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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – Healing, 1877

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood Healing, 1877.” You can view other years here.

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1877:  4 Mar.:  Anointing of throat.

“Bro Woodruff & myself were called to go and see sister Ellen Judd the young lady who drove the team yesterday and who had been out of her mined since last night.  she having felt that she had been blamed for the accident & the adversary was willing and anxious to destroy her – we talked to her – & on getting her composed.  I anointed her head & throad, & Bro Woodruff prayed.  she seemed much better and more rational.  and felt like going to sleep which we recommended her to do.”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 4 Mar., 1877)

7/8 May:  Death of a baby.

“Mon. 7 . . . attended Seventies Meeting when I was called home as my wife Elizabeth was quite unwill had commenced to flood without any labor pains I went for Sister James Lewis midwife who waited on my wife until it was considered her symptoms were becoming serious.  I sent for sister John Mangum who came and assisted – also for Philip B & James Lewis who came and administered to my wife.  the flooding still continued untill 2.30 when a boy was born but he was dead.  could not resusitate him thought he had been dead about 1 1/2 hours.  cause strangled in the flooding.  a fine child – My wife in much pain – we however did our best and trusted in the Lord. . . .

Tues 8th:  My wife Elizabeth much better although very weak.  I made a coffin for our child, and I blessed him, giving him the name of Heber Clarkson Nuttall by which name he shall be called forth in the morning of the resurrection. . . . I called my children together & offered prayer – I also offered prayer at the grave & left our child in its quite resting place with a hope that as we lay it down so we will take it up – on my return home I made a recommend for Sarah Ann Potter to go to the Temple.”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 7 & 8 May, 1877)

28/29 Jun.:  Death of a child.

“Thur 28 . . . administered to Bro Pughs son John aflicted with deep seated cold & croup.

Fri 29 called up at 5 A.M. to go to Bro Pughs to administer to his son.  I did so found him very low – had faith for him and ordained him an Elder.  he died about 8. A.M.”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 28 & 29 Jun., 1877)

19 Sep.:  The ordinance for the sick.

“Among the numerous notices of the death of President Brigham Young in the chief journals of the country, are comments which exhibit the ignorance of the writers in a remarkable degree.  Not only are they uninformed in regard to the system they call ‘Mormonism,’ and of which they foolishly imagine President Young was the author and the life, but they are ignorant of matters with which every Sunday school boy and girl should be familiar.

One of the leading papers of the land says our departed leader was ‘a man who encouraged the quackery of laying on of hands to cure human sickness.’  This is an utterance of a Christian journal which makes a specialty of reporting the sermons of popular preachers.  For the benefit of the numerous persons who ridicule the ordinance for the sick of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we will refer to the New Testament, a book which all Christians profess to believe, but which has become almost obsolete among them.

Among the blessings promised by the risen Saviour as signs which should follow the believers in His gospel, He said, ‘They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.’  (Mark xvi, 18.)  The ‘quackery of the laying on of hands to cure human sickness,’ then, was practised and taught by the Saviour of mankind.  And it became an established ordinance of the Church under the direction of His apostles.  Proof of this is found in James v, 14, 15.

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:

And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up, and if he have committed sins they shall be forgiven him.

By encouraging this practice, it appears that President Young was carrying out an apostolic injuction, and teaching people to believe in the words of the crucified Redeemer.  And for this he has become a subject of ridicule in a Christian newspaper.

When the true Church of Christ was re-established on earth through the ministry of Joseph Smith, the restoration of this ordinance was one of its marked characteristics, distinguishing it from the ecclesiastical systems established by men.  Hands were laid uopn the sick and they did recover.  In thousands upon thousands of instances, in all kinds of diseases, in every country where the Elders have ministered, the sick have been  healed by the power of God through the laying on of hands.  And there is no ‘quackery’ about it.  Those who administer lay claim to no extraordinary sanctity or personal supernatural power.  They simply act as ministers of Christ, carrying out his commandments and relying upon his promise.

The question may be asked, ‘Does the laying on of hands cure in every instance, and if not, why not?’  The answer is no, and the reason is because faith is necessary to effectual administration, and faith does not always accompany it.  James says, ‘the prayer of faith shall save the sick.’  Jesus always declared that it was faith which caused the healings that attended his ministry.  Said he, ‘Go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole.’  ‘If you have power to heal the sick,’ exclaims the sceptic ‘why don’t you exercise it before the world and make everybody believe you.’  Gently, wise scoffer.  Faith does not come by seeing signs, but signs come by faith.  The healings are not the cause but the effects of faith.  They are not given to make people believe, but they follow them that do believe.  In his own region of country Jesus did no mighty work ‘and he marvelled because of their unbelief.’  If signs were to create faith, that was the very spot where they were most needed.

