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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – Healing, 1847

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood Healing, 1847.” You can view other years here.

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1847:  2 Jan.:  Placing consecrated oil on burned face.

“I was at the store regulating the books and making out Whitney & Woolley’s account.  About 2 o’clock p.m., Sarah [Clayton’s daughter] came and said her mother wanted me, as Moroni [his son] had fallen into the fire and burned himself very badly.  I went home immediately and found Moroni in a bad condition.  There were large blisters around his left eye, and he was burned all over the left side of his head and neck.  At once applied consecrated oil and ordered the folks to keep it on all the time.  I then returned to the store.”  (William Clayton diary, 2 Jan., 1847, in JI 21(12):186, 15 Jun., 1886)

18 Feb.:  Washed and anointed feet and joints.

“Azariah Smith journalizes as follows:

A meeting was held in our room, Bro. Levi Hancock and others being present.  We washed and anointed one another’s feet and joints, after which Brother Hancock gave some good instructions.”  (JH 18 Feb., 1847)

17 Mar.:  Patty Sessions administration.

“[Mary Pierce] was buried.  I went to the funeral.  Brigham Young preached.  I visited sick.  Mr. Sessions and I went and laid hands on the widow Holman’s stepdaughter.  She was healed.”  (Patty Sessions diary, 17 Mar., 1847; in Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:63, 1959)

28 Mar.:  Who to go to for a blessing.

“His [Simeon Carter, Liverpool Conference President] counsel was this, that when any of their families were seized with dangerous illness, they were to send for him immediately, and if he was not in at the time, they were to leave word, with their correct addres, and he would come as soon as possible; in the mean time they were to go for the nearest Elder in their own neighbourhood, or if they had faith in one more than another they were to go for him, and by this means honour the Priesthood in their calling.  He said no medicine would do any good, because they had not faith in it; he also said that if the Saints heeded his council, not one in fifty would die, except the Lord had positively determined it, having a work for them to do in another state of existence.”  (Liverpool Conference minutes, 28 Mar., 1847; MS 9(12):191, 15 Jun., 1847)

1 Apr.:  Patty Sessions administration.

“Visited with Sister Knight at Sister Buell’s.  Mr. Sessions and I then visited the sick, anointed and laid hands on heads in blessings.”  (Patty Sessions diary, 1 May, 1847; in Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:63, 1959)

11 Apr.:  Anointed with oil consecrated in Nauvoo Temple.

“She soon became almost frantic, tumbling and rolling first from the bed then to the floor and when I saw that her spirit was right I called A. D. Young, took a bottle of oil that had been consecrated in the Temple of the Lord at Nauvoo, anointed her and rebuked the spirit that she had given up too, and prayed the Lord to stay his hand, and instantly she was relieved and fell asleep.”  (John D. Lee diary, 11 Apr., 1847)

4 May:  Can a Priest administer to the sick?

“8th,–Is it right for the Priest to lay on hands for the healing of the sick, in accordance to 71st page, 10th rule [D&C], where it says, in all his duties the Priest is to assist the Elder as occasion requires? is that what the Elders are to understand if several Priests be present?

8th,–The Priest may probably lay on hands, when requested by an Elder, for the healing of the sick; but the general rule is, to ‘call for the Elders of the church,’ and not the Priests, to lay hands upon the sick.  The Priest’s duty is to assist the Elders to preach, teach, &c.”  (“Letter to Orson Spencer [MS editor] and the Reply,” letter from Elder William Hawkins, Sen., Priest William Hawkins, Jun., Elder John Lickorish, dated 4 May, 1847; MS 9(11):168-169, 1 Jun., 1847)

11 May:  Patty Sessions administration.

“Sister Leonard and Buell were here on a visit.  Sister Buell had the toothache.  We laid hands on her.”  (Patty Sessions diary, 11 May., 1847; in Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:64, 1959)

29 May:  Patty blessed by women to be able to bless others

“Went to meeting to Eliza Beamans with many of the sisters.  Sister Young and Whitney laid their hands upon my head and predicted many things that I shall be blessed with; that I should live to stand in a temple yet to be built and Jospeh would be there.  I should see him.  I should officiate for my labors should then be done.  I should be blessed by many and there I should bless many and many should be brought into me, saying your hands were the first that handled me, bless me, and after I had blessed them their mothers would rise up and bless me for they would be brought to me by Joseph himself for he would bring my little ones to me and my heart was filled with joy and rejoicing.”  (Patty Sessions diary, 29 May, 1847; in Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:64, 1959)

18 Jun.:  Eliza blesses woman, with man assisting.

“Had a treat of a spirit in the wagon.  Sis. Moore & sis. Sess[ions] p[rese]nt.  In the aft. attended meeting at sis. Beaches’–most of br. Pratt’s fam[ily] pr[esen]t–had a refreshing time.

