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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – Healing, 1910

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood Healing, 1910.” You can view other years here.

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1910:  1 Aug.:  The healing power.

“When the Lord established His Church in this dispensation, He brought again into its life those principles and ordinances which characterized it in the days of our Savior.  The principles which the Prophet Joseph enunciated wer in perfect harmony with the doctrines of the Bible, but they were out of harmony with the practices and teachings of the age.  ‘They are no longer needed’ was the universal objection to their restoration.

As time went on and the inadequacy of the teachings of the Christian world to meet the needs of the people became more and more apparent, men and women set out in search of something that would answer the needs of their spiritual existence.  Some felt that a new organization of some kind was necessary and established what they called the ‘Apostolic Church.’  Others found some spiritual satisfaction in reading the Book of Isaiah, and believed that they would find a panacea for their troubles in gathering.  Such people under the name of ‘Templars’ set out for the Holy Land in the belief that it was their duty to gather their.

The growing indifference on the part of so many men to church life led to a diminishing support of the church and its ministers.  Millions were given to hospitals, to charitable institutions, and to colleges.  The churches were not holding their own, and some, therefore, tried to revive the old Bible doctrine of tithing.  Others felt the necessity of baptism by immersion; and in these times a healing power through spiritual and mental processes has been advocated by those who believe it possible to heal the sick in many cases without the use of medicine.

Those whose lives and experiences carry them over nearly the whole period of the existence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will remember how the Saints have been ridiculed, how they have been accused of blasphemy, of turing back the wheels of progress and civilization to ancient times and dark ages by advocating those ordinances and principles of the Gospel to which we have just alluded.  It may seem to some quite remarkable that people of the world should advocate those principles of the Gospel for which the Saints have been so ruthlessly abused in this age of the world.  There can be little doubt that as time goes on there will arise those who will advocate every principle taught by the Latter-day Saints, and that, too, without divine authority. 

Just at present there are thousands in the world who are very much excited over the healing power exercised by certain individuals and by certain societies.  There are the ‘Christian Scientists’ so-called, whose chief reasons for their professions lie in the healing power which they believe they have discovered.  Later on there sprang up in certain churches what has been called the ‘Emmanuel Movement.’  While the ‘Christian Scientists’ have claimed that the healing power belonged to the realm of faith or will power, the Emmanuelists have associated the healing power with certain other mental operations.  Rev. Mr. McComb in setting forth the practices of the ‘Emmanuelists’ wrote: ‘The Christian Scientists say of an act of healing, “God does it.”  The confessed or unconfessed materialist says, “The forces of nature do it.”  It would seem to me more philosophical to say, God does it in and through the forces of nature.’  Speaking for his ‘Emmanuelists’ he further said: ‘We deal with no ailing person until his case has been diagnosed and passed upon by a good medical authority.’

Besides these teachers there are those who style themselves Psychotherapists who work something after the manner of mesmerism or hypnotism, although they disclaim any of the practices which belong to either of these classes.  This so-called psychotherapy disclaims the necessity of religious belief in the exercise of the healing power which they advocate.

It will be noticed that these various imitations of the fundamental teachings of the Gospel of Christ have been carried forward on waves of excitement and that when the excitement under which they were borne has died away, they have ceased to have any important or enthusiastic following.  Tust at this time the advocates of the healing power are borne upon a wave of excitement that is attracting the attention of a considerable number of people who confound the healing power with the saving power which the Gospel of Christ offers to the human family.

Some of the Latter-day Saints have wondered why the healing power can be exercised or miracles performed outside of the authority which God has given to the elders to administer in the ordinances of the Gospel.  The Bible affords numerous illustrations of the exercise of such powers at times when men sought to frustrate the purposes of God by imitating those powers which the Lord ordained as helps to the faith of His Saints.  These peculiar manifestations of religious excitement are not lasting, and they are not helpful in promoting faith in the principles of the Godpel and the special purposes of the Almighty.

Many people and some of the Saints are so peculiarly constituted that fantastic practices have a wonderful charm for them; they are abnormal in their mental and spiritual lives and are therefore easily persuaded by those novelties which excite their wonderment or curiosity.  There is plenty of room in the Church for the exercise of the faith of men and women in the healing power of the gospel.  It is not the purpose, however, of the Almighty, in those plans which He has revealed for the exaltation of man, to place the physical ahead of or above the spiritual well-being of His children.  From the beginning of the world we have been destined to a life of care and suffering.  There are no doubt many instances in which our pains result from our own wrong-doing, but the Lord never intended in mortal life to remove man from a world of sorrow and pain; He could not do so without suspending his free agency.  Nevertheless, by strict obedience to the laws of the Gospel, human ailments may be greatly mitigated.

