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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – Healing, 1896-1901

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood Healing, 1896-1901.” You can view other years here.

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1896:  1 Jan.:  Consecrated oil to non-members.

“We are asked, ‘Should consecrated oil be administered to non-members of the Church?’

We suppose the question is: Can this oil be administered properly to one not a member of the Church in the ordinance of laying on of hands for the healing of the sick?

No doubt, every Elder who has had much experience in the ministry has had occasion to administer the ordinance of laying on of hands for the restoration of the sick to persons who were not members of the Church; for there were people who had faith in that ordinance and who had not been baptized.  The rule generally adopted by all Elders under such circumstances, as far as we understand, has been to require the sick person, before being administered to, to make a covenant that he or she would obey the ordinances of the Gospel, and upon this promise being made the Elders felt justified in administering the ordinance for the healing of the sick.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 31(1):25, 1 Jan., 1896)

1 Jan.:  Possessed the gift of healing “to a large degree.”

“The Deseret Evening News records the death of brother Benjamin Green at Draper, Salt Lake County, on New Year’s day, aged 82 years.  He was born in 1814 and baptized in 1852, at Sutton-in-Ashfield, Notts, Eng.  He came to Utah in 1854, and settled in Draper, being one of its earliest residents.  He was affectionately known as ‘Uncle Benny’; was a teacher in the ward, a member of the choir, and possessed the gift of healing to a large degree.”  (JH 1 Jan., 1896)

13 Jan.:  Doctors starved in the early days of the Church.

“The following letter, the original of which is on file in the H[istorian’s] O[ffice], was received by President George Q. Cannon:

On Monday, December 30th, Ex-Bishop Andrew Cahoon (who is now an apostate), stated in our house that in Kirtland the Saints relied on the ordinances when sick and were healed; and that there was but one doctor and he had to take up other business in order to get a living, he said it was the same in Nauvoo, only there were two or three doctors there, and they nearly starved till they sought some other occupation.  We enclose this testimony thinking you might like to preserve it for future use.

Most respectfully,

C. V. Spencer, Louisa K. Spencer.”

(JH 13 Jan., 1896)

15 Jan.:  Authority to rebuke disease.

“One of the brethren has written to us concerning a statement made in the November number of volume XXX of the Juvenile Instructor, on page 662.  The question is asked, ‘Has a deacon authority to rebuke disease?’ and the answer given is, ‘Yes, if he is administering to the sick.’  Our friend says he has some question in his mind concerning the correctness of this answer, and as he is a superintendent of a Sunday school, he is desirous to be informed upon this point.

Members of the Church have a right to lay hands on the sick and pray for them.  Even sisters can do this, and there is no impropriety in it, though it would be better if one holding the Priesthood could be obtained to attend to this ordinance.  It is frequently the case that mothers find it necessary to administer to their sick children, at times when no one is at hand who bears the Priesthood whom they can secure to administer the ordinance of laying on of hands for the restoration of the sick.  There have been repeated instances of such administration by mothers being attended with healing effects.  This, we suppose, no one of experience in the Church will question.

But this is not the point at issue in the mind of our correspondent.  It is, Has a deacon the authority to rebuke disease when he is administering to the sick?  In the article to which he refers the writer states that a deacon has that right.

We say that it depends upon the manner in which he administers whether he has the authority to rebuke or not.  If he were to claim that he had the authority of the holy Priesthood (the Melchisedek Priesthood), we would say that he has no such authority.  But suppose that he rebuked the disease in the name of Jesus, has he not that authority? and would he be overstepping the bounds of propriety in rebuking disease in the name of Jesus?  Or would any member of the Church be overstepping the bounds of propriety in rebuking disease in the name of Jesus?  We think not,–if he or she confined the rebuke to the name of Jesus, without using any words that would convey the idea that it was done in the authority of the Priesthood.  To attempt to exercise the authority of Priesthood which they do not possess would undoubtedly be wrong.  Of course, a man being a deacon does not, because of that, have the authority to rebuke disease in the authority of the Priesthood.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 31(2):60, 15 Jan., 1896)

15 Feb.:  Authority to rebuke disease.

“One of our correspondents, in a letter recently received, asks some questions concerning the article which appeared in the Juvenile Instructor of January 15th last, in which a distinction was made between rebuking disease in the name of Jesus and in the authority of the Priesthood.  Our correspondent states that he does not understand the difference between rebuking in Jesus’ name and in the authority of the Priesthood.  He understands that women, and even children, may pray to the Father in the name of Jesus in behalf of their sick and afflicted, and their prayers be answered; but he understands that to rebuke or to command in the name of Jesus requires the exercise of authority from Him, or, in other words, the authority of the Priesthood.

The point in his mind seems to be whether the word ‘rebuke’ can be properly used by a member of the Church who has not the Priesthood.

Now, while there may be, and doubtless is, some force in the point which our correspondent makes respecting the use of the word ‘rebuke,’ we nevertheless think that a member of the Church, if led by the Spirit so to do, might use the name of Jesus and rebuke a disease or the power of the destroyer.  Certainly it could do no harm to administer and use this word if so led; though to satisfy those who might have scruples upon this point, it would be better for members of the Church who do not have the Priesthood to ask the Father in the name of Jesus to rebuke the sickness.

There is great efficacy in the use of the name of Jesus, and every faithful member of the Church, in times of distress, sickness and peril can appeal to it for help and deliverance.  An illustration of the power of the name of Jesus, the Son of God, to help and save when called upon, even in moments of despair and intense anguish, is given in Alma’s recital of his experience, as recorded in the 36th chapter of the Book of Alma, from the 17th to the 23rd verse.

And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.

Now as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart, O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who art in the gall of bitterness, and art encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.

And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.  

And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain;

Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter, as was my pains.  Yea, and again I say unto you my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy;

Yea, me thought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there.

In treating uon this subject we must not be understood as saying that a member of the Church, whether man or woman, has the right to rebuke disease in the sense and with the same authority that those do who bear the Holy Priesthood.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 31(4):102-103, 15 Feb., 1896)

1 Aug.:  Healing by faith.

“Some professional men have been paying a great deal of attention of late to the influence of the mind over the body as manifested in cures which have been effected by what are called mind-curers and faith-curers.  Notwithstanding the incredulity which scientific men entertain concerning these effects, there are some of them who admit that the mind has great influence over the body; for, they say, sores in melancholy persons will not heal, and that in cases of long diseases in imbeciles and idiots there is so little resisting power that two-thirds of them die of consumption.