Sis. Sess[ions] & I went to br. Hunter’s, found sis. H[unter] out of health–told them I had long desir’d to bless sis. H[unter]–went into the wagon–I spoke to br. H[unter] in the gift of tongues, sis. S[essions] interpreted, after which br. H[unter], sis. S[essions] & I laid hands on sis. H[unter]’s head & rebuk’d her illness & blessed her.  I then sang a song to them & sis. S[essions] sang the interpretation.  Susanna present & arose & bless’d sis. H[unter].”  (Eliza R. Snow diary, 18 Jun., 1847; IE 46(9):573, Sep., 1943)

27 Jun.:  Eliza R. Snow blessed by women.

“I have been very sick, rode on bed the last 2 days–sis. Sess[ions], Lucina & sis. Leonard came to the wagon–the pow’r of God rested on me–my disease was rebuk’d, & I praised the name of the Most High.”  (Eliza R. Snow diary, 27 Jun., 1847; IE 46(10):598, Oct., 1943)

9 Oct.:  Sister Chase administered to Eliza R. Snow.

“I am quite ill–Sis. Chase administers to me–we are blest.”  (Eliza R. Snow diary, 9 Oct., 1847; IE 47(2):89, Feb., 1944)

18 Oct.:  Eliza administers to Sister Stewart.

“I had the pleasure of mounting a horse, which was much satisfaction, altho’ I lost the anticipated ride to the Spring.  In the afternoon Sis. Taylor call’d for me & I accompanied her to visit a sick girl–Eliza Stewart to whom Sis. Smoot, Sessions & I administer’d, Sister T[aylor] & myself having taken tea & pan-cakes with Sis. Smoot.”  (Eliza R. Snow diary, 18 Oct., 1847; IE 47(2):113, Feb., 1944)

23 Oct.:  Eliza administers to Sister Savage.

“Slept with Sis. Sess[ions], after partaking a treat of pudding & milk, breakfast with her and L. after which we call on Sis. Savage.  Sis. Wallace administered to E. S. & spend the aft[ernoon] happily with Sis. Noble, blest her, the babe, &c.”  (Eliza R. Snow diary, 23 Oct., 1847; IE 47(2):113-114, Feb., 1944)

22 Nov.:  Patty Sessions anoints sick woman.

“In the evening prayed for Heber with Ellen and Mary Ellen.  I anointed Ellen according to Heber’s request, when he met me on the road.”  (Patty Sessions diary, 22 Nov., 1847; UHQ 10:102, 1942)

1848:  30 Apr.:  Healing with an artefact.

“The next I shall take notice of, is at Old Swinford, near Stourbridge.  While I was looking about me one day, I left my stick at the brothers in Old Swinford; the brother and father-in-law worked together as nailors, and the young man had a deep cut in his hand, caused by a piece of iron with which he had been at work.  He went to my stick and rubbed his hand against it, and the wound immediately closed.  Both father-in-law and mother-in-law were witnesses to this healing.  The old man and woman had each wounds; they took the stick and rubbed, and were healed,–so there were three healed in that house, one after another.

After this, in going through the branches, when I got to Cheltenham, there was a sister there greatly disfigured by two scurvy lumps on her top lip.  I told the story of the stick, without thinking she would make use of it.  I went to look through the town of Cheltenham, and some time after I again saw the sister, but the lumps were gone!  She had made use of my stick.  This is truth.”  (John Albiston [Patriarch in Ashton-under-Lyne] to Orson Spencer [Editor, MS], 30 Apr., 1848; MS 10(10):158, 15 May, 1848)