If the power to heal in every case was given to men, out of sympathy for the suffering they would continually exercise it, and there would be, as a consequence, no sickness and no death.  By this means the divine plan would be frustrated and this earth would be no place of probation or sphere of trial.  If objection is raised against the laying on of hands because its effects are not uniform in every case, the poet’s advice, ‘Throw physic to the dogs’ should be followed, for there is nothing more uncertain than the results of medical treatment, and we should therefore use no drugs and fee no doctors.

The most remarkable cures have been effected through the laying on of hands, both in ancient and in modern times.  The Bible bears abundant testimony to the former; the Latter-day Saints in every country are witnesses of the latter.  And if in these times of unbelief it sometimes happens that relief does not follow administration of the ordinance, it should not be any matter of wonder, because the Apostles of the early Church, amid the wonders wrought under their hands, could not always obtain the faith necessary to heal.  Therefore Paul gave advice to Timothy in regard to his ‘often infirmities,’ and in relating an account of his travels, had to say, ‘Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.’  Yet Paul counted himself not behind the chiefest of the Apostles, in ‘signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.’

All have not faith.  And those who are able to exercise faith at one time may not be able at another time.  Some men have faith to heal, others have only faith to be healed.  But the ordinance should be administered to the sick to fulfill the law and to give them the benefit of all the faith that can be obtained in their behalf.  The power to heal, alone does not prove the possessor to be a man of God, nor that his doctrines or principles are correct.  Neither does the absence of the faith to heal or be healed prove the non-possessor a bad or unconverted man.  But wherever and whenever the Church of Christ is upon the earth, the gift of healing through the prayer of faith will be exhibited, and any Church from which that blessing is entirely absent, lacks one of the characteristics of Christ’s Church and therefore cannot be His, but is destitute of His authority.

The provision made for the sick in this Church, is given in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, as follows:

. . . .

Faith is a force.  Those who have experienced its influence and seen its effects know this to be an incontrovertible fact.  But faith does not come by the will of man.  It is not the child of hope nor the offspring of desire.  The laws by which it acts are not fully known to mortals.  But by its power the sick have been instantaneously healed, the blind have been made to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk, the apparently dead to come to life, the elements to obey the voice of man, and the heavens to open to his gaze and disclose the secrets which are veiled from unbelieving eyes.

He who is Omnipotent works by faith.  He calls light out of the darkness, he brings order out of chaos, he calls worlds into being and quickens inanimate atoms with the breath of life; and faith is the force by which he wields his sceptre of power, directs the creative energy and fills the universe with beauty and glory.

It is a dormant faculty of every human soul, because the spirit of the children of men are the offspring of God.  Every seed brings forth of its kind.  Earthly life is not the period for its perfect exercise.  But when the redeemed sons and daughters of the Eternal One come up to the measure of His fulness, Faith will be developed in them with all its strength and potency, and they will follow in the footsteps of their Great Head, and pattern after his mighty works among inexhaustible elements, in illimitable space, throughout a ceaseless eternity.”  (Editorial: “The Ordinance for the Sick,” DN 26(33):518, 19 Sep., 1877)

Anointing of the face; only one person administering.

“Sister Peer, a daughter of Brother Blood, was suffering from neuralgia, one side of her face being very much swollen.  She asked me to administer to her.  Her face was anointed with oil, the affliction rebuked in the name of the Redeemer, and the writer felt the swelling recede from under his hand, and she was well.  I could relate many healings of a more gradual character, where the patient began to recover immediately and continued until well, but will only relate sudden healings, miraculous escapes from mobs, accidents, etc.  Let me say right here, by way of explanation that I had no companion on my first mission which is the reason I was alone in the administrations, but the Lord never forsook me.”  (W. M. Palmer, JI 28(5):139, 1 Mar., 1893)

1878:  13 Jun.:  Washed and anointed by sisters.

“[12 Jun.]  Cornelia very sick. . . .

[13 Jun.]  Called at Doras Sister.  Lucy B & Susie washed and anointed Cornelia for the Benefit of her health. . . .