Sir Samuel Baker noted that grief or hunger is nearly always followed by fever in certain parts of Africa.  One writer, a medical man, says that when in Mexico he found that quite a proportion of chronic invalids attributed their illness to getting angry, a fit of anger in that country being usually followed by severe illness.  It is admitted that death occurs in many cases, not so much because of disease as because of the diminished resisting mental and nervous forces which oppose it.  A cheerful and bouyant mind as well as a sound brain are all important in both the prevention and the healing of disease.  Many odctors realize the importance of keeping the mind in a proper condition during sickness, and they do all they can to inspire confidence in the patient.

The above instances are given to show how close a connection there is between the mind and the body and how the latter in influenced by the condition of the former.

Those who have had numerous opportunities, as many of our Elders have, of administering to the sick must be fully conscious of the effect that the will and the determination of the sick have upon their own health.  This is really faith.  How many times have the sick been healed by the administration of the Elders through arousing within them faith in the promises of the Lord.  The cheering and comforting words of the Elders, the promises they are led to make, have a tendency to strengthen the sick in their power to resist and overcome disease.  Men may ridicule the laying on of hands and the prayer of faith, but faithful Latter-day Saints know that the gift of healing is in the Church of Jesus Christ, and that the promises made by the Lord concerning the administration of the ordinance which has been established in the Church for this purpose, are fulfilled.  The more the gift of healing is exercised the stronger it grows.  The more the Latter-day Saints depend upon this ordinance and seek relief through it the greater are the benefits and the more frequent are the instances of recovery through the administration of the Elders in the appointed way.  When not appointed unto death (for death is passed upon all) there is no ailment that afflicts humanity that cannot be reached by faith and the administration of the ordinance of the gospel.  Miracles have been performed and are of frequent occurrence in the Church where the Saints rely upon the promises of the Lord.  Most extraordinary instances of this are to be found in the experience of the Latter-day Saints, and especially those Elders who have labored much in the ministry.

When children are taught the importance of this principle, they naturally, when anything ails them, seek relief through the laying on of hands, and when they have hands laid upon them by the Elders, they are healed in a great majority of cases.  Faith is like every other principle: it can be cultivated, and can become a strong power in the man or the woman who possesses it.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 31(15):450-451, 1 Aug., 1896)

1 Aug.:  Administered to in fast meeting.

“In 1893, I was attending school.  One day I came home afflicted with the Sanitvitus dance.  I got worse every day until I lost my speech, and was entirely helpless.  I was like that for about three weeks.  I was administered to often, and gained strength thereby.  My mother and father took me one day to fast meeting, where I was administered to, and I went home and could take and walk from that time.  I grew strong, and now I am as well as anybody.”  (Ida England, age 13, JI 31(15):471, 1 Aug., 1896)

1897:    28/29 May:  Heber J. Grant’s appendicitis.

“[28 May] At noon today Pres. Jos. F. Smith and Elder C. W. Penrose were called upon to visit Elder Heber J. Grant and administer to him.  They found him suffering greatly with pain in the bowels, and he had experienced a chill with vomiting.  The brethren considered his condition very serious.  Brother Penrose was requested to call for Drs. Jos. S. Richards and Chas. F. Wilcox.  After examination, they pronounced it a case of appendicitis.  In the evening, symptoms growing worse, the Drs. were sent for again, also Dr. Elias S. Wright and Albert C. Young.  The latter was not found, but Dr. Harry C. Young and Dr. Wright consulted with the other physicians, and all decided that it was a case of appendicitis, and that an operation was necessary.  Prest. L. Snow, Elders Jos. E. Taylor and Hamilton G. Park and the family were averse to the operation, at any rate for the present.  The matter was left over for the night. . . .

[29 May] At 3 o’clock this morning Prest. Jos. F. Smith was awakened with the information that Elder Heber J. Grant was in extreme pain and peril.  He at once visited him, and found Dr. Jos. S. Richards with the patient, strongly advising an immediate operation for appendicitis.  Bro. Grant urgently requested the Dr. to administer morphine to him to alleviate the terrible pain.  The Dr. declined to do so, unless he would consent to an operation, which Bro. Grant was unwilling at first to give.  Prest. Smith went to the Temple and consulted with Pres. L. Snow, and on their advice Bro. Grant consented.  Morphine was administered which gave him rest for two hours, when he was conveyed to St. Mary’s hospital, where the operation was performed by Dr. Jos. S. Richards, assisted by several physicians.  The appendix was found to be decomposed, and there was a great accumulation of pus in the abdomen.  In consequence of this the operation lasted from 10:15 to noon, and the patient was reported to be in a very low and critical condition, with very little prospects of his recovery.  About 3 P.M. he regained consciousness, and appeared remarkably well, considering all the circumstances.  Word was sent to the Temples to pray for his recovery.”  (JH 28/29 May, 1897)

5 Aug.:  Mistakes or ignorance can be neutralized by faith

“[Quarterly conference of the Twelve] I spoke on the necessity of searching ourselves on the manifestations of the Lord, on the promise that the Saints where not appointed unto death shall be healed.  I held there was an appointed time, but that many causes operate to shorten life and that the effects of mistakes or ignorance would be neutralized by faith.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 5 Aug., 1897; LDS Archives)

15 Aug.:  Laying hands on the sick.

“The Latter-day Saints have been contending for sixty-seven years for the faith once delivered to the Saints.  They have taught the world that the Lord had instituted in His Church an ordinance for the benefit of the sick.  The Elders have repeated the teachings of the Savior and the promises which He made to those who would believe and obey His Gospel.  They have quoted what the Apostle James says in his 5th chapter 14th and 15th verses:

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.

Because the Saints have believed in and taught this doctrine they have been greatly ridiculed and persecuted.  The religious world have opposed this application of the Scriptures, and ministers have taught that all these gifts have been done away with.  In fact, it has been looked upon by many people as heathenish to do what the Apostle James taught in his day.  But there has been a gradual growth in the minds of the people of the world in favor of this ordinance on behalf of the sick.  More than one sect has taught that prayer may be the means of bringing benefit to the sick.  The writings and teachings of the Elders have had the effect of drawing the attention of religious people to this ordinance and the promises connected therewith. . . .