1 May:  It was best to commend his spirit to God.

“As we passed into warmer weather, Father Young appeared to fail daily, notwithstanding the diligent attention which was paid to him.  He did not seem to have any particular disease, but was sometimes troubled with cramping, insomuch that on the 21st March we anointed and prayed for him; he was immediately relieved, and comparatively comfortable; still failing however, until he was again distressed with cramping, and when not, lay quite insensible.  The weather was now very warm, and all hope of his surviving the passage, with any comfort to himself or any one else, had fled.  The Saints and elders felt as I did, that it was best to commend his spirit to God, which was done with solemn prayer and laying on of hands, on the evening of the 30th, and at fifteen minutes past nine he fell asleep.  We desired to bring his body, and bury it among the Saints; but the officers of the ship assured us we should not be permitted to pass the Balize with the corpse on board, and the company became resigned to a burial at sea.”  (F. D. Richards, C. H. Wheelock, A. Cahoon, and S. W. Richards to Orson Spencer [England], 1 May, 1848; MS 10(13):203-204, 1 Jul., 1848)

15 May:  Anointing of leg.

“Elizabeth Lees, of Ashton, formerly a member of the Israelite’s community of this town, had a bad leg for eight years.  It was pronounced by the profession incurable.  She was advised to have it taken off.  On the 25th of May, it was anointed by brother John Lee; and after I visited her in company with him, and again attended to the ordinance, and continuing to anoint, it was healed and restored perfect in the June following, and she now considers it the better leg.”  (John Albiston, Patriarch [Ashton, England] to Orson Pratt [MS Editor], 8 Aug., 1848; MS 10(16):256, 15 Aug., 1848)

6 Dec.:  She touched me and was healed.

“I will just say, while I have been out on my mission in this conference, there has a singular circumstance taken place at Burn.  A woman in the Wesleyan connexion, by the name of Richardson, who has had a running disease of the leg for some years, heard me preach once; she told her friends, she was sure I was a servant of the Lord, and such was her faith, that if she could but touch me, she should be healed: she obtained her desire, and is healed of her disease.  Still she has not obeyed the gospel, but has turned round, persecuting those who would obey; and those who witness the miracle of healing, imbibe the same spirit as in the days of Christ, when they said, ‘he casteth out devils by Beelzebub the prince of devils.'”  (Joseph Westwood [Hull, England] to Orson Pratt [MS Editor], 6 Dec., 1848; MS 11(1):10, 1 Jan., 1849)

1849:  19 May:  Anointing of eyes.

“A child (the parents not in the church) was labouring under severe indisposition, and had been blind for three or four days.  I went, at the request of the grandmother, (a member of the church,) into Springfield Lane.  I administered oil, anointed its eyes, and laid my hands upon its head, and in ten minutes the child’s health was restored, its eyes opened, and seemed happy and lively.”  (John Watts [Salford, England] to Orson Pratt [MS Editor], 19 May, 1849; MS 11(12):187, 15 Jun., 1849)

25 Nov.:  Healing of one born blind.

“. . . the mother took another of her daughters, and put her upon his knee, and said, ‘Sir, is that child blind?’  And after he had examined her eyes, he said, ‘She is.’  ‘Well,’ said the mother, She was born blind: and she is now four years old; and I am going to take her to the elders of our church, for them to anoint her eyes with oil, and lay their hands upon her; and you can call again, when you have time, and see her with her eyes opened; for I know the Lord will heal her, and she will see.’  ‘Well,’ said he, ‘if she does ever see, it will be a great proof.’  Accordingly the mother brought the child to the elders, and Elder John Hackwell anointed her eyes, and laid hands upon her, only once; and the Lord heard his prayer, so that the child can now see with both of her eyes, as well as any other person.  For which we all feel thankful to our heavenly Father, and are willing to bear testimony of it to all the world.”  (George Halliday [Bristol, England] to Orson Pratt [MS Editor], 25 Nov., 1849; MS 11(24):377, 15 Dec., 1849)

1850:  Jul.:  Rebuked destroyer; woman died.

