Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Elder Ronald A. Rasband
Brother David L. Beck
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
President Henry B. Eyring
President Thomas S. Monson
Healing the Sick
Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
I will concentrate my remarks on healing blessings involving the power of the priesthood. We have this priesthood power and we should all be prepared to use it properly. Current increases in natural disasters and financial challenges show that we will need this power even more in the future than in the past.
Many scriptures teach that the servants of the Lord “shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16:18; see also Matthew 9:18, Mark 5:23, 6:5, 7:32-35, 16:18, Luke 4:40; Acts 9:12,17, 28:8; D&C 42:44, 48, 66:9). Miracles happen when the authority of the priesthood is used to bless the sick. I have experienced these miracles. As a boy and as a man I have seen healings as miraculous as any recorded in the scriptures and so have many of you.
There are five parts to the use of priesthood authority to bless the sick: (1) the anointing, (2) the sealing of the anointing, (3) faith, (4) the words of the blessing, and (5) the will of the Lord.
.In the New Testament we read that Jesus’ apostles “anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them” (Mark 6:13). The book of James teaches the role of anointing in connection with the other elements in a healing blessing by priesthood authority:
“Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up” (James 5:14-15).
Sealing the Anointing
When someone has been anointed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood, the anointing is sealed by that same authority. To seal something means to affirm it, to make it binding for its intended purpose. When elders anoint a sick person and seal the anointing, they open the windows of heaven for the Lord to pour forth the blessing He wills for the person afflicted. President Brigham Young taught:
“When I lay hands on the sick, I expect the healing power and influence of God to pass through me to the patient, and the disease to give way.
“When we are prepared, when we are holy vessels before the Lord, a stream of power from the Almighty can pass through the tabernacle of the administrator to the system of the patient, and the sick are made whole”.
Faith is essential for healing by the powers of heaven. The Book of Mormon even teaches that “if there be no faith among the children of men, God can do no miracle among them” (Ether 12:12; also see D&C 35:9), 1 Nephi 7:12). In a notable talk on administering to the sick, President Spencer W. Kimball said:
“The need of faith is often underestimated. The ill one and the family often seem to depend wholly on the power of the priesthood and the gift of healing that they hope the administering brethren may have, whereas the greater responsibility is with him who is blessed.[T]he major element is the faith of the individual when the person is conscious and accountable. “Thy faith hath made thee whole” (Matt 9:22) was repeated so often by the Master that it almost became a chorus.”.
Words of the Blessing
Another part of a priesthood blessing is the words of blessing spoken by the elder after he seals the anointing. These words can be very important but their content is not essential and they are not recorded on the records of the Church. In some priesthood blessings-like a patriarchal blessing-the words spoken are the essence of the blessing. But in a healing blessing it is the other parts of the blessing-the anointing, the sealing, faith, and the will of the Lord-that are essential elements.
Will of the Lord
Young men and older men, please take special note of what I will say now. As we exercise the undoubted power of the priesthood of God and as we treasure His promise that He will hear and answer the prayer of faith, we must always remember that faith and the healing power of the priesthood cannot produce a result contrary to the will of Him whose priesthood it is. This principle is taught in the revelation directing that the elders of the Church shall lay their hands upon the sick. The Lord’s promise is that ‘he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed” .
The Divine Call of a Missionary
Elder Ronald A. Rasband
Senior President of the Presidency of the Seventy
With the encouragement and permission of President Henry B. Eyring, I would like to relate to you an experience, very special to me, which I had with him several years ago when he was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. Each apostle holds the keys of the kingdom and exercises them at the direction and assignment of the President of the Church. Elder Eyring was assigning missionaries to their fields of labor and as part of my training, I was invited to observe.
I joined Elder Eyring early one morning in a room where several large computer screens had been prepared for the session. There was also a staff member from the Missionary Department who had been assigned to assist that day.
First, we knelt together in prayer. I remember Elder Eyring using very sincere words asking the Lord to bless him to know “perfectly” where the missionaries should be assigned. The word “perfectly” said much about the faith that Elder Eyring exhibited that day.
As the process began, a picture of the missionary to be assigned would come up on one of the computer screens. As each picture appeared, to me it was as if the missionary was in the room with us. Elder Eyring would then greet the missionary with his kind and endearing voice: “Good morning Elder Reier or Sister Yang. How are you today?”
He told me that in his own mind he liked to think of where the missionaries would conclude their mission. This would aid him to know where they were to be assigned. Elder Eyring would then study the comments from the bishops and stake presidents, medical notes, and other issues relating to each missionary.
He then referred to another screen which displayed areas and missions across the world. Finally, as he was prompted by the Spirit, he would assign the missionary to his field of labor.
From others of the Twelve, I have learned that this general method is typical each week as Apostles of the Lord assign scores of missionaries to serve throughout the world.