We can see the great change that has taken place in relation to the ordinance for the healing of the sick.  There is no doubt that many sincere people exercise faith in this ordinance, and receive benefit from their prayers.  But how much easier and better it would be for them to obey the ordinances of baptism and the laying on of hands, after having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and repenting of their sins, and then have this ordinance administered to them by those having authority.  The path is very plain which the Lord has marked out.  His requirements are simple, and can easily be understood.  They are not difficult in any respect.  Then the blessing would come because of the promise which the Lord has made to those who keep His commandments.  There are many people who want the Lord to come to their terms and to grant their desires without having regard to that which He requires.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 32(16):513-514, 15 Aug., 1897)

17 Aug.:  3 administrations in one day.

“My daughter Alice was taken suddenly ill while cleaning out the bath room & tub.  Was found in an unconsious condition.  I sent for Dr Leslie Snow who came and prescribed for her.  She appeared to have conjestion of the brain.  I also sent for my daughter Clara who came to wait on Alice.  Br Wm McEwan left at 5.30 with horse & buggy to bring Emma.  She arrived at 11 pm.  I administered to Alice twice & Elder Nuttall once.  Bro Nuttall came and staid with me & family to night.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 17 Aug., 1897)


“[Monday] Pres. Wilford Woodruff and his counselors were at their office this morning, the President being feeble in body but quite relieved in spirit, the anxiety which he had felt for some time concerning his daughter Alice, whose life had been despaired of, being removed in consequence of her being on Sunday evening in a miraculous manner.  The following statement was made by Sister Alice immediately after the occurrence:

About 7 o’clock this evening (August 22) while I was lying on my bed, my father and mother and members of the family were out on the porch, Bro. McEwan was sitting near the bed.  Bro. Lewis Cannon, Edward Jenkins, Libbie Cutler, Joseph and Blanch Daynes called in to see me; they only stayed a few minutes, saying they were willing to help me all they could, but as all arrangements were made for my comfort, they said they would pray for me.  As they left I felt very sad with the feeling that I would never seem them again, so I commenced to cry bitterly.  William McEwan endeavored to comfort me with encouraging words.  As he was talking I beheld a brilliant light, which frightened me.  I held on to William, and called ‘Father, father!’  I then saw a most glorious personage standing near the foot of the bed, and his feet were off the floor.  On my calling for father, Will went out, passing by this personage, almost touching his clothing, and father and the family came in.  I motioned them all to go out but father, as I thought he might also see this personage as I did.  I sat up in my bed, quite awake; he stretched out his arms over my head, and said in a distinct but under tone of voice, ‘The Lord has sent me to bless you; you shall be healed from this time forth.  The Lord seals his blessings upon you.’  He then came to the side of the bed and said I must go to the Temple and there I should receive something (I have forgotten what it was I should receive) and further said the prayers of the circles in the heavens have been heard in your behalf, and the prayers of the circles here upon the earth, also the prayers of the Saints have been heard; that I should stay here and be blessed in my life, that I shouldhave joy and pleasure in my union, be blessed as a mother, having posterity.  Said, ‘you are a daughter of Israel and shall stand as a representative in your father’s kingdom.  The Lord will give you health and strength and bless you so that you may love him and keep his commandments, for a great work is before you and he expects a great deal from you.’  I was so overjoyed I could not speak; I tried to do so but could not.  He said many other things for my comfort and consolation, and just before leaving he stretched his hands over my head again and referred to my Temple work and blessed me, saying: ‘The Lord will bless you with health and strength and make you well and strong, and He expects you to spend your strength in doing His will; I therefore bless you, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.’  He then put his hands together in front of his face and dropped them down to his hips.  I then saw him rise up to near the chandelier and pass out, going towards the hall and thence towards the dining hall.  I was so over-joyed that I cried for joy.  As soon as I could speak from crying and sobbing I related to father what I had seen, as I did not know whether it was proper to speak of it or not; but I felt so over-joyed at such a manifestation, and have felt so ever since, that I can scarcely contain myself.  All my pains ceased immediately.  I felt like I could get out of my bed well and strong, that I was completely restored to health.  I partook of some food with a relish.  This personage was the most beautiful man I ever saw.  He had long hair and beard, was dressed in a white under-garment, then a kind of skirt and something like a robe over his right shoulder, which was drawn across his breast and fastened on the left side about the waist.  He had a small white bag trimmed with gold attached to his girdle, and had a small gold-like book in his hand which seemed to be transparent.  I did not see any leaves, but I thought I could see print or writing in the book.  His head was bare and a circle of light around it.  His feet were also bare.  About half an hour before this manifestation Brothers John R. Winder and James Sharp, father, Andrew Smith and William administered to me.  Bro. Winder annointed me and Bro. Sharp prayed.  He seemed to be peculiarly wrought upon.  He blessed me, promising that I should be restored to health and strength.  Whilst they were doing this, I did not seem to fel their hands on my head, but I felt so well under their administration.

Besides the above, President Woodruff remarked that himself and family had devoted themselves to fasting and prayer the entire day on his daughter’s behalf.

President Woodruff said this morning that the communication of this personage to his daughter had given him a new idea, that is, the fact that there are prayer circles in heaven.  He said he had never thought of it before; but when he came to think about, it was perfectly plain and consistent.  He also said that he felt that the Lord had not only blessed and instantly healed his daughter, but that he himself had been greatly honored by this visitation.”  (JH 23 Aug., 1897)

1898:  1 Mar.:  Can a Priest administer to the sick?

“We are asked:

‘Has an Elder the right to call on a Priest to lay hands with him on the sick, the Elder being mouth or leading in prayer?’

‘Has a Priest the right to administer to the sick, there being no Elder present?’