Any society or any person which teaches either the desirability or possibility of wholly removing sickness or sorrow from this world has no proper conception of our correction position in mortal life.  Whatever does not increase man’s faith in God and make men more amenable to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not of divine origin, and Latter-day Saints who are caught by those passions and exciting emotions which periodically pass over the land are not grounded on the rock of divine revelation.  Many of these people who are exalting the healing power above all things else would, had they lived in His day, have pointed out to our Savior an easy and comfortable manner of escaping the great trials, sorrows, and sacrifices of His life which men do not seem to realize were all necessary for the redemption of man.”  (Joseph F. Smith, JI 45(8):406-408, 1 Aug., 1910)

1911:  4 Feb.:  Sisters anointing sisters prior to confinement.

“When we arrived at Manti we were taken to President L. Anderson’s and had a fine dinner. . . . We had a priesthood meeting and I suggested that wards be given a certain day a month and attend the Temple.  I also spoke about the sister’s anointing our sisters for confinement, and said while this was a comfort and strength to the sisters, it must not be confounded with temple ordinances, and the words used in the Temple must not be used by the sisters.  Any one can receive the blessing from the sisters whether they have had their endowments or not.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 4 Feb., 1911)

Sep.:  On the form of prayer for the sick.

“From time to time questions come to the editors asking for instructions in detail on what words should be used in the performance of Church ordinances.  There seems to be a tendency among some of the elders to reduce every blessing and ordinance to a set form.  Doubtless their intention is to perform the ordinance correctly and effectively, but it should be remembered that the blessings of the Sacrament and the formula for Baptism are about the only forms which the Lord has seen fit to reveal.  Perhaps because he desires to prevent his servants from being too mechanical in officiating in the ordinances of the Gospel.  He intends without doubt that the Spirit of the Lord should be left to give appropriate utterance in harmony with the time, the place, the occasion, and the condition.

Lately some questions on technical expression in consecrating and anointing with oil have come to hand.  In the healing of the sick, it is well to remember that in the word of the Lord (Doctrine and Covenants–24:13, 14,) to the Saints, the elders are enjoined not to require miracles without being directly commanded of the Lord.  An exception is made in the matter of healing the sick, casting out devils, and against poisonous serpents; and even them, the elders are commanded not to cast out devils, or heal the sick, except it be required of them by those who desire it done.  It is clear that the elders are to hold this holy ordinance sacred.  They are not carelessly and indiscriminately to exercise the power of the Priesthood conferred upon them in the matter of healing, except as, first, they are commanded of the Lord; or, secondly, as called upon by those who desire to be healed.

The Latter-day Saints believe in the power of God to heal the sick through the administration of the Priesthood.  They believe that the signs promised in the scriptures do follow the believer, that through faith in Christ and in the ordinance which he has instituted, men and women may be healed, and may do many wonderful works.  They believe that through the priesthood, the servants of Jesus Christ may cast out evil spirits, speak in tongues, lay hands on the sick, in his name, to their recovery; and that by the power of faith in Christ, people may be preserved from poisonous reptiles, and other dangers.

Ancient and modern scriptures are clear in stating the general manner of healing the sick.  We are told in the word of the Lord to the Prophet Joseph:

And whosoever among you are sick, and have not faith to be healed, but believe, shall be nourished with all tenderness, with herbs and mild 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. * * * * And again, it shall come to pass that he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed.–Doctrine and Covenants 42:43, 44, 48.

Again the apostle James declares to the former day Saints:

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 ye have committed sins, they shall be forgiven.–James 5:14, 15.

In the experience of Christ on this continent when he healed the Nephites and blessed their children, as related in III Nephi 17, we have again a concise and general outline of the manner of healing and blessing the sick who have faith.

It appears from these examples that the Lord has at no time seen fit to give the detailed wording of these ordinances, but has left it to the discretion of the officiating elder and the dictation of the Spirit of the Lord.

