Saturday, November 01, 2008

Revisiting Counsel: To Be Healed

Richard G. Scott

I do so desperately wish for healing. The Lord has not granted a quick miracle, but I had high hopes...

This long recovery is very disheartening. I have worked as hard as I can, but the improvements in my physical condition have been very slow in coming. I have sought for things I can do to accelerate the process, but am frustrated in every effort. It makes me wonder if life is worth continuing the struggle, but I read good counsel advising me to keep on. There are always alternatives, but the best choice is outlined by many of our inspired leaders.

One of the sources I rely on is inspired counsel from Apostle Richard G. Scott. Elder Scott often counsels about troubling issues, and gives sincere advice that is honestly delivered from his heart. In this 1994 General Conference address, Elder Scott offers counsel about what to do when healing is needed, and depending on the help of the Lord seems to be the only answer.

Elder Scott explains that help from the Lord always follows eternal law. He asserts that the better we understand that law, the easier it is to receive His help. He presents some of the principles upon which His healing is predicated. Several things can be intended when we discuss healing. It can mean being cured, or having your burdens eased, or even coming to realize that it is worth it to endure to the end patiently.

Elder Scott says some challenges in life will not be resolved here on earth. For example, the Apostle Paul pled thrice that “a thorn in the flesh” be removed. The Lord simply answered, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” He gave Paul strength to compensate so he could live a most meaningful life. The Lord also wants you to learn how to be cured when that is His will, and how to obtain strength to live with your challenge when He intends it to be an instrument for growth. In either case the Redeemer will support you. That is why He said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; … For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Elder Scott recommends that when we encounter the feeling that we can do no more, temporarily lay your challenges at His feet. Consult the scriptures learn how. For example, when the oppressed people of Alma “did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts,” the Lord blessed them, saying:

I will … ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that … you cannot feel them, … that ye may know … that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

And … the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord
.


The Lord will give relief with divine power when you seek deliverance in humility and faith in Jesus Christ.

We should not expect gains without effort. Our personal growth requires that. Don’t look for a life virtually free from discomfort, pain, pressure, challenge, or grief, for those are the tools a loving Father uses to stimulate our personal growth and understanding. As the scriptures repeatedly affirm, you will be helped as you exercise faith in Jesus Christ.

That faith is demonstrated by a willingness to trust His promises given through His prophets and in His scriptures, which contain His own words. You may not fully understand how to do this yet, but trust that He will help you use your agency to open the doors for His healing to occur. Faith in Christ means we trust Him; we trust His teachings. That leads to hope, and hope brings charity, the pure love of Christ. We sense that peaceful feeling that comes when we sense His concern, His love, and His capacity to cure us or to ease our burdens with His healing power.

Is there a potentially destructive pattern in your life? When discouraged do you feel overwhelmed and in desperation seek for others to solve your problems, overlooking your own capacity to make much improvement? Do you understand the necessity to do what you can so that the Lord can do what He will to help you?


Elder Scott teaches that our access to the Savior’s help comes in different ways. The most direct and often the most powerful way is through humble, trusting prayers to Father in Heaven, which are answered through the Holy Ghost to our spirit. Yet this help is sometimes difficult to initiate and hard to recognize when you are learning how to pray with faith.

If so, Elder Scott counsels us to begin elsewhere. Trust someone near to you; then as you learn, that trust will extend to God and His healing. He says we should begin with a friend or bishop who understands the teachings of the Savior. Often they have personally obtained healing through application of truth with faith in the Redeemer. Or start by reading, pondering, and applying the teachings of the scriptures. They are a very powerful source of assistance. While examples and anecdotes will help to understand principle, you will find that power comes from scriptural doctrine.

Elder Scott cites several scriptural references:

•“I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.

• “Come unto me with full purpose of heart.

• “Return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you.”

• “Turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, [and] if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage.”

Elder Scott points out that priesthood leaders cannot fill this need, even if they had the time and inclination. He instructs that priesthood blessings depend upon our faith, purity, and obedience and that of the priesthood holder. These have great effect on the pronouncement and realization of the blessing. Healing can occur in the act, yet more often it occurs over a period of time determined by the faith and obedience of the individual and the will of the Lord.