There ought to be no question on this point.  A Priest holds the authority of the Aaronic Priesthood, and while that Priesthood does not give him the power to lay hands on baptized believers for the reception of the Holy Ghost, it undoubtedly gives him authority to lay hands on the sick, if it be necessary.  Indeed, members of the Church can lay hands on the sick and pray for their recovery, though they have no right, if they rebuke the disease in the name of Jesus, to say they do so by the authority of the Priesthood.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 33(5):186, 1 Mar., 1898)

15 Apr.:  Since father’s death mother administers to us.

“My father has been dead three years.  I am his thirtieth child.  He had the gift of healing.  I was taken very sick one day in school and was sent home.  My father administered to me and I was soon made well.  Many have been healed under his hands.  Since father’s death mother administers to us when we are sick.”  (Joseph Brigham Harrison, age 11 years, JI 33(8):327, 15 Apr., 1898)

1 Nov.:  Mamma put oil on the places that hurt.

“Last summer mamma and I were visiting in Hyde Park, Cache Valley.  One day I was riding in a wagon and we went under the clothes line.  I raised my hand to lift the line up, but missed it, and it caught me around the neck and knocked me off the wagon.  I was hurt, but I called mamma, and she came and put some oil on the places that hurt, and I was soon all right, and forgot all about it.”  (Ivy Pearl Leaker, age 9 years, JI 33(21):738, 1 Nov., 1898)

1 Nov.: 10-year old lays hands on father and heals him.

“Many times when I have been sick my father has administered to me and I have been healed, and I thank the Lord for it.  Once when pa and I were on the range, he was sick and I laid my hands on his head and prayed for him and the Lord healed him.”  (William B. Wright, age 10 years, JI 33(21):738, 1 Nov., 1898)

ca. 1898:  I had him dedicated to the Lord.

“My son Jasper met me at the railroad station, said his father was a little better, but when I got home he did not know me for three days.  He lived for six weeks, could not help himself–just got weaker and weaker.  He could not eat but wanted to drink water all the time and he could not talk above a whisper.  At the end he seemed to want to talk, but we could not understand what he was trying to say.  I would not let him go.  I kept praying for his recovery.  My sister, Donna, came from Provo to see us.  After seeing how he was suffering and how I was praying for his recovery, she said to me, ‘Lucina, if Jasper was well and was called on a mission, would you say he could not go?  He has been sick for seven years and his work on earth is done.  He is wanted on the other side.  If I were you, I would have him dedicated to the Lord and say “Thy will, O Lord, be done!” and save him from any more suffering.’  He had been so melancholy and wanted to die.  I sent for Elders W. G. Nuttall and J. L. Parcell.  As they prayed he changed, and looked so happy and died so peacefully without suffering any more.”  (Lucina Mechan Boren autobiography; in Treasures of Pioneer History 6:336, 1957)

1899:  1 Jan.:  Administered to four times at one sitting.

“One day I was sick in school and had to go home.  I was real sick and asked mamma to send for the Elders.  Just as she was about to send for them, they came in.  They administered to me four times, and when they were through I went to sleep, and was well the next morning.”  (Isaac Davis, age 13 years, JI 34(1):31, 1 Jan., 1899)

15 Jan.:  Laying on of hands.

“We are requested to give answers, through the columns of the Instructor, to the following questions:

1.  Has a Priest, Teacher or Deacon a right to lay on hands for the healing of the sick, alone, or in connection with others?

2.  On page 126 of the Doctrine and Covenants, paragraph 58, it says:  ‘But neither Teachers nor Deacons have authority to baptize, administer the sacrament or lay on hands.’  What does ‘lay on hands’ mean in this connection–for the sick or for the gift of the Holy Ghost?

If the correspondent offering these questions had been a careful reader of this paper he would have seen, less than a year ago, a reply to his first query, which may also be taken as an answer to the second.  For his present information, however, and for that of others who may not have seen or may have forgotten the article referred to, we quote a paragraph from the ‘Editorial Thoughts’ in the issue of March 1st, 1898, appearing on page 186 of the last volume of this journal:

‘There ought to be no question on this point.  A Priest holds the authority of the Aaronic Priesthood, and while that Priesthood does not give him the power to lay hands on baptized believers for the reception of the Holy Ghost, it undoubtedly gives him authority to lay hands on the sick, if it be necessary.  Indeed, members of the Church can lay hands on the sick and pray for their recovery, though they have no right, if they rebuke the disease in the name of Jesus, to say they do so by the authority of the Priesthood.’

This, we take it, will be a plain and sufficient answer to our correspondent’s first question, and, as stated, it carries with it also the answer to his second query.  ‘Lay on hands’ in the instance he quotes cannot refer to anything but the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost–a power which belongs only to the Melchisedek Priesthood, and which may not be exercised by one belonging to or holding the lesser or Aaronic Priesthood.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 34(2):49, 15 Jan., 1899)

26 Jan.:  Should there be professional healers?


Presidents Snow and Cannon at the office.  At 11 A.M. they met with the Apostles in regular council at the Salt Lake Temple.


Present:  Presidents Lorenzo Snow and George Q. Cannon; Apostles Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, M. W. Merrill, A. H. Lund, A. O. Woodruff and Rudger Clawson; Apostle Brigham Young was reported sick.

. . . .

Brother Clawson inquired if a Brother Patterson, who is acting in the capacity of a healer among the Saints, was doing so under the sanction of the Priesthood.

Brother Cowley stated that he believed that Brother Patterson had the gift of healing and that success had attended his labors.

Brother Lyman remarked that he once had a little prejudice against Brother Patterson, but he had since become cnvinced that he was doing more good than harm; in fact, very little harm, if any.  Some people had a great deal of faith in him, and the speaker understood  that he had been fairly successful in his administrations.  Brother Lyman referred also to a Brother Blackburn of Minersville as a man who was doubtless doing a great deal of good among the sick, without receiving very much pay for his services.  He reported a case of a woman in Tooele who sold consecrated oil in a little store and of another merchant who complained of this woman’s getting all that trade.  This brought up the subject of consecrated oil being sold at the Temple gate for individual profit, and Brother Grant stated that he objected in his feelings to having consecrated oil on shelves and sold in this way.  He thought it would be better for the Temples to control it.  Brother Merrill remarked that the practice in Logan was for the people to send their oil to the Temple on a certain day of each week, to be consecrated.”  (JH 26 Jan., 1899)

27 Jan.:  Professional administering to the sick.

“Some discussion was indulged in with reference to administering to the sick suggested by Elder R. Clawson who spoke of Bro. Patterson.  Said that he was traveling around in the Stakes of Zion administering to the sick in some cases meeting with success and in other cases failing.”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 27 Jan., 1899)

9 Apr.:  Consecrate your own oil.

“Speaking of my own case, I recollect well how, as we got along there came a time when we needed some consecrated oil.  I took a bottle of oil to President Young in Nauvoo, and asked him to consecrate it.  He did so; and said he, ‘The next time you want a bottle of oil consecrated, do it yourself.’  This is the way a man develops.  He comes to be a father, and he needs to prepare himself to assume the responsibilities of the position, that he may bless his little children as they come along, and consecrate the oil if need be.  I remember it struck me all over when the President told me to consecrate the oil.  Could I do it?  Would the Lord hear me?  Well, he told me to do it, and I did it.  So step by step we go along in the work of the Lord.”  (Franklin D. Richards, CR Apr., 1899, pp. 45-46; 9 Apr., 1899)

26 Oct.:  Administration to Franklin D. Richards

“Apostolic Council.  Salt Lake Temple, 11 A.M.