The question has been asked us: which is correct to say in consecrating oil, ‘for the healing of the sick,’ or ‘for the anointing of the sick?’  Our questioner here enters technically into details which were better left entirely to the spirit of the occasion.  There is no set form for ‘consecrating oil,’ though it would appear that the consecration is intended both for the anointing and the healing of the sick.  The ordinance should be performed uinder the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and such words should be used as are consistent with what is being asked for.  We should remember that the oil should be consecrated, dedicated and set apart for holy purposes, to be used in the household of faith ‘for the healing of the sick’ or ‘for the anoiting of the sick.’  Both phrases may be used with propriety.  It should be remembered, however, that it is the prayer of faith that saves the sick, and the Lord who raises them up, not the oil, though we are commanded to anoint with oil in the name of the Lord.  (Doctrine and Covenants 42:44, 48; 35:9,15.)  And a word to elders on anointing.  To anoint is to rub over with oil.  A drop applied to a head covered with artifices in the hair, so that the oil cannot reach the body, is not anointing, does not comply with the commandment, and, in my opinion, is null and void.

Another similar question is asked:  In sealing the anointing, should the following words be used:  ‘And cause that this oil shall penetrate your system?’  As stated before, there is no form for sealing and anointing; that also should be done according to the inspiration and dicatation of the Holy Spirit; however, it seems reasonable that it is not the oil, but the power and influence of the Spirit of God, that we pray may penetrate the system, to his healing.  It would be perfectly appropriate to say, ‘and cause this ordinance may have effect according to our faith, that the healing influence of the Spirit of God may penetrate his system that the sick may be saved and that God will raise him up.’

One more thought, men are not heard for their much speaking.  Direct, simple, heartfelt, supplication for what we want and need is the best and most effective order of prayer.  What prayer could be more appropriate to the apostles of Christ, whom he was sending out to preach the Gospel without purse or scrip, than, ‘Give us this day our daily bread?’  But to the person who has his thousands and his millions, such a prayer is not appropriate.  He should ask when he prays for the things he needs.  Also our prayers should be short, simple and to the point.  I remember on one occasion a number of the authorities visited Erastus Snow when he was very sick; one of the asked if he desired the brethren to administer to him, ‘Yes, indeed, I do; but I don’t want them to smother me with long prayers,’ was his answer.

But let us repeat again, that rather than having set forms, the elders should live so that they may have the inspiration of the Spirit of God, when called upon to officiate in the ordinances, then their prayers will be simple, direct, appropriate and effective in the sight of God.”  (Joseph F. Smith, “On the Form of Prayer–Editor’s Table,” IE 14(11):1032-1035, Sep., 1911)

1912:  1 Sep.:  Boy anointing and blessing mother.

“Johnny was a fatherless little boy.  His father died when he was about six years old.

He and his mother lived on a farm about two miles from the town. . . .

One day his mother took very sick, which made him feel very sad.  His mother asked him to go to town and get a ‘Mormon Elder, so he could administer to her.  Before going, Johnny asked if he might get some oil and rub on her head and pray for her.  His mamma said Yes.  When he was through praying his mother got right up and was healed.  So little folks can do great things when they have faith and do what is right.”  (Maybel Taylor, age 9 years, JI 47(9):547, 1 Sep., 1912)

1913:  10 Mar.:  Repeated administrations unsuccessful.

“My wife and I go to Bro. Jas. G. Bleake’s place where Will and Ada are living.  Ada is confined.  I assisted the Elders in administering to her time and again and the doctors done all in their power for her, but all in vain.  We stayed until after midnight then I went home.”  (Orson W. Huntsman diary, 10 Mar., 1913)

1914:  5 Apr.:  Major General Conference talk on healing.

“My mind has been resting upon a subject in connection with our doctrines and principles which, although generally recognized in the Church, has not, I fear, been fully appreciated, and that is the principle of the healing of the sick.

