Monthly Archives: June 2010

Looking at Blessings…

The oddest thing for me is how the LDS belief in healing works.

Meaning, LDS believe there are three types of sick people:

1. People whom God isn’t going to heal. No matter how much praying or blessing you do, it’s their time, and God will take them or allow them to finish their lives with some sort of disease or discomfort.

2. People who are going to get better. Whether or not they get a prayer or a blessing, they’re going to get better.  God doesn’t need any encouragement to save them.

3. People whom God might heal. These are our biggest concern.  Apparently, there are people who have some illness, malady, or discomfort (even life-threatening ones), and God will intervene only if certain people do certain things.  It might be prayer (maybe, a whole bunch of people have to pray, or just a few), it might take fasting (again, a whole bunch or maybe just a few), it might take priesthood power (maybe a lot of faith and worthiness is needed on the part of the blessor and/or blessee, or maybe not so much), or it might take being on the prayer roll in a Temple.

But frustratingly, we just don’t know.  For any given sick person, we have absolutely no idea which category they are in until they get better, stay the same, or die.  For those in the third category, we don’t know which particular combination of actions God is waiting for.  Have enough people prayed?  Do they need another blessing, or is it a name on the Temple Rolls that is needed?  God won’t tell us, so we just have to hope we hit the right combination to get him to act, hoping the person is in category 3 to begin with.

And even after the fact, we have no way of ever knowing which category the person was in.  If someone gets better, we’ll never know if it was our fasting that did it, or if they were in category #2 and God didn’t need us to fast to take action (or no action on God’s part was needed in the first place).  If the person doesn’t get better (or dies), we don’t know if they were going to go anyway, or if we just didn’t meet the proper combination of fasting/prayer/Priesthood Blessings needed for God to positively intervene.

Even for faithful but analytically minded LDS, this can be a frustrating situation, because there is no way to know what kind of “data” we’re collecting as we go through life.  People in category #2 might be misidentified as being in category #3 if they get better after a fast, prayer or blessing.  While people in category #3 might be misidentified as being in #1 if they die, just because we didn’t know there was more we could do that would call down divine power to heal them.

Truly, God does work in mysterious ways.

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