Present: Lorenzo Snow, Joseph F. Smith, Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, Heber J. Grant, George Teasdale, Anthon H. Lund, Matthias F. Cowley, Abraham O. Woodruff and Rudger Clawson.

Brother John Henry Smith informed the Council that he was in Ogden yesterday, and called upon President Franklin D. Richards, who is home from California.  He found him under the influence of opiates, administered by his physician, and he could not be aroused.  In the evening Brother Smith called again, and found the patient conscious but very nervous, his limbs fairly twitching and jerking.  It was a case of absolute collapse, mentally and physically.

Brother Woodruff said that he called upon President Richards Sunday night.  The latter was in bed, and did not recognize his visitor at first, but when he did recognize him, he gripped his hand and held it tight.  Brother Woodruff and Brother Samuel W. Richards administered to him, the latter annointing him with oil.  President Richards kept hold of Brother Woodruff’s hand in such a way that he could not lay hands upon his head; he did not seem to know enough to let go of the hand, and Brother Woodruff had to separate himself from him in order to perform the ordinance.”  (JH 26 Oct., 1899)

1900:  15 Jan.:  Administering to those with contagious diseases.

“In these days of the prevalence of contagious diseases, such as scarlet fever, diphtheria, smallpox, etc., or at least widespread rumors of such prevalence, a question of much importance arises as to the duty of the Priesthood in connection with the ordinance of administering to the sick.  The editor of this journal has been asked to state whether the Bishop or other Elders in a ward could be justified in going to a house where there was a case of smallpox for the purpose of anointing and laying hands upon the afflicted person.

The question is one which it is somewhat difficult to answer without danger of being misunderstood, for circumstances alter cases, and a proceeding which might be proper in some instances might be wholly unwise in others.  There are certain propositions, however, which will be admitted in all cases.  One of these is that a well and healthy person has as much right to be considered in matters pertaining to the preservation of his health, as a sick person has to be considered in matters pertaining to the restoration of his health.  To prevent sickness is no less to be desired than to cure sickness.  While it is true that those who are well do not need a physician, it is also true that no correct sense of duty requires a physician or any one else to jeopardize a healthy person in seeking to aid a diseased one.  That the sick may be healed is the proper desire of every right-minded person; but that in seeking to aid them, others who are not sick shall be also brought down in illness, is a requirement of neither humanity nor common sense.  And this view of the case is greatly emphasized when a disease so loathsome and so highly contagious as smallpox is believed to be, is under consideration; for then it is not only a question of perhaps harming one–it is a question of desiring to aid one at the serious risk and danger of perhaps the whole community.

Now, no one will feel like saying to a Bishop or an Elder that when called upon to go and administer to the sick he must not do it.  He may have abundant faith that through his administration the afflicted ones may be healed and he himself escape unharmed.  Many Elders have manifested this faith in instances of the most frightful plagues, and the results have justified them.  But if one have such faith as this, having no fear for himself, let him at least be warned against exposing others to such plagues as have been named.  He ought to complain of no proper regulation adopted as a precaution for the safety of the neighbors and the community, submitting if need be to restraint of liberty to come and go at will, and manifesting thus a consistent interest not alone in the sick but in the well also.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 35(2):62-63, 15 Jan., 1900)

7 Mar.:  Women performing washings/anointings outside Temples.

“Presidents Snow, Cannon and Smith were at the office today as usual.

Recently a letter was received from the presidency of the Relief Society in Dublan, Mexico, asking certain questions on the subject of washing and anointing sisters preparatory to confinement, and women and children for the restoration of their health; and among the questions was one asking if the washing should be sealed, and if the sisters had a right to seal, using no authority but doing it in the name of Jesus, or should men holding the Priesthood be called in to attend to their particular part of the ceremony or administration.  These questions were referred to the general presiding officers of the Relief Society to prepare answers and submit the same.  The answer to this question was as follows:  Brethren are sometimes called in to seal the washing and anointing; usually by the desire of the sister herself, her husband being called, or her father, or someone in whom she has great faith.  In case no request is made for brethren to be called, the sealing is done by the sisters officiating, uniting their faith and simply doing so in the name of Jesus, not mentioning authority.

President Smith expressed himself to the effect that in his opinion the word ‘seal’ should not be used by the sisters at all, but that the word ‘confirm’ might be substituted, and that it should be used not in an authoritative way but in the spirit of invocation.

Presidents Snow and Cannon endorsed this, and the secretary was directed to refer the answer back with the request that the sisters of the Relief Society adopt the change.” (JH 7 Mar., 1900)

15 Jul.:  Consecrated oil on the afflicted eye.

“When I was three years old I had the measles and for some time one of my eyes was left very sore.  I told Mama if she would put consecrated oil on my eye it would get well.  I am thankful to say it is almost healed through the blessings of the Lord.”  (Theressa Goodman, age 13 years, JI 35(14):464, 15 Jul., 1900)

14 Oct.:  Revival of apparently dead woman.

“[Meeting at the Tabernacle] I made remarks upon the subject of signs following believers, and related an incident where a young woman who had apparently died was restored to life and health by the annointing and laying on of hands of Pres. Snow and myself.”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 14 Oct., 1900)

27 Nov.:  Expectation of healing by deaf mutes.

“[Meeting at the President’s Office] A letter, addressed to Apostle F. M. Lyman by Elder Platte D. Lyman, President of the European Mission, was read.  He spoke in reference to some deaf mutes in England, who, professing belief in the gospel, desired baptism.  He was in doubt as to whether they should be given the privilege, as he feared they might possibly be disappointed in reference to some expectations they might have regarding the gift of healing.  In such cases the church would be injured.  It was decided that if the mutes believe and have faith they should not be denied baptism, and if they have sufficient faith to be healed they could be healed.”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 27 Nov., 1900)

22 Dec.:  Elders to honor quarantines and not anoint sick.


It is one of the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that the sick may be healed by faith.  This has been frequently explained.  It has been declared by revelation in the nineteenth century, was the doctrine of the Church in the first century, and was taught by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself when He ministered on earth in the flesh.