Having had occasion to give consideration to this subject lately, I desire to express a few of my thoughts in regard to the same.  I believe that this principle has been enjoyed quite generally in the Church; that it has been enjoyed by every family, if not by every individual member of the Church.  There have been very remarkable healings, which have sometimes been brought to our attention.  Some have been published, but generally the healing of the sick has not been commented upon.  I think the Latter-day Saints should be aroused to the fact that this great blessing and spirit is in the Church, that we enjoy the benefits thereof, and that the Lord has so arranged, in the organization of the Church, that within the reach of every family, in every ward, there are those commissioned and authorized to administer to the sick, that the sick may be healed and their lives preserved.  But I have wondered if the Latter-day Saints, on some occasions, have not been surprised, and their faith possibly weakened, because all are not healed, and that we do not always receive answers to our prayers.  I thought I would just read to you from the forty-second section of the Doctrine and Covenants the word of the Lord upon this subject, so that we may be prepared in our hearts and minds for the conditions that obtain, and be willing to acknowledge the hand of the Lord in the experience of those who have not faith to be healed.  For the time comes when men are appointed unto death, and the fact that we may be finally ‘appointed unto death’ has aroused some question in the minds of the brethren.  It is an expression that I always prefer not to mention when administering to the sick.  In asking the Lord to heal our afflicted it is not necessary to add, ‘If they be not appointed unto death.’  In fact, I have felt that such an expression in our prayers, tends rather to weaken the faith of the afflicted, and to shake their hope and confidence.  The time will come, however; it will come to you and me, as well as it has to those that have passed away, when we may be appointed unto death, and I understand that that appointment is when fatal sickness is upon us and we have not faith to overcome it.  At such times we may realize, in our administrations, that the sickness is fatal, and it is not possible to overcome it, for we may discover conditions that inform us in no uncertain terms that death is at the door.

We should appreciate the fact that the Lord has provided, in the organization of this Church, that there are elders, including seventies, high priests and patriarchs, and other brethren of the Melchisedek Priesthood, always at hand to administer to the sick in our wards.  There are stake authorities who may officiate in the stakes and do officiate as patriarchs, blessing the people, and as stake authorities they are at home in any part of the stake.  Then there are the general authorities of the Church, with the presidency thereof, whose jurisdiction extends throughout the Church, both at home and abroad.  But ordinarily the brethren bearing the Priesthood are expected to officiate in their own wards.  I have thought of the wonderful opportunity that is provided there for the employment and service of the brethren bearing the Priesthood.  They should cultivate the spirit of faith and the gift of healing, as well as other gifts that pertain to the Gospel, so that whatever is required in a ward, it will not be necessary for you to send to a neighboring ward for help.  We do not have to send from one stake to another; for in every stake, in every ward in this Church, in every branch and in every mission, there are those who are entitled to administer to the sick and have experience therein, as well as in administering the Sacrament to us on the Sabbath day.  These services belong to the ward.  They belong also to the stake, and to the Church, and to those who are designated as officials in these particular positions.

Sometimes brethren have felt that they had a mission and a gift, and I believe that men do; I believe that some men have greater faith than others.  I believe according to our living and our conduct and our service in the work of the Lord, so will our faith increase in the healing of the sick, and in other ordinances.  But we should understand the limit of our jurisdiction and ministry.  The brethren of the ward should not go to their neighbor wards.  They should not be sent for; it is not necessary.  And we should jealously be prepared ourselves for what is required in our own wards, in our own stakes.  Baptisms, confirmations, the blessing of children, ordinations, and so forth, are all taken care of in order.  The house of God is a house of order, so that it is not necessary for us to be moving about from place to place, from ward to ward.  It sometimes occurs that brethren are inclined to make merchandise of their ministry, which is not proper to be done.  All who are authorized should administer to the sick and wait upon them gratuitously; it is not proper that we should make merchandise of that ordinance.

Presidents of stakes and bishops of wards and officials throughout the Church should be advised that they ought not to send abroad for help.  We send for physicians, and for attorneys, and men in worldly affairs, whose jurisdiction extends everywhere; but in our Church affairs each ward and each stake, as a rule, is provided with all officials that are necessary for the performance of the ordinances required in the Church, and to officiate in the Priesthood, to anoint with oil, to bless the sick, and to pray God for their restoration.