“After we had been in Kanesvill several days the Cholery appeared and several persons Died with it at Council point.  I was called upon with Br [Isaac] Haight to adminester the ordinance to a young Sister that was attacted with it.  we praid for her and laid our hands upon her and rebuked the distroyer.  the pain and Cramping left her immediately and she felt perfectly easy.  She ley in this easy position for about 6 hours when She quiately fell asleep in Jesus, to wait the resurection morn.”  (Appleton M. Harmon journal; LC Collection)

30 Sep.:  Anointing of breast.

“We have recently been favored with a manifestation of the miraculous power of God; in this branch of the Church a sister, named Ann Keep, the wife of Joseph Keep, who is a deacon in the Church, had a cancer in her breast for some time; and it became so bad of late that she intended to have it cut out, and the time was appointed for it to be done.  Three medical men were to be present at the operation.  A brother named David Davis, an elder in the Church, called to see her, and she told him that she was going to have the cancer taken out; and he said to her ‘have you got any faith in the power of God?’ and she answered ‘yes:’ and he said ‘so have I.’  Accordingly he anointed her breast with oil, and laid hands upon her, and the pain left her there and then, and she never felt it any more; and from that time the cancer got less, until it disappeared; and the breast that had the cancer is as well as the other.  This is known by many out of the Church.”  (Thomas Squires [Berks, England] to Orson Pratt [MS Editor], 30 Sep., 1850; MS 12(20):312-312, 15 Oct., 1850)

1851:  29 Jan.:  Laid hands on him for the release of his spirit.

“Immediately after my arrivel, I called upon the elders, and we proceeded to administer the ordinance of anointing with oil and the laying on of hands, which we continued to do at intervals during the night.  [The recipient was James H. Flanigan, President of the Birmingham Conference.]  He joined heartily with us in our every administration, and appeared for the time being to get much relief; but all our efforts to rebuke the destroyer and kindle up within him the power of life proved unavailing, and fruitless; in fact, he gave us no reason to hope that he had faith to recover.  On the contrary, he manifested an eagerness to hasten to the spiritual world.  Said he, ‘I see three vacant places by the side of Joseph and Hyrum; one of them is for me; let me go and fill it.’  I felt reluctant to resign him until some of the American brethren could be present, and expressed my feelings to him.  He seemed willing to struggle to live till they should have time to come, but, through the delay and miscarriage of letters, none, whose circumstances would admit of their being present, received intelligence of his situation till after his decease. . . .

At the conclusion of this testimony he requested Elder Godsall to lay his hands uopn him, and pray for the release of his spirit.  Elder Godsall compled with his request, and Elder Flanigan soon fell asleep without a visible struggle.  Elder Godsall informed me, that the night before he was taken violently ill he bathed in pure water, and anointed himself before retiring to that bed from which he never returned.  He was confined to his room from Friday the 17th to January 29th, when he died.”  (Cyrus H. Wheelock to F. D. Richards, Editor, 16 Feb., 1851; MS 13(5):73-74, 1 Mar., 1851)

25 Feb.:  Oil administered topically and internally.

“A man who was in the meeting had a child that wasted to a skeleton through a disease in the bowels. . . . I never saw a greater object of pity, having been invited to see him I asked him if he believed that this was the work of God.  He said he did.  I also asked of the doctors had attended it.  He said they had and had given him up to die.  He was 8 years old his mother weeping and mourning I told them that as they believed and as I ware a servant of God that by all the ordinance of the Church the child should get better.  I anointed his bowels with oil and gave him some internally and laid my hands on his head and from that hour the child began to amend and in 14 days was able to run about.  The parents were not in the Church.  All the people testify that it was a great mercy.  The doctor declared he never saw a case like it to recover.”  (James Farmer diary, 25 Feb., 1851; LC Collection)

5 Mar.:  Woman given power to heal the sick.

“Thou shalt have faith, and heal the sick, in thy habitation.”  (Patriarchal Blessing given to Sarah Murdock, wife of John Murdock, by John Smith, 5 Mar., 1851; John Murdock journal, 5 Mar., 1851; LDS Archives, Ouellette)

3 May:  Patty Sessions administration.

“Went and washed and anointed Brother Coltrin’s baby; then went and paid tithing then to a medical meeting.”  (Patty Sessions diary, 3 May, 1851; in Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:66, 1959)

27 Dec.:  Conditional nature of promised blessings.

“In revising the Life of Joseph, published in this paper, the question so often asked by the saints presented itself; to wit, what shall we do with these promises, there are no conditions in the blessings given to the Twelve, they were blessed to do a great work even to the coming of Christ, and several have apostatized; how shall we account for these failures?