It has been customary with sick members of the Church to ‘call for the Elders’ to anoint them with oil and lay hands upon them, and there are scores of thousands of testimonies to the fulfilment of the divine promise, that ‘the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up.’  Of course, there are instances when, because of the lack of faith, the afflicted are not healed.  The Deseret News has repeatedly advised the aid of skilled physicians and surgeons when medical services are needed, instead of resorting to incompetent persons and quack remedies.

In times of epidemics, real or officially asserted, the laws require the observance of quarantine regulations.  These should be strictly complied with by those who are under quarantine, and also by their friends.  No one has the right to break through them and endanger the public health by carrying infection.  Great caution should therefore be exercised by the sick and their friends under such circumstances, and they should not do anything liable to spread disease.

Elders ought not to be called upon to go to quarantined houses, unless official permission can be obtained, and they disinfect their persons and clothing after such visits.  Notwithstanding the foolish and dangerous official declaration that no persons are liable to carry disease to others ‘unless they themselves have first contracted it,’ common sense and experience have established the contrary.  We therefore give this word of caution: Particularly, public men, who mix with people in business or otherwise, should be excused from waiting upon the sick in houses that are quarantined.  Not because they should or would shrink from performing a sacred duty, but in order to comply with the law and out of regard for the public health.

We know that, as a rule, the Elders are fearless in their ministrations to the sick, no matter what may be the nature of their diseases.  But ‘wisdom cries aloud to her children,’ and prudence should be observed in all things.  There ought to be come one, and is in almost every family of the Saints, who can perform the ordinance for the sick.  And it should be remembered that it is not the man who heals, no matter what office in the Priesthood he holds, but it is the Lord who answers ‘the prayer of faith,’ and it is by faith that the sick are healed.  A word to the wise ought to be sufficient.”  (Deseret News editorial, 22 Dec., 1900, in JH 22 Dec., 1900)

1901:    14 Mar.:  Debate concerning a “traveling healer.”

“[Meeting at the Temple] Apostle Reed Smoot reported that Brother James E. Hall of Fairview, North Sanpete Stake, who enjoyed the gift of healing had been visiting around among the saints in various wards and stakes exercising this gift, and his success was creating considerable excietment in different places.  While many approved of his work, others thought he ought not to operate outside of the ward where he lived.”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 14 Mar., 1901)

15 Mar.:  Combination therapy:  men and women.

“In August, 1898, my one-year-old baby, Eugene, took cold after having measles, and that with teething brought on cholera infantum.  We did all we could for him but he steadily grew worse.  His little face became so emaciated that no one feature looked natural, and the bones began to protrude through his skin in many places on his body.

Some of the sisters (including Sisters Woodruff and McCune, of Salt Lake City, who were here at the time attending conference) kindly washed and anointed him several times.  Apostle A. O. Woodruff and other brethren administered to him, and, though he would rest better after these sacred ordinances were performed, still his condition became more pitiful than ever, and it looked as though recovery were impossible.

When he had been sick about seven weeks a Brother Anderson administered to him, promising him life and health to finish his work on earth.  As he said this I felt a thrill from my head to my feet, the Spirit telling me it would be as he had said, and I rejoiced to know that my baby would live.  But the child continued to get weaker until he could not open his eyes.  For nearly three days no pulse could be felt, the only sign of life being the faint heart beat.  Many thought he was dead; one dear sister coming twice to assist in laying him out.

Notwithstanding all this, we, his parents, felt that he would live.  The sisters came and helped me to nurse him, among them Aunt Jane Hinman, who was an excellent nurse and had faith in his recovery.  Sister Mary Head sat up one night, and while kneeling by the cradle the gift of tongues rested upon her, and she sang in a soft, low tone some beautiful rhyme, the substance of which was that his parents had lived the laws of health, consequently the child had inherited a strong constitution; also that we had observed the Word of Wisdom and could claim the blessing if we asked in faith for the destroyer to be rebuked.  She finished by saying: ‘The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.’

This had a soothing effect upon us, and we felt to say, ‘Thy will, O Lord, be done,’ though we could not but feel that it was the will of the Lord that the baby should live.

From that very night he began slowly to mend.  The Elders continued to come every day to administer to him, and with good care he was healed completely by the power of God.  He is a strong, healthy boy today and a living testimony to us; and all who saw him then and can see him now feel that his recovery is a miracle.  He cut nine teeth during his sickness, and had long and brain fever during the latter part.  We feel to give all honor and praise to God for his restoration.

I might add that my husband saw his sickness and recovery in a dream before he was taken sick and always had faith that the child would live.”  (Elnora Wight, JI 36(6):188, 15 Mar., 1901)

3 Apr.:  Censure of professional healing.

“[Meeting at the Temple]  M. F. Cowley: . . . He alluded to the Book of Mormon.  The Josephites sell theirs at 50 cents and we sell it at 1.00–We ought to sell it as cheap as the Josephites.  Bro. Duffin wishes to get the privilege of printing the Book of Mormon which he can get done for 21 cents a copy.  Something must be done. . . .

Pres. B. Young said he had tried to bring the matter of the Book of Mormon up, buit it has been brushed away.  Nothing will be done till President Cannon returns.  I am also in favor of the Presidents of the Seventies receiving more recompense to them.  Alluded to the fact that we have not looked to it that our High-Priest Quorum contain representative men who could be chosen to fill up the places vacant in the Priesthood.

. . . .

Reed Smoot: . . . In regard to Bro. Hall’s going about administering he read a letter he was going to send him which enjoins upon Hall to get the consent of the Bishop.  A Bro. Jones talked in Tongues and said Bro. Maeser was present and said he was going to California to administer to Prest. Cannon, who would get well and yet attend a conference in Salt Lake City.

Pres. F. M. Lyman, was opposed to anything being started that would introduce new ways and methods.  Said if such be the case, then we will soon have persons come to the front who will gain influence and even the apostles will put into the background.