These ordinances belong with the people where they live.  As a rule we would not expect the elders who are officials in a ward, or the brethren who labor in a stake, to follow the example of the general authorities of the Church, for their jurisdiction reaches all over the world, while your jurisdiction extends only to where you are called.  Men are called also to officiate in certain positions, such as stake positions, and as members of general boards for the Sunday Schools, for the Mutual Improvement Associations, for the Relief Societies, and the like, and when that is the case they are designated, they are appointed and set apart for the special ministry and labor, and they have their peculiar and marked responsibilities resting upon them in connection with these auxiliary organizations.  We would not expect brethren in the missionary field to assume to enter into wards, nor branches, baptizing, confirming, blessing children, ordaining, and the like, only in the ministry that really belongs to them.  And though the general authorities of the Church, the Twelve and others, have ample authority in all stakes and missions everywhere in the world, yet the discipline of the Church is so carefully straight that when we go into wards and stakes, and missions, we always labor in harmony with those who preside.  We observe order in the official acts that are required at our hands, and we work in harmony with the people, with the common consent of all concerned.  We do not want the brethren that labor at home and whose field is not quite so broad as ours, to feel that we are at liberty to do as we please; that is, except we please to do exactly what is right.  The Twelve are subordinate to the counsels of the presidency of the Church, are under their direction and counsel, and we never outrage order and discipline.  The chief authorities of the Church should be models in all these things, and every consideration and care should be taken by us that we receive the approval of the Lord, the approval of the Spirit of the Lord, and in the hearts of the people.  We work harmoniously with the First Presidency, and we are controlled, submissive, obedient, listen to counsel, and labor in harmony with the mind and will of the Lord.

I am delighted to make this little talk before you leading brethren of the stakes of Zion, for we have had occasion to consider this matter.  As I say, we have found occasionally a brother who is out of order–not very many; it does not frequently occur; but it occurs sometimes, as referred to in the remarks of the President this morning.  There are people who sometimes get curious ideas in their minds, ideas that are not tenable, and that are not proper.  Men sometimes get the thought that it is their duty to regulate the church, and to set it in order, and to regulate the authorities of the Church, and the organization of the Church.  These instances occur occasionally, not very frequently.  I thank the Lord that we discover, when we look over the Church, that the brethren quite generally know where they belong; they know their field, they know their homes, they know their limitations; and the presiding authorities in wards, in quorums, in the stakes and in the missions, know what is required of them.  They are learning lessons all the time.  Men are called to fill positions in missions, in stakes, and in wards, and are frequently changed; hence new men are brought into the field, and they are not always supplied by their predecessors with the information that has been in their home offices.  Consequently we have to continue to teach, instruct and exhort them, answer their questions and train them in the ministry that is entrusted to them.  But there is growth and development, and we discover that the Church, as spoken of yesterday by the President, is in its very best condition, for the reason that we have been in long training.  We have been born and reared among the Saints, and we have been in the ministry and have had great experience, and our questions have been answered.  The doctrines of the Church are comprehended and thoroughly understood by these brethren who preside over us.  When we gather with this body of men, with these trained brethren, tried brethren, general authorities of the Church, associated with the presidency; and then we go to the fields, we go to the stakes, we go to the wards, we find the very choicest and most model men have been chosen and are employed.  The same is true of our sisters in the Relief Societies, in the Primary Associations, and in the Religion Class work.  Our brethren and sisters are thus being well trained.  In the quorums and classes of the Priesthood they are being more thoroughly trained now than ever in the Church, and these trainings, lessons, instructions, and experiences tend to establish the Latter-day Saints.  But there is, no doubt, room for improvement, and always will be.

I want to emphasize one fact, and I want to read this scripture now, my text, in order to close my remarks, so that the brethren will bear in mind and notice how reasonable and consistent is this doctrine.

You will find something about the same principle included also in the 5th chapter of St. James, in the New Testament.  And you will find the doctrine, also, in regard to the healing of the sick, contained in the 17th, 18th and 19th chapters of III Nephi.  Read them at your leisure, for they are very choice, and pertain to the ministry of the Lord in the flesh.  Here is what the Lord says in our day:

And whosoever among you are sick, and have not faith to be healed, but believe, shall be nourished with all tenderness with herbs and mild 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.

The Lord does not expect us all to die when we are taken sick; that is quite well understood.  Generally we are healed, and I suppose that each person in this congregation, almost without exception, could bear strong testimony to their own healing, and some very many times healed from serious sickness, remarkable healings.

Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die, and more especially for those that have not hope of a glorious resurrection.  And it shall come to pass that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them; and they that die not in me, woe unto them, for their death is bitter.  And again it shall come to pass that he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed.

If they have not fatal sickness they may be healed; if they have fatal sickness they will die.  They have been doing so, and you and I will do the same, one time.

He that hath faith to see shall see; he who hath faith to hear shall hear; the lame who have faith to leap shall leap; and they who have not faith to do these things, but believe in me, have power to become my sons; and inasmuch as they break not my laws, thou shalt bear their infirmities.