[15 Jun.]  Cornelia about the same. . . .

[18 Jun.]  Cornelia about the same. . . .

[5 Jul.]  Busy getting Cornelia & children ready to go to the city.”  (J. D. T. McAllister diary, 12, 13, 15, 18 Jun., 5 Jul., 1878; Huntington Library)

9 Jul.:  Dedicated a dying child to the Lord.

“[9 Jul.]  I also at noon administered to Bro Bennetts child it was dying.  I dedicated the child to the Lord. . . .

[10 Jul.]  Attended the funeral of Bro Bennett’s child.”  (J. D. T. McAllister diary, 9 & 10 Jul., 1878; Huntington Library)

13 Aug.:  Set apart to practice medicine and surgery.

“This morning in the Historian’s Office the following sisters were blessed and set apart to practice medicine and surgery among the Saints:  Romania Bunnell Pratt, by John Taylor; Ellis Reynolds Shipp by George Q. Cannon; Margaret Curtis Shipp by John Taylor; Martha Hughes Paul by Geo. Q. Cannon.  The two first named sisters were graduates of the Philadelphia college and Sister Margaret C. Shipp had been studying medicine and surgery in the Eastern States.”  (JH 13 Aug., 1878)

Summer:  All 3 to lift left hand and repeat words.

“In the summer of 1878 Sister Singleton sent for me to come and administer to her as she thought she was dying–her life, she said, was going out of her, so peculiar and excessive was her suffering.

Her son Hubert Peter Boice a mouth administered to her.  She was no better when we were done; and we administered again.  I was mouth; I wanted all three of us to lift the left hand and the two to repeate sentences after me, and in this way we prayed with our right hand on her head.  Before we were done praying she ceased to groan being healed by the power of God, through faith in his son Jesus Christ.

She praised God most wonderfully for her miraculous deliver from death.

I often had faith given me to the healing of the sick, but in no case was the power of God so wonderfully and suddently made manifest as in that of Sister Singleton.”  (Oliver B. Huntington journal, typescript, p. 1)

5 Oct.:  Women have a right to anoint the sick.

“He [President Angus M. Cannon] said in answer to a question that had been asked.  That woman could only hold the priesthood in connection with their husbands, man held the priesthood independently of woman.  The sisters have a right to anoint the sick and pray the Father to heal them, and to exercise that faith that will prevail with God, but woman must be careful how they use the authority of the priesthood in administering to the sick.”  (Salt Lake Stake Conference minutes, 5 Oct., 1878; DN 27(36):572, 9 Oct., 1878)

18 Dec.:  Should we intervene in plagues?

“In another place will be found a communication entitled ‘An Unnecessary Scare.’  It contains some very excellent suggestions, which are none the less good because they have been so many times repeated from the pulpit and the press.  But there are a few points in the article which we do not think are well taken, and as our friend undertakes to criticize, he must consider himself also open to criticism.

We are not of the number who think there is danger in friendly controversy.  We have no objection to being objected to.  Different persons often view the same subject from different standpoints, and by an exchange of opinions, if they are advanced in a proper spirit, the truth, as it is, may be arrived at by all.  There is more danger in stagnation than in agitation.  Running water is purified by encountering obstacles, while the still pool is pregnant with corruption.  It is only a weak cause that dreads antagonism.  Vigorous truth shines brighter and develops force through attrition, and while it does not defy others, it is ever ready to defend itself when the foe is worthy of attention.

The first pint to which we object is the statement in the communication that our local item is ‘an unnecessary scare.’  This is incorrect.  The scare, if any, was in existence some time before the item was written.  A great number of little children have been stricken to death by prevalent diseases which are now generally conceded to be contagious.  The sentiment expressed concerning the closing of schools is growing fast among the people, and is very freely expressed.  And we really think our means of obtaining information on this point is at least as good as our objecting friend’s.  We scare nobody; we merely express an increasing opinion of a great many people who are already alarmed, not by anything we have said, but by the sight of so many houses of mourning and chambers of sorrow, and the fresh mould upon so many new-made little graves.

