bednar’s CES Devotional talk. He asked the question “Do you have the faith not to be healed.” What a great question because I’ve had instances of receiving immediate healing and not.

I realized I do understand that faith is needed to not to be healed because that is when many begin to question whether Christ really cares, the church is true and the Priesthood has power. I have seen families break up and people leave the church over this. I have found through experience, however, that if my faith remains intact even after not being healed, it expands into other areas and can help not only overcome the challenge I am currently facing but future challenges.

I know there are others who have experienced this. What is it that keeps us hanging on when something we dearly want and/or feel like we need isn’t granted. For myself I guess it’s all the prior miracles I’ve seen and other answered prayers, even at the most insignificant times. I do believe it is those “tender mercies” that the Apostles have recently spoken of that have kept me going through the significant times.

Any other thoughts?

D&C 46 doesn't mention this particular gift of faith:

faith to be healed;

heal.

I wonder if Church members having the "faith not to be healed" is a step forward or step backward.

Because when every result to a priesthood blessing is faith promoting, then none of them are (see "Null hypothesis").

Edited by cinepro
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Germane to my discussion with my friend, Erik, above (with whom I once promised to share a drink: he could have a beer as long as I could have a ginger ale, if-and-when I ever find myself in his neck of the woods ;)), is this excerpt from a talk by the incomparable Elder Neal A. Maxwell (emphasis mine):

While events often induce submissiveness, one’s development need not be dramatic or tied to a single moment; it can occur steadily in seemingly ordinary, daily settings. If we are meek, a rich and needed insight can be contained in reproof. A new calling can beckon us away from comfortable routine and from competencies already acquired. One may be stripped of accustomed luxury in order that the malignant mole of materialism be removed. One may feel humiliated in order that pride be chipped away.

And this excerpt is germane to the question of faith not to be healed:

We have been given three special words—but if not—by three submissive young men who entered their fiery furnace, knowing “our God … is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, … But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods.” (Dan. 3:17-18; italics added.)

Moreover, our prayers should allow for three more special words: “And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.” (3 Nephi 18:20; italics added.)

It is only by yielding to God that we can begin to realize His will for us. And if we truly trust God, why not yield to His loving omniscience? After all, He knows us and our possibilities much better than do we.

As is this one:

While most of our suffering is self-inflicted, some is caused by or permitted by God. This sobering reality calls for deep submissiveness, especially when God does not remove the cup from us. In such circumstances, when reminded about the premortal shouting for joy as this life’s plan was unfolded (see Job 38:7), we can perhaps be pardoned if, in some moments, we wonder what all the shouting was about.

I commend the whole address to the readers of this thread: http://www.lds.org/general-conference/1985/04/willing-to-submit?lang=eng

I also think we need to resist the notion that God is like Santa Claus, blessing us if we're "good," while withholding blessings if we're not. See here: http://www.greatgourdini.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/on-gods-injustice/

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Sometimes the challenges we face in this life are not for our benefit but for the benefit of others.

our ward is going through this right now with a certain two leaders, but MUCH to the agitation of maany others

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Even the LDS have the concept of "universal priesthood", but it does not extend to authority involving the administration of church government. By church government I mean things that affect church administration and the ordinances that the church administers, including baptism, confirmation, ordination, and administration of the Lord's Supper, among others.

With respect to "universal priesthood", while an LDS Melchizedek Priesthood holder can give a blessing on a sick person, by the authority of the priesthood, a non-MP holder can still lay hands upon a sick person and give a blessing of comfort and healing, using the name of Jesus Christ. Faith in the Lord confers this authority. Just as when the disciples reporting back to Jesus about someone they didn't know driving out a devil using the name of Jesus, and the Lord rebuked them for forbidding him. While on the other hand, when the Apostles found someone who had been baptized apparently without authority (evidence: not being told abt the Holy Ghost), they then baptized them in the name of Jesus and conferred the Holy Ghost. If the authority had been adequate in the first place, then they should merely have conferred the Holy Ghost, the baptism being already adequate, being done by a believer.