Many there are that are infirm in their hearing, faulty in their seeing and otherwise, and if they will but serve the Lord and keep His commandments they shall become the sons of God.  They have that power, though they may not be able to overcome all their infirmities, and with them we must bear.  You must bear with my infirmities, and I must bear with yours, for they will abide with us if we have not faith to be healed.  We want the brethren bearing the Priesthood in every ward in Zion to be a little jealous to take care of the employment that is furnished them there in their office as teachers, and in administering to the sick; don’t let the people send abroad, and don’t make merchandise of your ministry.  Attend to the ordinance of the healing of the sick in your own ward, and the ministering to them, and laying on of hands.  It should be done in order; it should not be done offensively, but properly and rightly done, in a manner that no one need take exception to.  I want to make the declaration that there are elders sufficient, and high priests, and seventies and patriarchs, and other brethren bearing the Melchizedek Priesthood, in every ward in Zion, for all the laying on of hands that is required; and the Lord is just as near to one ward as another.  He is near at hand to every one of us.  If our Faith is not quite so strong as our neighbor’s, we should cultivate it, and we should have the experience and the practice.  We don’t send to a neighbor ward for somebody to administer the Sacrament for us, do we?  Nor yet to baptize, nor to confirm, nor to ordain, nor to bless children, or perform any of those ordinances.  It is not necessary to do so.  If the sick want the brethren who are general authorities, and who are traveling, if you can put the sick in their way so that you don’t do them a hardship, they are always willing to bless the sick; and quite generally, almost invariably the sick are healed under the hands of the elders.  This Church is remarkable therefor.

Though there may be among us some that are a little careless and indifferent, they are always aroused in case of sickness, in case of death and hardships and trial.  They are aroused at once to seek the Lord, and they want the help of those who are faithful and worthy.  They want the assistance of the Holy Priesthood, and they appeal to us, and you know, my brethren, you that are here today, that the Lord has answered the prayers of His servants, and the sick have been healed and there have been some very remarkable healings.  Sight has been restored to the blind, and hearing to the deaf, and health to the sickly and the afflicted, and there is not a man on this stand, I presume, who has not been healed.  I presume I have been generally as healthy as any man upon the stand here, but I have had the assistance of the Lord to help me on occasions when I have been needed to be healed, and I have been healed very remarkably, and instantly, under the hands of brethren over whom I presided in the Southern States, and in our own state, and on different occasions.  And so it has been with you.  The sick have been healed under our hands.  They have been restored and this is the experience of every family.  I don’t have to refer you to any one family where the sick have been healed, for it is manifest in every famikly; in every home.  No family is so far away out on the borders but what they have been found, and the sick have been administered to, and they have been healed.  Yet we who have been healed, who have received these remarkable manifestations, will pass away after a while, when the sickness is final and fatal, and death has been appointed unto us, and it will not be appointed to us until the time we are required to pass away.

I took occasion to talk on this subject last Sunday in Davis Stake, and there were some remarkable cases there of the sick that I had been acquainted with and that were healed, such as Brother John R. Barnes who, like King Hezekiah, has been given a lease of life of about fifteen or eighteen years, and with prospects of living no one can tell how much longer, when he was at the point of death.  And also the late President John W. Hess of Davis County.  It fell to my lot to go and ordain him a patriarch when he was thought to be lying on his death bed, that he should take the office with him.  He arose from his bed and blessed his numerous family, as I understand, almost every soul of them, and then he went from ward to ward and blessed the people in whole, all that would gather to hear him.  He raised his hands and put blessings upon their heads after he had been at the point of death.  We want to bear these things in mind and acknowledge the hand of the Lord, and when we offer up prayers and acknowledgements to the Lord, let us gratefully remember the good that we have received at His hands.  Don’t let us forget, don’t let us lose our faith, don’t let us wanter from the straight and narrow path that leads to life, but be sons of God, serve and honor Him with all our might, mind and strength, to our latest day.

May the blessings of the Lord be upon gathered Israel, upon the people in these valleys, these splendid valleys, and upon the presiding officers in the Church, that they may be blessed, that they may be healed when they are afflicted, and have the same experiences that we have had before, be healed and restored, that our lives may be perpetuated and extended, while the Lord finds it profitable for us to live.  God bless you.  The Lord bless these brethren, presiding brethren that have come up here, and who come up twice a year to worship the Lord and receive instructions.  God bless you, my brethren.  God bless the brethren in all the wards and stakes in Zion; and the Lord bless our sisters in their labor and ministry as ministering angels, those that have been chosen and have sustained the work of the Lord, and have joined with their husbands and brothers in carrying forward the work of the Lord in the heat of the day.  They have borne a great responsibility.  They have borne the sons of men, the souls of men in this earth, and have builded up the kingdom.  They are entitled to all honor and credit and blessing.”  (Francis M. Lyman, 5 Apr., 1914; CR Apr., 1914, pp. 30-35)

1915:  27 Jul.:  Account of the blessing of oxen.