I learned that Elder Scott believes that the pace of healing is generally set by the individual, not by the Lord. He expects you to use other resources available, including competent professional help when indicated; then He provides the balance needed according to His will.

Elder Scott asserts that the power of love is a potent healer. He warns that Satan would separate you from the power of the love of God, kindred, and friends, who want to help. Satan would lead you to feel that the walls are pressing in around you and there is no escape or relief. He wants you to believe you lack the capacity to help yourself and that no one else is really interested. If he succeeds, you will be driven to further despair and heartache. His strategy is to have you think you are not appreciated, loved, or wanted so that you in despair will turn to self-criticism, and in the extreme even to despising yourself and feeling evil when you are not. This counsel particularly hits home, and reminds me to remember that discouragement is a tool that the adversary will use against us.

As a remedy to these feelings, Elder Scott counsels us to remember that the wisdom of the Lord is greater than the cunning of the devil. If you have such bleak and dark thoughts, break through those helpless feelings by reaching out in love to another in need. That may sound cruel and unfeeling when you long so much for healing, but it is based upon truth. Paul taught, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”

We need to look outside of our own concerns to find healing love. You become an instrument through which the Lord can bless another. The Spirit will let you feel the Savior’s concern and interest, then the warmth and strength of His love. President Kimball said: “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another mortal that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other.”

When you are worthy, a challenge becomes a contribution to growth, not a barrier to it. Yet no matter what the source of difficulty and no matter how you begin to obtain relief—through a qualified professional therapist, doctor, priesthood leader, friend, concerned parent, or loved one—no matter how you begin, those solutions will never provide a complete answer. The final healing comes through faith in Jesus Christ and His teachings, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit and obedience to His commandments. That is why human reaction to challenge in life that engenders hatred, despondency, distrust, anger, or revenge must be supplanted by the tender mercies of a loving Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son.

Elder Scott wisely advises us that though anguish in our life sometimes comes from evil acts of others, the offended is not the one to initiate punishment or retribution. We should leave it to others who have that responsibility. Learn to forgive; though terribly hard, it will release you and open the way to a newness of life. This is such a beautiful concept -- the world would be a much nicer place, if more of us believed in it.

Elder Scott summarizes,
...do what you can do a step at a time. Seek to understand the principles of healing from the scriptures and through prayer. Help others. Forgive. “Submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.” Above all, exercise faith in Jesus Christ.


Elder Scott concludes,

If you are caught on a plateau of spiritual healing and don’t seem to be making progress, if you seem to be constantly dependent on another mortal for support, look up in faith to Jesus Christ. I know that the Master loves you and will heal you according to your faith in Him.


I do not know how many others find such counsel to be an invaluable guide. I personally have chosen to continue, striving to overcome the health obstacles and challenges in my life, partly in response to such counsel.

3 comments:

Jim Cobabe said...

I hope it doesn't sound like pride, to be quoting Elder Scott. I look for healing solace in such words. That, on the best days. Other days, I turn my face to the wall, and weep in my pain and sorrow.

Billy Bob Bambino Bombabious Baby the Third said...

Rather than pride, I think that learning from others is the root of wisdom...

He mentions that we should turn first to the Lord, then to others for help. I hope you know you can always turn to me and my family. We love you so much and pray for you daily.

His comments about challenge reminds me of a word that the Koreans use: Woegi. It means crisis. It is the combination of two characters that mean "danger" and "opportunity". I wonder how much of our life is spent focusing on the danger without anticipating the opportunity...

Jim Cobabe said...

Bill,

I was just posting a comment about assembly instructions, which seem preoccupied with danger warnings more than actual positive instruction.

I guess life is risky. Danger lurks all around us, but opportunity abounds, even in the same circumstance. We need to venture into the unknown some times, even with uncertainty.

I hope we are charting the right course. I have made my share of bad choices. Perhaps you will find yourself facing danger and opportunity.

Choose wisely.