You can read 1 Nephi 11:30-31 here.
Context and General Information
- Nephi is seeing the vision of the tree of life.
- The Spirit tells Nephi to look. Nephi looks and sees the heavens open and angels ministering to the children of men.
- Again the Spirit tells Nephi to look. Nephi looks and sees the Savior healing people and performing miracles.
Healed by the Power of the Lamb of God
As a part of the vision of the tree of life that Nephi sees, he also witness of Christ’s life. The Spirit shows Nephi what will happen when Christ lives on the earth among men. Nephi states:
“And he spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked, and I beheld the Lamb of God going forth among the children of men. And I beheld multitudes of people who were sick, and who were afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with devils and unclean spirits; and the angel spake and showed all these things unto me. And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God; and the devils and the unclean spirits were cast out.” – 1 Nephi 11:31
Nephi sees sick people – afflicted with all kinds of diseases. He sees mental illness. And then He sees that all of these people were healed – physically, spiritually, and emotionally by the power of the Savior.
I can’t help but think about healing. Isn’t that really what all of us want – to be healed?
This makes me think of one of my favorite scriptures:
” O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?” – 3 Nephi 9:13
I know that it might seem like a kind of strange scripture to love. But, I think that what I love about it is how Christ is pleading with us – to return to Him, repent, and be converted. And why? So He can heal us.
I remember when my children were toddlers. Each of them went through an insanely independent phase. Often, I heard “No! I do it!” As they tried to do a multitude of things that they absolutely couldn’t do. I would beg them to let me help – even with a chuckle because I could see how impossible their predicament was. Still, No! I DO IT! would follow.
Sometimes I think that we are like toddlers. Instead of trusting the Savior who is ready to heal us, we often turn away from Him, thinking we can do it ourselves or that we know a better way.
It’s so silly.
I’m prone to it.
But I can also see why it happens sometimes. We don’t live in the time of the Savior. There isn’t a man that we can see, receive a blessing from, and then ta-da!!!!! everything is magically better.
Instead, we have to remember that often Christ comes to us line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little there a little. So – first we come unto Christ, then He reveals, but usually what He reveals is exactly what we’ll need to get to the next step. Then the process must be repeated.
Sometimes, I think, this is also how He heals us. Sometimes we heal one part after another – piecemeal – until we can be fully integrated with His healing. I’m not sure if this makes any sense to you, but it makes sense to me. It takes time and effort, faith in Christ, and then patience as He heals us – from our worries, fears, illnesses, and more.
Another thing is patience to accept His will. This is true faith.
Sometimes we aren’t healed the way that we would like. I don’t think that this is always about us lacking faith. Sometimes we are asked to accept God’s will for us – which may include something that stretches us out of our comfort zone. Sometimes, instead of calming the storm, the Lord gives us the strength to weather it. Even though we aren’t healed from the immediate illness, I think that this experience helps us to be healed from the bigger problem – being fallen men and women.
The Savior always has the big picture in mind.
I’m sorry. I’m getting sleepy while I write today. I hope this is coherent.
I’ll give an example. A few years ago, I was having some problems with my skin. I had all of these blisters and rashes on my hands.
In this picture, they aren’t even bad! At the worst, my hands were so covered in blisters, they were actually oozing some kind of fluid (gross!) they looked like raw hamburger. And my body was covered with eczema and hives and rashes. I had to go onto Prednisone several times. It wasn’t fun.
Of course, I also asked for blessings. I prayed, pleaded for help. I prayed that I would have the faith I needed to be healed. But I wasn’t healed. Still, my skin is sensitive. Still, I could blow up like this at any time.
So yes – the idea of the Savior coming with healing in His wings was very intriguing to me. I wanted that. I kind of felt like there must have been something I was doing wrong because I wasn’t healed. If only I had more faith…
But it wasn’t faith to be healed that I lacked. Instead, I lacked faith in God’s plan for me – that I needed to weather this storm. That this was a part of my life that I needed to participate in – in order to reach my potential and learn what I need to learn now. I lacked the long-term vision – that we suffer now, but we will not suffer forever. This issue with my skin would really be a small blip in the context of my life.
It was hard to have that kind of faith sometimes – when I was itching beyond belief. (Side note – I heard that they would put itching powder on the prisoners in Guantanamo or other places where they were questioning terrorists. And I guess I get why. Itching is so annoying! I would have given up any state secret to stop itching. Thank goodness I don’t know any state secrets!) I just wanted relief. I just wanted the Son of Righteousness … with healing in his wings;… to heal me so I could stop itching. I couldn’t sleep or think with all of the itching. (See 3 Nephi 25:2.)
Worst of all, I knew that my itching was nothing! I know that there are people who are struggling with real, terminal diseases – diseases that will kill them. I have a friend with M.S., and I’m sure that she wishes her only issue was itching. I knew that I was fine – just inconvenienced. And yet, I longed to be healed. I began to feel a bit of sympathy for people who also seek healing.
Anyway – the Lord didn’t heal me right away. He comforted me. He prompted me to research the causes of the issues I was facing. And this research took time. This research took trial AND ERROR! I was often frustrated when, after a good run of rash-free life, I’d be covered again from head to toe with hives and blisters and itching.
But, over time, with failed trials, I started to discover what doesn’t work. This guided me, eventually, to what does work. I started to see the little causes of these flare-ups, and how to mitigate them.
Though the Lord didn’t immediately heal me, He has taught me a series of bigger lessons. I needed to learn to slow down and listen to my body. I needed to learn to rely on Him. I needed to learn to manage stress. I needed to learn to be my own advocate (with the doctor). I needed to learn how to patiently endure affliction so that I could better help and appreciate others. I wouldn’t have learned any of this if the Savior granted my desire to be healed and absolved of suffering of any kind.
Though the Lord didn’t heal me immediately, He has healed me through this illness. I hope that I have become a better person as I’ve learned to endure the trials that the Lord has trusted me to experience.
Anyway – I’m going to wrap this up.
I can’t imagine the amount of suffering that took place during the time of Christ. If my husband and daughter had been alive at that time, they would be blind beggars. Just imagine that – the people you know who need glasses. There were no corrective lenses back in the Savior’s time. I can’t even imagine it! I can’t imagine the pain and suffering people went through – simple infections killed people. Can you imagine a toothache before dentistry and Novocaine???
The Savior demonstrated His great love and power to the people, directly. He healed the sick, the afflicted. He healed their bodies, their minds, their hearts, their blood, their spirits. He did this out of His love for them.
And this healing that He performed is nothing compared to The Healing that He offers to all of us. He has healed us from the effects of the fall: Death and Sin – if we will simply come unto Him, He will heal us.