“Passing over from the Platte to the Sweetwater, the cattle suffered extremely from the heat, the drought, and the scarcity of feed, being compelled to browse on dry rabit brush, sage brush, weeds and such feed as they could find all of which had been well picked over by the preceding companies.  Captain —–‘s company being one of the last, still keeping along, frequently in sight of, and sometimes camping with President Kimball’s company which was very large.  One day as they were moving along slowly through the hot sand and dust, the sun pouring down with excessive heat, toward noon one of Widow Smith’s best oxen laid down in the yoke, rolled over on his side, and stiffened out his legs spasmodically, evidently in the throes of death.  The unanimous opinion was that he was poisoned.  All the hindmost teams, of course, stopped, the people coming forward to know what was the matter.  In a short time the captain, who was in advance of the company, perceiving that something was wrong, came to the spot.

Perhaps no one supposed that the ox would ever recover.  The captain’s first words on seeing him, were:

He is dead; there is no use working over him; we’ll have to fix up some way to take the Widow along, I told her she would be a burden upon the company.

Meanwhile Widow Smith had been searching for a bottle of consecrated oil in one of the wagons, and now came forward with it, and asked her brother, Joseph Fielding, and the other brethren, to administer to the ox, thinking the Lord would raise him up.  They did so, pouring a portion of the oil on the top of his head, between and back of the horns, they all laid hands upon him, and one prayed, administering the ordinance as they would have done to a human being that was sick.  Can you guess the result?  In a moment he gathered his legs under him, and at the first word arose to his feet, and traveled right on as well as ever.  He was not even unyoked from his mate.  The captain, it may well be supposed, heartily regretted his hasty conclusions and unhappy expressions.  They had not gone very far when another and exactly similar circumstance occurred.  This time also it was one of her best oxen.  The loss of either would have effectually crippled one team, as they had no cattle to spare.  But the Lord mercifully heard their prayers, and recognized the holy ordinance of anointing and prayer, and the authority of the Priesthood when applied in behalf of even a poor dumb brute!  Sincere gratitude from more than one heart in that family went up unto the Lord that day for His visible interposition in their behalf.”  (Joseph F. Smith, 27 Jul., 1915, at a meeting of the Genealogical Society of Utah held in San Francisco; UGHM 7:66-67, Apr., 1916)

21 Sep.:  A deacon blesses the sick.

“This morning in our Temple meeting Richard Horne told a healing performed in his home.  His daughter had been very sick and nothing seemed to help her.  His son who was a deacon had a vision in which he saw his sister lying on the bed and was told to go and command her to arise.  His father was coming home with a load of wood and the young boy ran out and asking if one being only a deacon had a right to bless the sick.  His father said yes.  He ran into his sister room and told her to arise and be healed.  She did so and dressed herself.  And was able to talk hold of household duties.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 21 Sep., 1915)

9 Oct.:  Anointing of self.

“Prest. E. J. Wood of Alberta spoke in the Temple meeting this morning.  He mentioned some remarkable cures or miraculous healings. . . . A centipede bit Bro. Wood on his hand and it swelled immediately and so did the arm.  The natives said the bite of the centipede was fatal.  The native woman said ‘Why don’t you use your oil, then you will get well.’  He did and the swelling went down.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 9 Oct., 1918)

18 Nov.:  J. F. Smith blessed to die.

“Prest. Smith had a bad night.  He suffered much with his pleurisy.  I spent the day in the Office.  Prest. H. J. Grant called on the President and when he left the President called him back and said: ‘God bless you my boy, God bless you.  A great responsibility is coming to you, but always remember that the Lord is greater than men and he makes no mistake in those he chooses to lead his Church.’  I went over there in the evening the President was suffering very much.  He said:  Brethren pray that I may be released.  Prest. Grant and I laid our hands on his head and were joined in doing so by his sons Joseph, David and George.  I asked the Lord, if Prest. Smith’s mission was finished to release him from his suffering.  I stayed with him till he fell asleep, and asked them to send for me if I was wanted.  I brought in the Herald in which I read that President Smith died at 4.50 a.m.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 18 Nov., 1918)

1920:  23 Apr.:  Blessed to die.