The next point is the idea which is very distinctly conveyed in the article, that when epidemics and other calamities which befall mankind appear in fulfilment of ancient and modern prophecy, nothing is to be done to avert them, and no precautionary measures are of any use.  Indeed the notion is advanced that there is danger in adopting them, for the Scriptural saying is inserted in this connection, ‘he that seeketh to save his life shall lose it.’  But our friend, with singular inconsistency, recommends certain ‘precautionary’ and also remedial ‘measures.’  They may differ from those which many adopt, but they none the less come properly under the head of those means which he denounces.  We cannot allow such sentiments to pass without correction.  Faith in behalf of the sick and to avert evil of all kinds, is enjoined by ancient and modern revelation.  We believe in the doctrine, and this paper has frequently advanced and explained it.  But according to our friend’s logic it would be wrong even to exercise faith against epidemic diseases, for they are among the ‘great and terrible judgments of God,’ and ‘he that seeketh to save his life shall lose it.’

When sickness is stalking through the city, and suffering and death smite many a heart with grief, are we to stand by and smile, shake our heads in owlish wisdom, or sit down and do nothing?  This is not faith, it is nothing but fanaticism.  Faith is active, not supine.  It gives energy and prompts to good works.  There are causes for evils of all kinds.  Generally, when the causes are removed the effects will soon cease.  ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’  And we have no doubt whatever that if proper sanitary and other precautionary measures prevail, many of the epidemics numbered among the ‘visitations of Providence’ would be kept from our borders, and linger only around the localities where filth, decaying animal and vegetable matter, foul odors and impeded ventilation poison the air and spread desolation and death.

Then, all people have not faith.  And those who have it cannot exercise it at will.  It does not come at the call of man.  The mainspring that touches that force called faith is secret from human eyes.  We know it exists, we have felt its power, we have seen its effects.  But it arises in the soul at one time with little effort, and at others it remains dormant in spite of hope, charity, desire or determination.  Does our religion teach us to provide no remedies for the sick?  Does it intimate anywhere that we ‘fly in the face of Providence’ by administering remedies to them?  Does it encourage inaction when contagious diseases prevail?  No, indeed.  Read the following:

And whosoever among you are sick, and have not faith to be healed, but believe, shall be nourished with all tenderness, with herbs and milk food, and that not by the hand of an enemy.

And the elders of the church, two or more, shall be called, and shall pray for and lay their hands upon them in my name; and if they die they shall die unto me, and if they live they shall live unto me.  (Doc. and Cov. new ed., p. 160).

See also page 294:

And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man.

In the same revelation we are told of a certain herbal remedy which is ‘to be used with judgment and skill;’ and all these ‘wholesome herbs’ are ‘to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.’  This skill, judgment and prudence results from study of the best books and the knowledge that comes by experience and research, all of which is predicated by this word of counsel.  Now if it is right to use remedial measures for the cure of sickness, does not common sense as well as divine revelation prompt us to use ‘precautionary measures’ to prevent the spread of sickness?

. . . .

We are no alarmists.  We never assist in scares.  But we believe in precaution, common sense and the use of preventives, all of which are quite compatible with faith and prayer.  And we do not think it is of any great avail to ask the Almighty to turn away a scourge, if we fail to search out and remove its causes and use the means within our reach to prevent their spread and prevalence.”  (Editorial, “Faith and Common Sense Combined,” DN 27(46):728, 18 Dec., 1878)

25 Dec.:  “The Faith Cure.”

“A correspondent to the Christian Union quotes the advice given by the Apostle James to the Church how to act in case of sickness, and asks the editor: ‘Does this mean what it says?’  He refers to the challenge of Tyndall in regard to a scientific test of the virtue of prayer, and cites, as proof that the sick may be healed by faith, to some remarkable cures said to have been effected through prayer in Massachusetts.  The passage to which the writer refers is a familiar one to the Latter-day Saints, and reads as follows:

Is any sick among you? let him call for the Elders of the Church and let them pary over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up.

The Christian Union responds as follows:

We advise none of our readers to rely upon anointing with oil with or without prayer, as a specific in case of any but imaginary diseases.  The simple fact is that in James’ time, oil was one of the remedies in common use, in an age when therapeutics was not a science.  And James advised if any one was sick, instead of resorting to incantations and medicine men and exorcists, let him use the best medicine he can get and ask his brethren to pray for him.  And that is sensible advice now as it was then.

Comparing these two extracts, does not the saying of the Savior to the Pharisees become strikingly applicable to the ‘blind guides’ of these latter times, ‘Ye do make the word of God of none effect through your traditions.’  The inspired Apostle gave the rule of the Church in cases of disease of every character.  There is abundant evidence in the Acts and Epistles of the Apostles to show this, and to prove that the remedy was very efficacious.  One of the signs promised by Christ to follow believers was, ‘They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.’  This was one of the means by which faith was exercised and its results manifested.  It was a mark of divine power in the Church, and its entire absence is evidence of the withdrawal of that power.