All blessings promised by the Priesthood, which has come down from the heavens, are conditional, no matter whether expressed or implied; conditions are often spoken in blessings, which are not written, and for a good reason; the church has not always been blessed with ready writers, they could not write all that was spoken, and being obliged to leave a part unwritten, the writers have left that portion which they truloy understood to be universally acknowledged by the Priesthood, namely, that faithfulness on the part of the receiver of blessings was requisite to ensure the blessings promised.

Let any man who has the spirit of truth abiding in him read all we have published in this paper, and he will see the conditions in President Cowdery’s communication to Parley P. Pratt, and that these conditions were necessary for him to observe, or else he was liable to lose his crown, and his office be taken and given to another; and the same conditions were equally applicable to all the quorum of the Twelve Apostles, whether expressed or not, they were implied to all; and whether written or not it mattereth not, they were understood if they were not spoken; and this is the case with all blessings through the Priesthood to all saints, except the eternal decrees of the Father, made manifest through the Priesthood by special revelation, with which the present generation has very little to do, and consequently need give themselves no trouble concerning it, they will be sure to know it when it comes.

Many have wondered why their friends have been cut off, and laid in their graves, when it was said in their Patriarchal blessing they should live to the coming of Christ, if they continued faithful; but this brings us particularly to the principle of faith, which is largely treated of in the Doctrine and Covenants, and to which we refer the saints for information, for the present, which read and be wise.”  (DN 27 Dec., 1851)

1852:  1 Jan.:  “Give me a bottle of oil–I’ll trust the Lord.”

“On the first day of the year 1852, I was taken suddenly ill with the billious fever and had to be brought home.  My Father sent for a doctor, which was against my wish, but he attended me for 5 or 6 weeks, and I became much worse.  I told the doctor I would take no more of his medicine, as it made me sleep, and when I awoke I was in greater pain.  This made my Father feel very bad, as he had lost Mother and now he saw no hopes for me.  I told Father to throw all the medicine into the street, give me a bottle of oil, and I would trust in the Lord, as I felt sure He would heal me.  I took about half a bottle of oil and it made me vomit until I thought I would die; but this took all of the poison out of my system, and in a few hours I could sit up.  The following day I walked out into the yard.  Althoug I was very weak for a while, nothing but the power of God could heal me.”  (Thomas Briggs autobiography; in Our Pioneer Heritage, 3:267-268, 1950)

17 Oct.:  My wife and children will live ’til I return.

“It seems that the Destroyer is seeking to thwart the purposes of God by aflicting my family but I feel to say in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that the power of the destroyer shall be rebuked in my family tht my children shall be healed and their lives and the life of my wife held precious before the Lord.  That they shall be prospered and protected from all evil even untill I return from my mission because I know that it is the will of my heavenly father for it to be so.  Which may God seal in the heavens.  Amen.”  (Hosea Stout diary, 17 Oct., 1852)

[Stout left shortly thereafter for a mission in China.  Prior to his return he noted the following in his diary:]

26 Aug., 1853:  “This day Elder Cyrus Canfield came here  He & Elder Wade have been appointed to join us in our mission & had come thus far & meeting us thus returning are left in the same uncertainty that we are not knowing what to do.  He brought two letters one from S. M. Blair of May 3 & one from Allen both bearing the sad news of my wife’s death  Allens letter dated April 11.”  (Hosea Stout diary, 26 Aug., 1853)

1853:  25 Jul.:  Patty Sessions administration.

“Washed and anointed Franklin Richards’ wife.”  (Patty Sessions diary, 25 Jul., 1853; in Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:68, 1959)

[ca. 1853]:  Priest administers to sick woman.

“One Sunday evening, I went to visit a young sister named Ann Ellwood, who was very sick in bed.  She heard me in the house and called her mother into the room where she was, and told her she wanted to see me.  Accordingly I went into the room, her mother leaving us alone, she said she desired me to administer to her and she would be better.  I was only a Priest at the time but there were no Elders in the neighborhood [England] then.  I laid my hands on her head and prayed God the Eternal Father, in the name of Jesus Christ his Son, to remove the pain and heal her up from all her afflictions, as soon as I took my hands off her head, she said, ‘Now brother, if you will go into the other room, I will get up, for I am healed.’  I did so and she dressed herself and came out of the bedroom, rejoicing and giving God the praise.  We sat up several hours that night and on the following morning I called at the house to enquire how she was, and I found her busy doing their house work and she said she never felt better in her life, and she is now married to James White, a plasterer, in the 11th ward in Salt Lake City, and she delights to tell how God heard our prayers and answered them in her behalf.”  (William Atkin autobiography, LC Collection; published in The Union [St. George], 1896)

1854:  29 Jan.:  Willard Richards blessed to recover/then dies.