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I just heard the talk also and it addressed a question I've had for years. Why do we need faith (to be healed in this example) if the Lord's will is done? IOW, what difference does our faith make?

So now I understand a little better. (Line upon line ....) That faith is to trust that he CAN heal us, or whatever it is that we want, even if he doesn't heal us. And that faith is for our own strengthening. Not that faith will change something that we want changed, but that it simply strengthens us to deal with whatever comes.

I think the greatest blessing we can have in this life is peace. If you have peace in your heart, it doesn't matter what's happening around you. If you don't have peace, it doesn't matter what else you have. And faith gives us peace. It may not heal us from disease. It may not stop wars and suffering and the consequences of evil. But it can give us peace.

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I think the greatest blessing we can have in this life is peace. If you have peace in your heart, it doesn't matter what's happening around you. If you don't have peace, it doesn't matter what else you have. And faith gives us peace. It may not heal us from disease. It may not stop wars and suffering and the consequences of evil. But it can give us peace.

So very, very true.
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Haven't heard/read Dr. Bednar's CES talk (didn't see a link)--

Here is a link if you'd like to watch it. I thought it was a very insightful talk as though it was directed to me only for the health challenges I am going through right now.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I question whether such sentiments have ever had traction among the vast majority (or even a minority, of whatever stripe) of the Saints and, hence, whether such a "change" is, in fact, necessary ... unless you're referring to your own perception. There have been/are some high-profile examples of members of the Church of Jesus Christ who preach the "Prosperity Gospel," but with due respect, I don't believe its adherents comprise a sizeable minority, let alone a majority, of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One of the Brethren (his name is escaping me at the moment) once said that if another member of the Church invites you to pray about an investment, be sure you have your hand on your wallet while your eyes are closed.

I had a chance to interact with some members of the Church who, I am sure, were exceedingly well-off while serving as a missionary in the California-San Diego Mission. (They never told me, and, apart from living in some rather nice homes, they flaunted neither their wealth nor their status.) This was well before the real estate bubble burst. I like to think that, had they been divested of the major part of their earthly resources and possessions, they would have shrugged and said, "The Lord giveth, and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord," and that they would be substantially the same people without those means as they were with them. The vast majority of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints understand (and always have understood) the scriptures you cite to refer chiefly to things spiritual rather than to things temporal.

And we are Christians, Erik. We may not be Christians © and ™ of your particular stripe, but we are Christians, as you well know.

Hey Kenngo1969—

Slow to get back to this (three young children and work has been crazy). But I’m multitasking on the treadmill this morning (fast walk, not jogging).

Your drink offer still stands if you find yourself in Seattle, absolutely!

Regarding whether my perception (i.e., that there was a strong element of prosperity theology in LDS scripture & thought) back when I was LDS is indicative of reality—of course I believe so. Passages like D&C 82:10 ("I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say") and 130:21 ("And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience...") don’t stick in my head because I stumbled across them on an anti-Mormon website. They stick in my head because they were very popular and cited frequently in Priesthood, Gospel Doctrine, etc. I heard them a lot. And while I don’t recall anyone ever saying the Latin “quid pro quo,” I was rarely fuzzy on what our instructors were intending.

The most common example that comes to mind was the tithing testimony (tell me you’ve never heard this). For the benefit of the room, the “witness” describes how he or she (and usually a he) has either always paid a full & honest tithe and has thereby always been able to meet obligations, etc. and/or has had a particular hardship (e.g., medical expenses) and trusted that if they prioritized tithing then the other burdens would somehow get resolved—and in the story being shared they invariably do—by a means attributed to God and thus directly connected to their payment of tithing, leading them to greater faith in the law or principle of tithing, etc.

Now that didn’t require much imagination, did it? Yes, I was there.