John W. Taylor:  I think this should again be brought before the President.  I believe not in new innovations.  The idea should not go out that none but an Apostle can bless and administer.  The gift of Tongues should be subject to the proper authority.

Pres. B. young thought that the letter should be modified to what we consider the right thing and then presented to the President.

Rudger Clawson:  Told of a man, who went to Wayne County and was blessed for cancer.  Word got out that he was being healed, but he died and it shocked.

A. H. Lund was opposed to the letter for the reason it sustains Hall in his position and he will demand the Bishop to have and preside over meetings of his devising. . . .

4 Apr.:  The Apostles met. . . . Prests. Snow and Smith came in–. . . The Letter to Bro Hall was considered and agreed upon denying the right of any one holding private meetings under claim and authority of the priesthood–Sick should be administered to and can be prayed for in Fast-day meetings and Circle are the places where the names can be given in and. [sic]”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 3-4 Apr., 1901)

“[Meeting at the Temple] There was some further discussion in regard to administering to the sick.  It was clearly the mind of the brethren that it should be done in a simple manner, without display, according to the order of the church.  A letter incorporating this view, was addressed to Jas Hall of Springville, who had been giong about among the saints holding special fast meetings, and administering to the sick; and although he may have been accomplishing good, his manner of doing, was thought to be too much in the nature of display of the power of God.”  (Rudger Clawson diary, 4 Apr., 1901)

5 Apr.:  Instructions on administering to sick.

“There is a tendency exhibited by some of the brethren and sisters in some of the Stakes of Zion to add to the form of our simple ordinances, and cast about them a degree of mystery and to depart from the method laid down by revelation from God through the Prophet Joseph Smith; and I think it proper to call the attention of the members of this Church to one of these deviations.

The Apostle James, upon one occasion, asked the question, ‘Is any sick among you?’ and his advice to the Saints then was: ‘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.’ 

This doctrine is believed in by the Latter-day Saints.  It is one of the beautiful ordinances in the Church of Jesus Christ in this dispensation.  It is one whose benefits and blessings all the people enjoy who have the Spirit of God.  And there is no need to deviate from the simple form of administering to the sick as laid down by the Apostle James and by the Prophets of this dispensation.  There is, however, a tendency among some of the members of the Church in performing this ordinance to add to the form and mode as revealed, thinking that by so doing greater power accompanies the administration.  But I want to call your attention to the fact that in the healing of the sick in this Church the power comes from the Lord, and not from man.  It is by the prayer of faith that the sick are healed; and, as I look at it, there is no need of having this simple ordinance of administering to the sick enshrouded in mystery, or any addition whatever to the simple form given by the Apostle James or revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Let me say also that every Latter-day Saint has a perfect right to ask the Bishop of their ward to present the name of any who are sick to the fast meeting which is held each month in every ward in the Church, where the people meet together in fasting and prayer.  I believe that the faith and power which can be made manifest in those meetings in behalf of the sick will be acknowledged by God; and the people have a right to ask the Bishop of their ward to have a sick one prayed for in any fast meeting.

In this connection I may say that we have prayer circles in this Church.  Every Bishop has a right to have a prayer circle in his ward, and I sincerely hope that there is no one Stake in Zion without one, and if there is, my advice is to organize one as soon as possible.  There is not a week passes but these circles meet, and they are composed of men of God, who hold the Priesthood, and who are supposed to be clean in every respect, having a knowledge that God lives, obeying all His commandments, and observing the Word of Wisdom; and the Saints should have the privilege of having their sick remembered int hese circles.  At the same time, I believe that where the humblest servant of God is called upon to administer to one who is sick in this Church, if he have faith, and the afflicted one also, God will grant unto them the righteous desires of their hearts.  And it seems to me that there is no need of holding special fast meetings, or special testimony meetings, or special meetings of any kind in the wards or Stakes of Zion, in connection with or making them a part of the simple ordinances of administering to the sick.”  (Reed Smoot, 5 Apr., 1901; CR Apr., 1901, pp. 4-5)

“I went to the Historian’s Office.  Then to Conference.  There was a good attendance.  Bro. Smoot was the first speaker.  He touched upon the rule laid down in the Church that the simple ordinance of healing as instituted in the primitive Church was sufficient and no extra meetings or innovations should be attempted.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 5 Apr., 1901)

8 Apr.:  Letter concerning proper mode of administering.

“Apostle Reed Smoot read a letter which will be sent to the various stake presidents, in relation to the proper mode of administering to the sick.”  (General Conference, Anthony W. Ivins diary, 8 Apr., 1901)

26 May:  Healed after 22 weeks.

“I attended meeting with the Scandinavians and listened with interest to the testimonies borne.  One young woman said: When I was fifteen years old I had not become acquainted with the Mormons, but I had heard that they believed in the gift of healing.  My mother was taken very sick, and the doctors said that she could not live.  I rushed out into [the street?] and saw a tall man coming.  I felt this is a Mormon.  I went up and asked him.  He said: ‘Yes.’  She said: ‘I know you are the one that can heal my mother.’  I asked him into the house.  He laid hands upon mother and she was healed instantly after having lain in bed 22 weeks.  The neighbors were so astonished to witness her sudden recovery.  She got up and cooked supper for us, and it was Brother Carl Eck who administered to her.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 26 May, 1901)

27 Jun.:  Anointing by women discouraged.

“[Meeting of the 1st Pres. and 12]  The question of women annointing came up and was discouraged.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 27 Jun., 1901)

15 Aug.:  A child raised from the dead.

“In or about the year 1848, there resided in Kilbirnie, a village of Ayrshire, Scotland, a family by the name of Morton.  The father was a faithful Latter-day Saint, the mother and her folks were violently opposed to the Gospel.  They had a beautiful, golden-haired, curly-headed boy about four or five years old, of whom they were exceedingly fond.  This little fellow was taken sick and gradually grew worse and worse.  All the medical skill in the village was enlisted in the effort to save the child, but nothing could be accomplished.  The good man of the house time and again begged his wife to permit the Elders to come and administer to the boy, but she angrily refused, threatening to kill any who entered her door.  At last all hope had to be given up, and by and by, the doctors said the little boy was dead.