“29th Sunday . . . At the close of the meeting the Presidency & Twelve went to Dr Richards and Administered to him by the laying on of hands and we have done it freequently & at times had a testimony by the spirit of God that He would get better but all outward appearances have been against his getting up again. . . .

At the close of the meeting I went to Dr Richards & spent 2 hours.  He was very low & it appeared as though He would not live till morning.

30th  Dr Richards is alive this morning and appears some better. . . .

31st  Dr Richards still lives and appears some better And I pray the Lord he may again get well for many reasons.  One is the Twelve have administered to him many times and felt moved upon at times to promise him that he should live and get well and stand in the midst of his brethren and also to administer to his family.  This I promised him once while the Twelve and all his wives were administering to him at the same time. . . .

March 11th 1854  President Willard Richards departed this life this morning at about 30 minutes past 9 oclock.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 29-31 Jan. and 11 Mar., 1854)

12 Feb.:  Animal magnetism and healing.

“There is always a cause for every affect we see.  For instance, if I were to operate upon that table as the table movers do, and it should move from place to place without any visible assistance, you might be inclined to take off your hats to me and feel awe struck in my presence as a being of superior power–and some might, in their enthusiasm, believe me a god, and might inquire of me when I left the upper regions.  The table moves by the force of animal magnetism.  That is the term applied to it.  No table can move unless it is charged with the life that is in the operators.  Animal magnetism is a true principle.  It is called by this name because the term belongs to earthly beings, but we would call it the Spirit of Life, the power of the Holy Ghost, or the Life of God in the creature.  When the Lord sheds the Holy Ghost upon His children, by means of bringing their bodies in contact with other bodies according to the order established by Him, it is transmitted from one person to another; this you may, if you please, call animal magnetism.  When the Lord touches a person, that person is filled with life.  The very principle the philosophers call animal magnetism was taught and practiced by Jesus and his Apostles.  It has always been taught and you teach it continually to your families, though you may not be aware of it.  It is taught largely in the scriptures for instance in the Epistle of James it is said, ‘Is any sick among you?  Let him call for the Elders of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord’ etc.  The Lord in the Gospel by Mark, among other things that believers should do, said, ‘They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.’  You are full of Life; and if you have the power of God upon you, you are filled with still more Life than the person who has not the power of God upon them.  If a person filled with the power of God comes in contact with another person who has a disease upon him, it can be overpowered by the laying on of his hands commanding it at this same time to depart in the name of Jesus Christ; and the sick person will immediately rise from his bed made whole.  I have seen instances of this kind a great many times in my life, and so have you.  This is what the world calls animal magnitism.  It is the Life, that is in everything, and God is the author of it, and in this way He is in everything, and round about everything.  This does not refer to his personal tabernacle, it is not in you nor in this room.  He is at home; or else on a visit to some of His friends; He is where He wishes to be in His personal tabernacle, but His power is in everything.  Devils are as much indebted to Him for their being, as you and I are, both the devils on the Earth, and the devils of Hell; they are all under obligations to Him for their life and being, as any other being there is in Heaven or on Earth.  They have made an evil use of the knowledge they have.”  (Brigham Young, 12 Feb., 1854; Collier, TPBY 3:242-243)

29 Mar.:  Anointing of ears, tongue of deaf & dumb man.

“On the 28th day of March, we left Manchester, to fill an appointment at Rochdale.  That evening four persons presented themselves for baptism; these were Mrs. Howarth (a widow), a daughter of about sixteen years of age, and a son of nine, also a brother of Mrs. Howarth, Halsden Marsden, a lad of eighteen years of age, who was born both deaf and dumb.

I had some conversation with Mrs. Howarth, as to whether the lad had been properly instructed pertaining to the ordinance of baptism.  She stated that she had instructed him, that he could read well, and converse fluently by the language of the hand.  Brother Dille, however, took up a slate and wrote this question on it, ‘Do you want to be baptized for the remission of your sins?  If so, please answer.’  The lad asked his sister the meaning of remission.  She replied it was forgiveness.  He then wrote on the slate the word, ‘Yes,’ for answer, and handed it to brother Dille.  We both were simultaneously impressed that the young man would receive his hearing and his speech, and we so said to each other.