The Christian Union places itself as a religious teacher in direct opposition to the inspired Apostles and tells its readers not to follow his instructions on this matter.  Christ and his disciples taught and encouraged faith–without which ‘it is impossible to please God;’ the Christian Union ridicules it, and attempts to make an ordinance of the Church a mere therapeutical remedy, suitable only for times of medical ignorance.  But it is not only anti-Christian in this respect, it is misleading and misrepresenting.  Were the ancients unacquainted with any ‘science’ of healing?  We think not.  What about Aesculapius?  If he mixed divination with his methods, how about Hippocrates, Praxagoras and other celebrated writers on medical science, who flourished before the Christian era?  Was not the Alexandrian school of medicine established before the times of the Apostles, and did not many of its celebrated disciples write learned and critical works on therapeutical subjects, which made them famous?  Did Celsus know nothing of medical science, and was Galen ignorant, who, though born in A.D. 130, gained much of his information from the works and experience of his predecessors, and achieved an imperishable reputation, physicians to this day being called ‘disciples of Galen?’

This rule of the Christian church evidently had no reference to any medical system or method of therapeutics known to the Jews, Greeks or Romans, but was a mode for the exercise of faith, by which, as the Apostles declared, the sick were healed, lepers were cleansed, the blind made to see, the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak, the dead were raised, access was had to the things within the vail, and knowledge was obtained direct from God the holiest of all.

That this gift of faith is an accompaniment of the true gospel is clear from the Old and New Testaments, and is abundantly corroborated by the experience of the Elders and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We published, on Wednesday evening, a letter from a missionary in the Southern States, relating a few of the manifestations of healing which had occurred in his travels.  If the journals of the Elders, who have traveled among most of the nations of the earth, preaching the gospel ‘without purse and scrip,’ could be published, there would be found a record of healings and ‘miracles’ which would eclipse anything contained in the sacred writings of the Mosaic and Christian dispensations combined.

Skeptics like the Christian Union, and other pretended religious teachers who take such portions of the gospel as suite them and reject and ridicule the rest, will ask why disease is not always cured; why ‘Mormon’ Elders do not spend all their time in administering to the sick; and why epidemics prevail in Utah as well as other parts of the world?  Perhaps they will be kind enough to tell us why Paul, who had so much of the healing power that comes through faith, that handkerchiefs were taken from him to the bedside of the sick, who recovered through the touch, was compelled to leave his traveling companion, Trophimus, at Miletum, sick, (ii Tim. iv 20.) and why he advised Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach’s sake, and his ‘often infirmities.’  Also why the Apostles tried, on a certain occasion, to cast out a devil, and failed, although the casting out of devils was part of the mission on which they were sent?  Further, why there were ‘many lepers in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed saving Naaman the Syrian?’  Their foolish and infidel queries are like the taunt of the murderous Jews to Christ.  ‘If thou be the son of God, save thyself and come down from the cross.’

Disease, suffering and death belong to this lower sphere and are a part of the experiences for which immortal spirits dwell for a season in mortal flesh.  All are measurably subject to their influence while in the state of probation.  There are means of alleviating but at present not of destroying them.  And faith is one of the most potent remedies.  It is a fact, a power, a force as positive as magnetism, but one not fully understood.  The unbeliever will say, ‘show me a sign, a miracle, and I will believe.’  And the sneering opposer will say, ‘if there is any such power as you claim, go and heal the diphtheria or the scarlet fever wherever it breaks out, and we will accept your religion.’  This was the cry of ‘sign seekers’ in the days of the Savior.  But apart from the fact that faith does not spring from the will, it should be understood that healings, and what are called ‘miracles,’ are not the cause but the effects of faith.  In proof of this, take the acts and sayings of the Savior.  When he performed any of the ‘wonderful works’ recorded of him he said ‘thy faith hath made thee whole;’ and when he went into his own country where the people did not believe in him, ‘he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.’ (Matt. xiii, 58.)  If healings and signs were to create faith, that was the very place of all places to perform them.  But they are the results of faith and therefore are not given to the skeptical.