“At 11.30 I was called to go to the Hospital to administer to Canute W. Peterson; but when I arrived there he did not know me, however, William Lund and I administered to him.  I said ‘If his earthly mission is ended may he be spared much suffering.’  I felt deep sympathy for Hilda and the Children.  He died an hour afterward.  I gave Second Anointings to Ray Shurtlief and wife.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 23 Apr., 1920)

1921:    6 Apr.:  Women and the priesthood.

“One other remark I want to make, and that is this: There seems to be a revival of the idea among some of our sisters that they hold the Priesthood.  President Clawson sat down on that in his remarks on Sunday.  He said ‘No, the sisters do not hold the Priesthood.’  Well, is that right?  Yes; but then there is a little qualification to it, perhaps, very slight.  When a woman is sealed to a man holding the Priesthood, she becomes one with him.  Sometimes the man is the one and sometimes he is not, but she receives blessings in association with him.  The glory and power and dominion that he will exercise when he has the fulness of the Priesthood and becomes a ‘king and a priest unto God,’ she will share with him.  Sisters have said to me sometimes, ‘But, I hold the Priesthood with my husband.’  ‘Well,’ I asked, ‘what office do you hold in the Priesthood?’  Then they could not say much more.  The sisters are not ordained to any office in the Priesthood and there is authority in the Church which they cannot exercise; it does not belong to them; they cannot do that properly any more than they can change themselves into a man.  Now, sisters, do not take the idea that I wish to convey that you have no blessings or authority or power belonging to the Priesthood.  When you are sealed to a man of God who holds it and who, by overcoming, inherits the fulness of the glory of God, you will share that with him if you are fit for it, and I guess you will be.

There is another thing connected with that.  I have had sisters visit me and ask me if they did not have the right to administer to the sick.  ‘Well,’ I have said, ‘yes, you have in one way; Jesus Christ said, “These signs shall follow them that believe–in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.”‘  As I say, there are occasions when perhaps it would be wise for a woman to lay her hands upon a child, or upon one another sometimes, and there have been appointments made for our sisters, some good women, to anoint and bless others of their sex who expect to go through times of great personal trial, travail, and ‘labor;’ so that is all right, so far as it goes.  But when women go around and declare that they have been set apart to administer to the sick and take the place that is given to the elders of the Church by revelation as declared through James of old, and through the Prophet Joseph in modern times, that is an assumption of authority and contrary to scripture, which is that when people are sick they shall call for the elders of the Church and they shall pray over and officially lay hands on them.

It is the prayer of faith that saves the sick; faith in God not in some particular man, although some men seem to have more of the gift of healing than others, that is true, but the authority in the Church is vested in the elders.  True, a priest, of course, can, a teacher can, and so can a deacon, although neither a teacher nor a deacon can exercise the power in the lesser Priesthood which is for the remission of sins through baptism; he cannot do that, he has not the authority, but he may lay hands on the sick and pray God to heal them; so can a member.  So can people out of the Church, and so they have done.  Having faith in God, they have asked God in the name of Jesus Christ to heal the sick by the laying on of their hands, and some of them have got well, and a good many others have died, like it is with all of us.

These sisters, too, claim the right to go around and hold meetings of their own and speak in tongues and interpret the same and to prophesy.  Now they may have the gift of tongues; that is just as much for the sisters as it is for the brethren, and seems to be a little more so.  One good sister said to another, ‘Oh, you may have the gift of wisdom, I don’t say you haven’t, but I have got the gift of tongues.’  She thought she was ahead of her sister who had wisdom.  Sisters, it is not your right to organize meetings either for the sisters or for the brethren in your respective wards without the regulation and permission of the presiding authorities of the ward.  Some sisters not very far from this spot used to meet together, relate visions, speak in tongues and had a glorious time, and the president of the stake was appealed to as to the right to do that.  He said, ‘Sisters, you must not hold any meetings of that kind unless you get permission from the bishop,’ and they have never asked permission of the bishop nor held such meetings since that time.  What does that show?  It shows that they were not acting under proper authority.  The Lord has declared ‘my house is a house of order.'”  (Charles W. Penrose, 6 Apr., 1921; CR Apr., 1921, pp. 198-200)