We now repaired to the usual place of baptism, and brother Dille baptized them.  We then returned to brother Rigg’s, where we confirmed them.  I officiated in confirming the young man.  I felt to ask God, while our hands were upon the young man’s head, that he might be made to hear and speak.  We then told his sister, that if she would come again with her brother in the morning, we would anoint him for his hearing.

In the morning we procured some oil, and consecrated it, and when they came, I proceeded to administer the oil.  I gave him a little inwardly, that it might touch his tongue; applied some also about his ears, and dropped some into them;, in the name of the Lord, praying that the youth might be blessed with hearing and with speech.  Brother Dille officiated next, as we laid our hands upon his head, but brother Dille did not speak with that confidence which is void of doubt–he said nothing positive.

I felt a little disappointed in my spirit, and, after reflecting a few minutes, it occurred to me that we ought to act in our official capacity ‘as men having authority,’ for to this end we were called and sent; and that in places where there were none over us in authority, we must officiate instead of and for God, on the earth.  I expressed my feelings, and said I thought we ought to command every obstruction to his hearning and speaking to depart from him, in the name of the Lord.  Brother Dille assented.  So we again laid our hands upon the youth, and I rebuked every obstruction to his hearing and speech, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and commanded the same to depart from him, so that he should have the power of both speech and hearing given unto him, and said, this should be his blessing, if he would receive it in faith, for a testimony to him, and to all who were acquainted with him.

His sister now communicated to him what we had sealed upon him, if he would believe.  He rejoiced greatly, and it was manifest to all, that the Spirit rested greatly upon him.  He said that he did believe, by sticking up his thumb, which meant anything that was good.  He also communicated that we were men of God.  He opened the Bible at the last chapter of St. Mark, and pointed to the words of the Saviour to the Apostles, and the promise to them that believed and were baptized, that these signs should follow them.

We now repaired to his sister’s house, and soon engaged in a desultory conversation concerning him.  I discovered, about an hour after the administration of the oil, that he manifested signs of hearing.  I removed from his ears the cotton which I had applied after the oil, and requested his sister to read the alphabet to him on the hand, and at the same time to speak the letters.  He was requested to observe the movements of her lips and tongue, and to imitate her in the sound.  We then learned, to our great joy, that he could actually hear, and, as he was directed, he followed his sister in sounding every letter in the alphabet, many of them quite distinctly.

We now made the discovery, an idea before unthought of by us, that he had to be taught the signification of every sound or word, because all sound was alike new to him.  He repeated the words father, mother, brother, sister; his own name, brother Dille’s, my own, and many others.  He was exceedingly delighted at the acquisition which he had made.  His hearing appeared to become gradually more distinct, so that he heard, satisfactorily, words spoken with the usual strength of voice, when directed clearly to him.  We practised him till he made us understand that his lungs were tired.  This, upon reflection, we found was reasonable, as it was the first lesson of the kind that he had ever practised.  We accordingly dismissed him for that time.

I instructed his sister to give him frequent lessons, but not to weary him, for although he had the intellect of a man, he must, childlike, learn the application of all sound, and by practice learn the use and power of the tongue.

His brother, next younger than he, was much astonished.  He said his brother had never talked before, and now he knew that what we preached was verily true, and that he was ready to obey the Gospel and be baptized.  So we baptized him the self-same hour.  And we all rejoiced greatly in the Lord our God.

I have given you a rather long, but very minute and faithful account of the ncidents attending the baptism of this young man, believing it to be more satisfactory in this form, than if it were more abridged.”  (John S. Fullmer to S. W. Richards, Editor, 16 Apr., 1854; MS 16(18):284-285, 6 May, 1854)  [Note that this event occasioned bitter denials from the non-Mormon population, which were discussed in MS 16:389 and 392]

16 Sep.:  Healed upon receiving Patriarchal Blessing.

“Permelia Mecham received a patriarchal blessing and was immediately healed by the healing power of God of a lingering illness.”  (John Murdock journal, 16 Sep., 1854; LDS Archives, Ouellette)