If it be asked why the sick are not healed in Utah, we answer they are, in hundreds of instances.  It is a common thing for the old and the young to be healed through anointing with oil and the laying on of hands.  But, as physicians increase in the land and drugs multiply, and the spirit and habits of the world are adopted or returned to by the Saints, their faith in the ordinances of God become weaker, and though they may be as firmly assured as ever that the Church of which they are members is the only true Church of Christ on earth, yet, like Trophimus and Timothy of old, they suffer sickness and cannot muster faith enough to be healed.

But if the faith of the Saints in Utah should become so weak that the healings and signs which have been so abundant should die out entirely, the fact would remain that by the exercise of faith the sick may be healed, the elements be controlled, the vail be pierced by the spiritual vision, the deep things of God be fathomed and communion obtained with the Great Father of lights, with whom ther is no variableness nor even the shadow of turning.

The editors of the Christian Union have need to repent of their presumption in opposing and ridiculing an Apostle of the Lord and one of the ordinances of the Church of Christ, and should obtain a better understanding of Christian faith and doctrine before attempting to instruct the people.  For ‘if the blind lead the blind, will they not both fall into the ditch together?'”  (Editorial, “The ‘Faith Cure’,” DN 27(47):744, 25 Dec., 1878)

1879:  3 Feb.:  Administered alspice tea honey consecrated oil.

“My son Martin very sick with the croup.  administered consecrated oil to him and laid my hands upon him and bless him.  administered alspice tea Honey consecrated oil & Lobelia 3d [?] preparation, to him during the night.”  (J. D. T. McAllister diary, 3 Feb., 1879; Huntington Library)

24 Apr.:  Nurses set apart.

“This afternoon in the Historian’s Office Elder Albert Carrington set apart the following sisters to the practice of the healing and nursing art: Mrs. Jane S. Latham, Wellsville, Cache County; Mary E. Van Schoonhevel, Isabella L. Burgess, and Sarah Ann M. Graham, Salt Lake City; Mary Ellen S. Neff, Draperville, Salt Lake County, and Miss Emma Atkin, Tooele City.”  (JH 24 Apr., 1879)

30 May:  Peace “while life lasted.”

“Prest Taylor called to see Sister Roger Farrar who was laying very low and not expected to recover.  he administered to her that she might be releived of pain.  and while life lasted she should be in pace–all of which she experienced.”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 30 May, 1879)

1 Aug.:  Medical practice of anointing the body with oil.

“Every true discovery in science, in medicine and in every other direction goes to establish the truth of the revelations and the word and commands of the Lord. . . .

It has been a practice in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the Elders to anoint the sick with oil, and to administer to them by laying hands upon them and praying for them.  By this ordinance many men, women and children have been healed.  They have been raised, by the power and blessings of God, from death unto life.  Time would fail to tell of the many instances of this kind which have occurred since the organization of the Church.  But the wicked have ridiculed this ordinance.  They have called it gross superstition and folly.  Particularly have they so decided in regard to the anointing with oil.  This they have called nonsense and humbuggery.  Many have admitted that there might be some good effects follow the laying on on hands, if the Elder who laid on hands was a strong healthy man; but they thought no good effect could follow anointing with oil.  In fact, some said it was an injurious practice.  We have seen some Elders who have also seemed to think so. . . .

These ‘Editorial Thoughts’ have been aroused by reading the recommendations of a very eminent English physician in cases of scarlet fever and infantile disorders of various kinds.  His testimony is given in the Lancet, the English medical journal.  This doctor reports a number of remarkable cases of healing in support of what is called his theory.  What do you think is the great remedy which he as discovered, and which he thinks so valuable?

Anointing the whole surface of the body, from the crown of the head to the tips of the fingers and toes, with salad oil–the same oil which is used by the Elders of our Church.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 14(15):174, 1 Aug., 1879)

28 Aug.:  Administered to her several times during night.

“Was up nearly all of last night with my wife.  She was sick, though not in much pain.  Administered to her several times during the night and this morning.

