Healed by the Power of the Lamb of God – 1 Nephi 11:30-31

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.

dishydrotic eczema, or something…no fun

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.

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Faith, Joy, Iniquity, and Despair (Moroni 10:22 and 9:25)

I’m going a little bit out of order, but it works…

In Moroni 10, we read:

“And if ye have no hope ye must needs be in despair; and despair cometh because of iniquity.” – Moroni 10:22

This is kind of depressing. I mean, who likes thinking about despair. No one. BUT, we still need to think about it! How else can we protect ourselves against this if we don’t study it and understand how it can come into our lives???

Here, we learn that a lack of hope leads to despair. And despair comes because of iniquity.

I want to be careful as I write this. I know that there are other reasons people feel hopeless. I know that despair can come of depression and other chemical problems in the body. So, I don’t want to seem insensitive. I don’t think that despair only comes through iniquity.

However, iniquity will only ever result in despair. There is no other consequence of iniquity.

Additionally, I have experienced despair in my life. I have seen a therapist during a particularly dark time in my life. I learned to look at my own life with a sort of detachment – to look at the facts of the events in my life, rather than the emotion that was laced with those facts. And I learned how to change what I was doing (that was unhealthy), so that I could pull myself up out of despair and into hope.

I had despair, but mine was not a chemical issue. My doctor would have prescribed medication. Medications, however, are riddled with side-effects, and there is more than one way to “skin a cat.”

Since then, I have learned to apply the same techniques. This is where meditation comes in handy. And when I’m experiencing hopelessness or despair, often the Lord will teach me how I can change. I may not be out robbing banks, doing drugs, or prostituting myself – I’m not iniquitous, but there is a disconnect between me and the Spirit of God. And the connection is the same no matter how great or small the sin.

We learn in the chapter before:

“My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever.” – Moroni 9:25

It is through Christ that we can be lifted up. Sometimes we are best able to access Christ and His atonement through therapeutic practices. When I saw my doctor, she explained that the practices and “homework” she was giving me – processing the experiences I had in my life that caused trauma and bad patterns – would help to liberate me so that the Atonement could have an effect in my life.

In other words – therapy was a blessing of the Atonement. Christ suffered and has given men and women the wisdom to help each other! Going to therapy was a gift of Christ’s suffering. The gifts of the Atonement don’t only come through abstract prayer sessions. (Of course, I believe prayer is important!) Sometimes the answers to these prayers come through other, more practical forms of work.

In any case – the result is the same. When we are able to access the power of the atonement (whether it is during our prayers, with the assistance of a therapist, or with the assistance of medications), once we can access that power, our souls are filled with hope of His glory. We begin to feel the promise of the joy of rest.

Anyway – there is so much more I could write about this. I can’t even begin to pretend that this blog post is the beginning and end of this subject. But I hope that it scratched a surface for you. If you are feeling despair, think of how you might be disconnected from God and Christ. Perhaps your despair is caused by your own sin. Perhaps this despair is caused by the sin of another. Maybe your despair is caused by the malfunction of a mortal body or brain. Any of these scenarios can be healed through the Atonement of Christ. Pray to the Lord in Christ’s name. Listen to the advice he gives you. Maybe you’ll be guided to read a scripture. Maybe you’ll find you need to repent and change. Maybe your’e answer will come as a prompting to get more professional help for scars and wounds that need more than a proverbial band-aid and antibiotic cream.

No matter what, I know that the Lord will help us.

I know this because I know that the Lord wants us to have joy. He promises us joy, peace, and rest. He wants us to experience all of His greatest blessings. Best of all, He doesn’t expect us to be able to have any of these blessings without His help

Healing the Sick (3 Nephi 17:7-10)

In the Book of Mormon, when Christ visits the people in the Americas, we read:

“Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.

For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.

And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him.

And they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his feet, and did worship him; and as many as could come for the multitude did kiss his feet, insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears.” – 3 Nephi 17:7-10

Christ heals the people. In my mind, this would result in unspeakable joy. Any person who is sick or otherwise afflicted grows weary of illness. I haven’t had to experience too much in life, but I’ve been sick.

While I was pregnant, and for a year or so after, I experienced chronic pelvic pain. I have had kidney stones. I have had severe eczema causing rashes all over my body. I have had the flu. I’ve had a cold. I’ve had the chicken pox. I’ve had endometriosis. I’ve had my tonsils removed.

And I’ve had it really, really easy.

But in those times of suffering, the idea of healing…well…that was joy. That was music to my ears. When I passed a kidney stone (after days of torturous pain and hospitalization), I jumped for joy! I called out to my husband! “Look! My kidney stone! I passed it.”

Sounds silly. But anyone who has experienced this kind of pain understands.

We have all suffered illness. Physical, mental, spiritual, emotional. We all need healing.

There are so many people in this world who suffer so much more than I do. And that’s what Christ heals us from: suffering in all forms.

What Joy.

When we turn to Christ, He will ease our suffering. He will teach us. He will strengthen us. And eventually, He will deliver us.

Comfort will Come (Jacob 3:1-2)

The scriptures in Jacob 2 and 3 have always meant a lot to me. Unfortunately, actually. In Jacob 2, Jacob is preaching to the people. They had started committing whoredoms – plural marriage and concubines, though it had not been sanctioned by God.

The men and fathers were unfaithful to their wives. This was destroying families.

As I said, I can relate to this, I’ve experienced divorce in many ways. My parents were divorced. They both remarried (separate, new spouses), and then they both eventually went through divorces again. Divorce isn’t easy for children.

As an adult, I was married in the temple, but my ex-husband wasn’t faithful to his commitments. Being betrayed was difficult. My heart and my family was broken. I divorced him.

But there is hope.

Jacob teaches:”But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction.

O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.” – Jacob 3:1-2

After admonishing the unfaithful, Jacob then spoke to the pure in heart. He promised them that the Lord would console them, plead their cause, and send down justice.

I can testify that this is true. While I was going through these trials (of betrayal and divorce), life felt so hopelessly depressing. I didn’t know what would happen in my life, I only had these words (and other scriptures) that offered small rays of hope – of promise – for a brighter and happier future.

When we choose the Lord, the comfort will come. It isn’t easy. When I chose to be separated from my family, I was the primary chorister. I was teaching the children the music of the church. I was teaching them the song, “Families Can Be Together Forever” even though my supposed forever family was dying.

It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t comfortable. But I put my trust in the Lord.

And the comfort came. In fact, it wasn’t long before the comfort came. The Lord promised, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4). I mourned the death of my marriage, I looked to the Lord, and I was comforted.

In time, I started having experiences that were hard, but they were confidence building. I got a job. I ran a marathon. Neither of these things were easy, but they were a great source of confidence and joy during an otherwise difficult time.

And, then, best of all, this challenge eventually came to an end. I was healed from much of the pain, I started dating, and then I met and married the love of my life. In the moment of pain, I couldn’t imagine comfort, joy, or healing. But it came.

I can testify to what Jacob says. If we are pure in heart, and if we stay committed to Him in our lives and in our covenants, then we will receive consolation. We will have peace. We will be able to feast on His love. Our pain will be healed, and we will have joy despite the challenges that we have experienced.