• Quote of the Day

    “Surely the reason Christ said, ‘Father, forgive them,’ was because even in that terrible hour He knew that this was the message He had come through all eternity to deliver.”
    —Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Faith in His Step and a Song in His Heart

The Ensign has a reminder of just what it takes to be a member of the Church in some parts of the world. In “Faith in His Step and a Song in His Heart” you can read about Brother Paulo Tvuarde of southern Brazil. He is a farmer who walks about 40 kilometers to church every week, unless the mud is so thick that he can’t make it. As the article says, “If Paulo attended church three out of every four Sundays, then he spent more than 300 hours walking nearly 1,600 kilometers (1,000 mi) each year just to attend church!”

It’s always great to read about people who are doing extraordinary things for the sake of Jesus Christ, His gospel, and His Church. Brother Tvuarde has a marvelous attitude and even does missionary work while plowing his fields. Read the article, and then think about complaining about the lack of good parking spaces at your meetinghouse.

The Spiritual Component of Healing

It’s rare that the Church magazines publish an article by an emeritus General Authority, and it’s even rarer that they would publish a second or third article by the same emeritus General Authority. For this reason, it’s remarkable to see in this month’s Ensign the article “The Spiritual Component of Healing” by Elder Alexander B. Morrison. (His last article, “Myths about Mental Illness,” was published in October 2005.)

Reading Elder Morrison’s words on topics such as this is always a treat. In this article, he challenges some of our conceptions of what healing entails and what the role of suffering is in our lives. Here are some of his assertions:

  • Priesthood holders who give healing blessings are subject to the will of God.
  • The gift of healing is manifested in different ways. It could be permanent relief from suffering, or it could be “added strength, understanding, patience, and compassion.”
  • Medicine and faith do not conflict. Faith to be healed often includes faith to seek professional help, and “faith” is not a substitute for prescribed medication.
  • Faith is a prerequisite of the spiritual component of healing and brings peace, which persists “even if the medical, psychological, or social dimensions of illness—be they physical or mental in origin—remain as a ‘thorn in the flesh.’”
  • “There is no intrinsic value in suffering in and of itself. … To suffering we must add compassion, empathy, patience, humility, and a willingness to submit our will to that of God.”

The entire article is well worth reading. It made me reflect on my own experiences with healing. I remember giving blessings on my mission in which I was prompted to tell people to heed medical advice, as well as ones in which I was prompted to tell people that they would have strength to endure their afflictions, including some they had not yet  begun to suffer.

In any event, I find Elder Morrison’s words to ring true. What do you think?

Mission or Admission?

In many countries, young men have a difficult time deciding whether to go on a mission because going away for two years could jeopardize their educational opportunities. Many colleges do not allow deferments of any kind, and the longer you wait after completing your basic schooling, the less likely you are to be admitted to college. This month’s New Era contains a story of a young man in England who was more than qualified to enter Cambridge University but put a mission first. It is titled “Mission or Admission.”

If you can guess the rest of the story, that’s perhaps because we are, after all, talking about the New Era here. But this story also represents the kind of trust we should place in the Lord, and the outcome shouldn’t entirely surprise us. (Of course, not everyone who makes this kind of decision is blessed in the same way, but the blessings do come.) Check out this story and see if there isn’t something each of us can learn from it.