Having served as a missionary in my own country in the Eastern States Mission, a number of years ago, I was deeply moved by this experience. Also, having served as a mission president, I was grateful for a further witness in my heart that the missionaries I had received in New York City were sent to me by revelation.
After assigning a few missionaries, Elder Eyring turned to me as he pondered on a particular missionary and said: “So Brother Rasband, where do you think this missionary should go?” I was startled.
I quietly suggested to Elder Eyring that I did not know, and that I did not know I could know. He looked at me directly and simply said: “Brother Rasband, pay closer attention and you too can know!” With that, I pulled my chair a little closer to Elder Eyring and the computer screen. I paid much closer attention!
A couple of other times as the process moved along. Elder Eyring would turn to me and say, “Well, Brother Rasband, where do you feel this missionary should go?” I would name a particular mission and Elder Eyring would look at me thoughtfully and say: “No, that’s not it!” He would then continue to assign the missionaries where he had felt prompted.
As we were nearing the completion of that assignment meeting, a picture of a certain missionary appeared on the screen. I had the strongest prompting, the strongest of the morning, that the missionary we had before us was to be assigned to Japan. I did not know that Elder Eyring was going to ask me on this one, but amazingly he did. I rather tentatively and humbly said to him, “Japan?” Elder Eyring responded immediately: “Yes, let’s go there.” Up on the computer screen the missions of Japan appeared. I instantly knew that the missionary was to go to the Japan Sapporo Mission.
Elder Eyring did not ask me the exact name of the mission, but he did assign that missionary to the Japan Sapporo Mission.
Privately in my heart, I was deeply touched and sincerely grateful to the Lord for allowing me to experience the prompting, to know where that missionary should go.
At the end of the meeting Elder Eyring bore his witness to me of the love the Savior has for each missionary assigned to go out into the world and preach the restored gospel. He said that it is by the great love of the Savior that His servants know where these wonderful, young men and women, senior missionaries, and senior couple missionaries are to serve. I had a further witness that morning that every missionary called in this Church, and assigned or reassigned to a particular mission, is done by revelation from the Lord God Almighty through one of these, His servants.
The Magnificent Aaronic Priesthood
Brother David L. Beck
Young Men General Presidency
I am honored tonight to speak to the amazing young men of the Church. I have been blessed to meet many of you throughout the world. Your enthusiasm is contagious. You face your challenges with extraordinary strength and courage. I express my love to you and the confidence I have in you.
You inspire the people around you more than you can imagine. Listen to the words of a young man who is not of our faith, trying to describe his friend who holds the Aaronic Priesthood..
“I do notice something different about Luis.This guy is nothing like.other people. It’s just something you see in him.I don’t even know what it is, but he’s different than all of them. It’s just something you feel; it’s not something’.you see visually. You just feel it.”
There is something very important that sets Luis and you apart from other young men. You have received the Aaronic Priesthood. It is a sacred gift and many do not fully appreciate it. Tonight I will help you see how you can discover for yourself the magnificence of the Aaronic priesthood.
When God entrusts you with His sacred priesthood, He shows great confidence in you. He knows He can trust you to use the priesthood to serve others, just as He has trusted other young men to do some of His most important work.
For example, the world would not have the Book of Mormon’s powerful witness of Jesus Christ if it had not been for two young men whom God trusted. Mormon, the prophet who compiled this sacred record, was just 10 years old when he was assigned to observe and later record the history of his people. At age 15, he was “visited of the Lord, and tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus” (Mormon 1:15).
The Book of Mormon was translated and published by Joseph Smith who was called to his great work at age 14, when he was visited by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
President Monson has said:
“Great things are expected of you.Like a clarion call comes the word of the Lord to you, to me, and to priesthood holders everywhere: “Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed in all diligence” (D&C 107:99).
Continue in Patience
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Of the First Presidency
Patience isn’t Merely Waiting
When I was 10 years old, my family became refugees in a new land. I had always been a good student in school-that is, until we arrived in West Germany. There, my educational experience was a significantly different one. The geography we studied in my school was new to me. The history we studied was also very different. Before, I had been learning Russian as a second language; now it was English. This was hard for me. Indeed, there were moments when I truly believed my tongue simply was not made to speak English.
Because so much of the curriculum was new and strange to me, I fell behind. For the first time in my life I began to wonder if I was simply not smart enough for school.
Fortunately, I had a teacher who taught me to be patient. He taught me that steady and consistent work-patient persistence-would help me to learn.
Over time difficult subjects became clearer-even English. Slowly, I began to see that if I applied myself consistently, I could learn. It didn’t come quickly but, with patience, it did come.
From that experience I learned that patience was far more than simply waiting for something to happen-patience required actively working towards worthwhile goals, and not getting discouraged when results didn’t appear instantly or without effort.
There is an important concept here: patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can-working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our heart are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well.