As soon as the child had passed away the attitude of the mother changed.  She had no greater love for the Gospel in her heart, but in her intense desire for the life of hier child she was willing for anything that would give her the least gleam of hope for the return of the spirit of her darling boy.  She somewhat defiantly turned to her husband and told him to go and fetch the Elders, ‘and they would see what they could do.’  The father hastened with all speed to the president of the branch, and besought him to come and administer to the child.  At first the Elder refused, he knowing too well the conditions that reigned in that home.  But finally the prayers and tears of the father prevailed, and the Elder, taking with him another brother, accompanied him to where the dead boy lay.

God had given to this Elder the gift of healing, and on their arrival he consented to administer the ordinance.  He directed that before he did so everybody but the father should leave the room.  To this the mother with screams and violence objected, and, to avoid greater excitement, she was permitted to remain.  All the other non-members of the Church retired.  Then humble, fervent prayer was offered to the Lord, and the sacred ordinance was attended to.  While the hands of the brethren were yet upon his head, the lips of the little fellow moved and his eyes opened.  No sooner was the ordinance finished than the Elder, with much power, said to the father, ‘In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I promise you, that if you will let no one attend to the child, nor come near to him, except yourself, even to giving him a drink of water, on the third day he shall arise and ask to go out into the street.  Do as he desires; but let no Gentile doctor come near him nor give him any of his prescriptions.’  The Elder repeated the warning a second time.

Then a shrill voice, which carried terror to those who heard it, and froze the blood in their veins, hissed out, ‘He has lied in the name of the Lord.’  The effect of this voice on the faith of the Elder who had administered was very marked.  He went home restless and despondent.  He could not sleep, his faith was troubled, and during the three succeeding nights spent most of the time wandering in the most secluded places out of doors.

But the father observed the directions of the Elder.  He remained by the boy and attended to his needs.  And, as had been promised, on the third day the child raised himself in the bed and asked to go out into the streets.  The father dressed him and they went out together and, hand in hand, walked the streets until the father deemed it wise to return home.

The boy still lives, and so does the Elder, under whose hands he was raised from the dead.”  (JI 36(16):483-484, 15 Aug., 1901)

1 Sep.:  Do other churches practice faith-healing?

“Question:  Does any other church or denomination besides the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claim the power of healing the sick through faith and prayer?

Answer:  Not to the extent claimed by the Latter-day Saints, without we include that peculiar body of people known as Christian Scientists.  But undoubtedly many miracles have been performed by men in the name of Jesus, when those men were living up to the best light God had given them and who had an abiding faith in the Redeemer’s infinite power to save.  There are today among the priests of the Greek Church some who have the gift of healing; miracles, many possibly spurious, are not infrequent among the Roman Catholics.  In the early days of Methodism the sick were healed, the blind received their sight.  And there are even to this day miracle-working rabbis among the Jews, especially those of southeastern Europe.  This is not contrary to the scripture, for Jesus Himself tells us that some shall come to Him in the great day of judgment and urge the mighty works that they have performed in His name.  He then will disclaim any knowledge of them as his servants, and command them to depart from Him.

The truth that we may extract from these facts and sayings is that the power to perform miracles is no proof that a man is called of God without he can produce confirmatory evidence of his divine commission.  In fact, in all ages, when these blessed manifestations of God’s goodness have existed among men they have almost invariably been imitated by the opposing power of Satan.  God apparently does not desire His people to pin their faith to signs and wonders, but base it on the eternal truths of heaven as revealed in His all-saving word.  A life of obedience, faith and virtue counts far more than the ability to heal the sick or to remove mountains.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 36(17):532-533, 1 Sep., 1901)

1 Sep.:  Administered to every day for three weeks.

“We used to live in Salt Lake City.  My father was a carpenter by trade.  One morning just before going to his work, which was out in Mill Creek, his conscience told him not to go, but he finally made up his mind to do so.  All went well until the afternoon, when he was working on the cornice of a house, then the scaffold broke down and he fell a distance of twenty-four feet and struck the ground between two large foundation rocks.  His saw was clinched so tightly in his hands that they could hardly get it out.  He was knocked senseless, his forehead was split, the head of a spike ran up in his throat, and his wrist was put out of place.  He was carried home in a buggy, and every time they crossed a ditch he would moan.  I can remember the sight yet, as he came home with his face covered with blood.  The doctor had to sew his head together with silk thread.  The Elders came and administered to him every day for three weeks, and I know that it is by the hand of the Lord that he was healed.”  (Peter Lungreen, age 13 years, JI 36(17):542, 1 Sep., 1901)

13 Sep.:  We dedicated her to the Lord.

“September 13th [1901].  I received word from my son-in-law S. T. Robinson, stating that my daughter Ann E. was very sick and for me to come as soon as I could.  As their home was in Idaho Falls, I had to travel all night long, and when I arrived my daughter was very low, but I was glad that she knew me.  Two days later my daughter was no better, and about noon she was taken with a bad coughing spell, and it semed as though she could not recover.  As I was not in the house at the time, my daughter Martha Downs, called to me and told me that Ann E. was choking.  I went into the house, and she was very bad so I told her husband to anoint her with oil.  There were a number of sisters in the room, and I, with her husband, laid hands upon her head and I bid the cough to cease, and the Lord heard our prayers for as soon as we took our hands from her head, the cough left, and she became calm and went to sleep.  About two hours afterwards, the spirit prompted me to call them all together and we bowed down in prayer before the Lord and thanked Him.  She slept for quite a few hours afterwards.  She rested good during the night, but about noon the following day she was again taken worse, and we dedicated her to the Lord, after which she gradually began to sink.  A little after seven p.m. she called me to her and asked me if she could stand up.  She was sitting in a chair by the bedside and two of the sisters and myself helped her to stand.  I told her she had better lie down on the bed.  She said she would and that was the last words she spoke, for as soon as she got on the bed she turned her head to the wall and passed away.”  (Thomas Briggs journal; in Our Pioneer Heritage, 3:320, 1960)

1 Nov.:  Mother administering oil to son with typhoid.

“When I was between two and three years old, we had typhoid fever, and once I seemed to be perfectly dead, but my mother poured a teaspoonful of blessed oil in my mouth, and rubbed my breast, and rolled me, and I got well again, but it was a very long time before I could say a word.”  (Adam A. Peterson, JI 36(21):672, 1 Nov., 1901)