At ten minutes to 1 o’clock this afternoon she was safely delivered of a large, fine female child.  Thank God again for His wonderful kindnesses.  Wrote a letter fo Fanny’s mother to tell her of the happy event.”  (Isaiah Moses Coombs diary, 28 Aug., 1879; in Our Pioneer Heritage, 1:398, 1958)

14 Sep.:  Masturbation overruled our efforts to cure him.

“About this time I had my first experience with evil spirits.  After our services on Sunday Sept. 14th, we were asked to administer to a man who for some time had been tormented by an evil power.  A couple of the local brethren had battled with him the whole day and afterwards baptized him for the remission of his sins.  I anointed him with oil in the usual way, after which I laid hands on him, together with Pres. Wilhelmsen and Pres. Carl C. Asmussen, who presided over the Copenhagen Conference.  We reconfirmed him a member of the Church and sealed upon him his former ordination as a Teacher.  We then rebuked the evil spirit which had tormented him; but at that moment the man began to rave like a maniac, making hideous expressions of the face while his limbs were twisted in a fearful manner.  We, however, continued our administration with increased energy, using all the power which the Priesthood that we bore would allow, and at last the devil departed.  About thirty persons witnessed this remarkable incident.  But when we had finished our administration, we all felt weak and exhausted, especially Bro. Wilhelmsen, who was mouth in the confirming, and Bro. Asmussen and I had to assist him back to the mission office.  Yet we felt to praise the Lord for manifesting his power through the administration of his humble servants.

On Sunday, Nov. 16th, after the day’s services in our meeting hall, we administered to the same man with whome we had had the unusual experience on Sept. 14th, when we again rebuked the evil spirits.  These had seemingly returned and as soon as we were through praying over him the evil influence attacked him worse than before.  We laid hands upon him and in a strong voice rebuked the evil power, which finally let go its grip on him.  I was mouth in rebuking the devil, and my exertion was followed by physical weakness as soon as we were through with our administrations.  The man, however, was not permanently relieved from these visitations; we learned later that he led an unclean life and was guilty of self-abuse and thus had become a fit subject for the devil to torture.  We decided that we would not administer to him again until he repented of his sins.  This experience with evil spirits taught me this lesson, that it is not a desirable task to attack the devil on his own ground, or endeavor to drive him away from places where he has a right to be.  This man had made himself liable to the attacks from this evil source because of his unholy practices.”  (Autobiography of Andrew Jenson, pp. 110-111)

26-28 Sep.:  Death of Nuttall’s daughter.

“Fri 26th . . . Sophia’s baby Harriet very sick since yesterday with Pukeing & Purging, and still very sick tonight I administered to her twice.

Sat 27th Baby appeared a little better this A.M. quite sick all night . . . when I went to dinner Sophias baby did not seem any worse – but I felt to administer to her and bless her.  also to give unto her a name which ordinance of our church had been neglected in consequence of my being South when the child was born & until she was nearly a Month old.  and at times she was unwell.  I hoping she would be better & I would then attend to it.  which was not done – I now felt impressed to attend to this ordinance and anointed her with Oil. and prayed for her recovery & the rebuke of the sickness I then blessed her and named her Harriet Taylor Nuttall, feeling that all was well with her and she would recover and so left her – Attended a Meeting of the Apostles at the Endowment House the compromise of the law suit being the business – in the afternoon the baby took worse and Sophia sent for me in the evening.  but I missed the messenger on the way and arrived at home 10 Minutes after our baby had expired she having died at 7.50 P.M. without any aparent pain -this was a heavy shock to me as I had not expected anything of the kind. . . .

Sunday Sept 28th . . . funeral services . . . proceeded to the Cemetry where we laid away our dear little daughter to come forth in the resurrection of the just, feeling in our bereavment to acknowledge the hand of God our heavenly father.”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 28 Sep., 1879)

4 Oct.:  Women set apart as midwives.

“In the Historian’s Office Elder Orson Pratt set apart and blessed the following sisters as midwives:  Mrs. Christina Richardson of Salt Lake City, Mrs. Alice Doane of Smithfield, Cache County, Mrs. Elizabeth M. Jones, of South Cottonwood, Mrs. Elizabeth J. Blair of Providence, Cache County, Utah.”  (JH 4 Oct., 1879)

1/2 Nov.:  Faith sufficient to prevent disease.

“Apostle B. Young explained his views in regard to the sickness among us, saying he did not consider it necessary that we should have these diseases.  We are so much under the influence of the world that we cannot muster the necessary faith to prevent them.  He related a circumstance that happened up north, where the diphtheria was prevailing, where the people assembled together, fasted and prayed, till they found faith, and their sick were healed.”  (Wasatch Stake Conference minutes, 1/2 Nov., 1879; DN 28(42):662-663, 19 Nov., 1879)