Impatience, on the other hand, is a symptom of selfishness. It is a trait of the self-absorbed. It arises from the all-too-prevalent condition called “center of the universe” syndrome which leads people to believe that the world revolves around them and that all others are just supporting cast in the grand theater of mortality in which only they have the starring role.
.The Children of Israel waited 40 years in the wilderness before they could enter the Promised Land. Jacob waited seven long years for Rachel. The Jews waited 70 years in Babylon before they could return to rebuild the temple. The Nephites waited for a sign of Christ’s birth, even knowing that if the sign did not come, they would perish.
Joseph Smith’s trials in Liberty Jail caused even the prophet of God to wonder, “How long?”
In each case, Heavenly Father had a purpose in requiring that His children wait.
Act in All Diligence
President Henry B. Eyring
Of the First Presidency
I speak to you tonight of diligence in the Lord’s service. Recent experiences led me to that choice.
One was my careful study of the remarkable new booklet for the Aaronic Priesthood. It is entitled Duty to God. As I read and pondered what it expects young men to do and to become, I realized that it was describing what President Brigham Young promised to the priesthood holder who is diligent over a lifetime:
“An individual who holds a share in the Priesthood, and continues faithful to his calling, who delights himself continually in doing the things God requires at his hands, and continues through life in the performance of every duty will secure to himself not only the privilege of receiving, but the knowledge how to receive the things of God, that he may know the mind of God continually.”
Just a few weeks ago, I saw a new deacon start on that path of diligence. His father showed me a diagram his son had created that showed every row in that chapel, a number for each deacon who would be assigned to pass the sacrament, and their route through the chapel to serve the sacrament to the members. The father and I smiled to think that a boy, without being asked to do it, would make a plan to be sure he would succeed in his priesthood service.
I recognized in his diligence the pattern from the new Duty to God booklet. It is to learn what the Lord expects of you, make a plan to do it, act on your plan with diligence, and then share with others how your experience changed you and blessed others.
The deacon made that diagram to be sure that he would be able to do what the Lord had called him to do. At the start of his priesthood service, the Lord was teaching him to delight in continually “doing the things God requires at his hands.”
The other experiences that led me to speak of diligence tonight was watching a man near the end of his priesthood service in this life. He had been a bishop twice. His first call as a bishop, years before I met him, had been when he was young. Now, he was old, released for the second time as a bishop. His increasing physical limitations made any priesthood service very difficult.
Yet he had a plan to act in diligence. He sat every Sunday he could get to Church near the row nearest the door where most of the people would enter for the sacrament meeting. He got there early to be sure a seat was vacant. Each person arriving could see his look of love and welcome, just as they did when he sat on the stand as their bishop. His influence warmed and lifted us because we knew something of the price he paid to serve. His task as a bishop was finished; his priesthood service did not end.
Preparation Brings Blessings
President Thomas S. Monson
Spiritual strength frequently comes through selfless service. Some years ago I visited what was then called the California Mission, where I interviewed a young missionary from Georgia. I recall saying to him, “Do you send a letter home to your parents every week?”
He replied, “Yes, Brother Monson.”
Then I asked, “Do you enjoy receiving letters from home?”
He didn’t answer. At length, I inquired, “When was the last time you had a letter from home?”
With a quavering voice, he responded, “I’ve never had a letter from home. Father’s just a deacon, and Mother’s not a member of the Church. They pleaded with me not to come. The said that if I left on a mission they would not be writing to me. What shall I do?”
I offered a silent prayer to my Heavenly Father: “What should I tell this young servant of Thine, who has sacrificed everything to serve Thee?”
And the inspiration came. I said, “Elder, you send a letter home to your mother and father every week of your mission. Tell them what how you are doing. Tell them how much you love them, and then bear your testimony to them.”
He asked, “Will they then write to me?”
I responded, “Then they will write o you.”
We parted, and I went on my way. Months later I was attending a stake conference in Southern California when a young missionary came up to me and said, “Brother Monson, do you remember me? I’m the missionary who had not received a letter from my mother or my father during my first nine months in the mission field. You told me, “Send a letter home every week, Elder, and your parents will write to you.” Then he asked, “Do you remember that promise, Elder Monson?”
I remembered. I inquired, “Have you heard from your parents?”
He reached into his pocket and took out a sheaf of letters with an elastic band around them, took a letter from the top of the stack and said, “Have I heard from my parents! Listen to this letter from my mothers: “Son, we so m uch enjoy your letters. We’re proud of you, our missionary. Guess what? Dad has been ordained a priest. He’s preparing to baptize me. I’m meeting with the missionaries; and one year from now we want to come to California as you complete your mission, for we, with you would like to become a forever family by entering the temple of the Lord.” This young missionary asked, “Brother Monson, does Heavenly Father always answers prayers and fulfill Apostle’s promises?”
I replied, “When one has faith as you have demonstrated, our Heavenly Father hears such prayers and answers in His own way.”