:0)

Btw, I read your blog, appreciate your sharing, gives me some perspective.

Warmest regards,

--Erik

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Regarding whether my perception (i.e., that there was a strong element of prosperity theology in LDS scripture & thought) back when I was LDS is indicative of reality—of course I believe so. Passages like D&C 82:10 ("I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say") and 130:21 ("And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience...") don’t stick in my head because I stumbled across them on an anti-Mormon website. They stick in my head because they were very popular and cited frequently in Priesthood, Gospel Doctrine, etc. I heard them a lot. And while I don’t recall anyone ever saying the Latin “quid pro quo,” I was rarely fuzzy on what our instructors were intending.

The most common example that comes to mind was the tithing testimony (tell me you’ve never heard this). For the benefit of the room, the “witness” describes how he or she (and usually a he) has either always paid a full & honest tithe and has thereby always been able to meet obligations, etc. and/or has had a particular hardship (e.g., medical expenses) and trusted that if they prioritized tithing then the other burdens would somehow get resolved—and in the story being shared they invariably do—by a means attributed to God and thus directly connected to their payment of tithing, leading them to greater faith in the law or principle of tithing, etc.

Personally, I don't think what you heard is necessarily wrong, it just isn't in total. I've Heard those scriptures/experiences too. I believe them and have had a number that would mirror them. But this does not equate a prosperity theology....it's a balanced response between blessing/gifts and adversity/trial. Just as I've heard the scripture about obtaining blessings I've heard just as many if not moreso about things not going as planned (alma having to watch the people die by fire, Amulek's martyrdom, DC 122, moroni being alone after watching the genocide of his people, etc). I have never seen doing right set as a guarantee that you'll immediately prosper temporally....just that prospering may be one of the blessings received, depending on what is needed.

I've seen people assume that all they have to do is A,B, and C to get D. But this is individual fault and not indicative of church doctrine. Bednar's talk did not represent, for me, any change in emphasis that I haven't seen, heard, or known in various ways throughout my life as an LDS member.

With luv,

BD

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Personally, I don't think what you heard is necessarily wrong, it just isn't in total. I've Heard those scriptures/experiences too. I believe them and have had a number that would mirror them. But this does not equate a prosperity theology....it's a balanced response between blessing/gifts and adversity/trial. Just as I've heard the scripture about obtaining blessings I've heard just as many if not moreso about things not going as planned (alma having to watch the people die by fire, Amulek's martyrdom, DC 122, moroni being alone after watching the genocide of his people, etc). I have never seen doing right set as a guarantee that you'll immediately prosper temporally....just that prospering may be one of the blessings received, depending on what is needed.

I've seen people assume that all they have to do is A,B, and C to get D. But this is individual fault and not indicative of church doctrine. Bednar's talk did not represent, for me, any change in emphasis that I haven't seen, heard, or known in various ways throughout my life as an LDS member.

With luv,

BD

Appreciate the response, BD. Personally, I'm an Ecclesiastes fan, ("There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are evil men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous..."). D&C 82:10 and 130:21 never seemed right to me (to say nothing of section 89 & the promise of verses 18 - 20).

You make a good point, one could make counter arguments to prosperity theology based on other passages of the LDS canon. But in my experience, Ecclesiastes wasn't nearly so popular.

And lastly, while I've asserted LDS teaching contains a strong element therein, I'm not suggesting anyone is going to confuse it with Joel Osteen.

:0)

--Erik

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D&C 46 doesn't mention this particular gift of faith:

I wonder if Church members having the "faith not to be healed" is a step forward or step backward.

Because when every result to a priesthood blessing is faith promoting, then none of them are (see "Null hypothesis").

Exactly my thoughts. It's just a cop out and an act of covering bases. An admission perhaps that apparent miraculous healings are too unpredictable to be of any merit.

Can you imagine reading this in the gospels:

"Do not take up thy bed and walk, you'll be able to have more faith that way."

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