Episodes

Radio Free Mormon: 018: Faith Not To Be Healed

Today Behind enemy lines, Radio Free Mormon dives into what it means to have “Faith Not To Be Healed”.  RFM explores what we have taught about healing, its principles, how healing take place, what it means when the healing doesn’t occur, and how central healing power is to the Restored Gospel.  Do you have faith not to be healed?

Play

45 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 018: Faith Not To Be Healed

  1. What amazing arrogance on Bednar’s part. Good Grief!!!

    I have witnessed a priesthood blessing of healing. I have witnessed a Christian bless my husband and he was immediately healed. So I do believe in healings. But my gosh! Bednar is taking the priesthood blessing to the realms of some of the BofM villians. This is actually so funny. These are the instances that show blatantly that the LDS church is a huge fraud in its claims of authority.

  2. Instead of making a long list of what the person asking for a blessing needs to be doing right, perhaps they should follow Jesus’ example, because priesthood line goes back to the Savior?Jesus rebuked any unclean spirits and healed the person on the spot. Can you imagine if Jesus told the lame and leprous to make sure their temple recommend questions had been answered appropriately before requesting a healing blessing?

    It seems these guys are actually beginning to believe that when they speak, their words are scripture! So if an apostle asks you if you have faith ‘to not be healed’, makes me wonder what he’s been smokin’.

    • More great comments, Gale!

      I do not know that this is done intentionally by Elder Scott, but the effect is the same; you must be perfectly righteous and obedient and faithful in order to be healed.

      That leaves me out.

      And pretty much every other member of the human race.

  3. Sorry to chime in again, but I just read about you at Pure Mormonism and also at Rational Faiths —all on the same day!
    Dannnnnnnng you are getting way too popular. You will for sure get a bad case of ‘the Big Head’, and pride will swirl about you as a thick fog. Congratulations! You deserve a bit of recognition.

  4. So RFM, I take it that the adversary has won and taken possession of your soul as you truly laugh like the wicked one himself. =P

    Great once again. Time to revolutionize LDS thinking. I think together with the criticism we need to also a pathway moving forward.

    What will the LDS church 2.0 look like? And how many times has the church reinvented itself anyways.

    • The laugh did sound sort of diabolical, didn’t it?

      I almost edited it out, but decided to leave it in as it was totally organic.

      I love it when I make myself laugh!!!

      • You’re on the right track when you can make yourself laugh!!

        I actually loved it, and we’ve all cracked evil laugh at least once or twice in our lifetimes.

  5. RFM,

    I always enjoy your podcasts and thought you made some good points. It seems like your main point was that we have overstated healing in priesthood blessings in general and have come up with a long list of rationalizations to explain why healing does not happen. I think that is a valid point. I believe that there are some people that have the spiritual gift of healing that sometimes happens with priesthood blessings. I believe that these happen, though, I will acknowledge that they are the exception not the rule. Is that the point you were making, or do you not believe there is any healing going on across the board? I believe that there are people who have this gift who may not be using it or recognized, but that people assume that because someone holds a leadership position they will be a super healer, which does not seem to be the case (as you’ve demonstrated in the podcast). Thanks for a good discussion, as always.

    • Good questions, Felix!

      I am not trying to say that no healings happen anywhere in the LDS Church. That would be painting with too broad a stroke.

      I believe they may. But if they do happen, it seems to be happening only among the rank and file.

      And if they do happen, it is in spite of the example being set by church leadership–not because of it.

      RFM

      • It’s interesting, after listening to your podcast, someone in our ward testimony meeting told a healing story. The person healing (who was just a rank and file member) felt impressed to give a blessing, the person receiving the blessing was not a member of the Church and was unconscious. Afterwards, both parties felt that there was a healing, but there were no strings attached and it all seemed to happen spontaneously and organically. This seemed to be what you discussed at the beginning and what was outlined in the BOM, NT and early church. I agree with you that putting all kinds of conditions on the person blessing, the person receiving the blessing and the will of God really complicates things. Maybe it’s a bit like humor, the more forced and analyzed it is, the less powerful it becomes. Thanks again for your great podcasts and all the work you put into research.

      • You made the point in another comment that priesthood is power and authority and we often lump the two together. I agree and also think there is pretty strong precedent in the scriptures and early church for gifts of the spirit being unique to certain people. We’ve moved away from that idea and have put it all in with priesthood. The logical outcome is that the higher the priesthood rank, the more power. From the stories and your analysis, more and more people are expecting and asking leaders for healings based on a higher rank, but it does not seem to be happening. Acknowledging that this is a spiritual gift, in my mind, is a logical explanation, but begs some uncomfortable questions like “can someone outside the Church have this gift?” “Can women have this gift?”

        • There are many spiritual gifts, to be sure.

          But somewhere along the way, the LDS church co-opted the gift of healing through the priesthood.

          It’s not that they don’t say it can’t happen by faith alone.

          It is just that in practice, that seems to be all they talk about–the gift of healing through the power of the priesthood.

          It does appear that, whether you call it a priesthood ordinance or gift of the spirit, not a lot of healings are manifesting themselves through the LDS top leadership.

  6. Love RFM! I would sum up healing with one simple example that NEVER happens – amputees having limbs grow back. It doesn’t happen. Show me a case where this happens, especially after a priesthood blessing, and maybe I will believe again. Other healings have nothing to do with blessings from anyone, regardless of any priesthood blessing or not. The ailments that could be remedied often happen with or without medical intervention just like they happen with or without a blessing. It is simply wishful thinking on our part not wanting to cope with the fact that we are not in control of everything and neither are the heavens. If you had a life threatening aliment, and you could only choose one or the other, receive a priesthood blessing or seek a medical professional, I am sure most if not all would choose the latter. This is where I meet Bednar’s criteria that I have the faith I wouldn’t be healed by a priesthood blessing. Science wins again. Keep em’ coming!

    • That really is a problem, isn’t it?

      I remember there being a story circulated in early LDS church history about Welsh miners who suffered a cave-in, and received priesthood blessings, and the sound of their broken ribs being restored was like the sound of baskets being crunched.

      Or something like that.

      Anyway, I expect that story is probably about as verifiable as Elder Holland’s biker story . . .

  7. RFM,

    I have a confession. The first time I heard the RFM podcast, I recognized the voice and the JW story from another podcast. I tracked that thing down in fairly short order and found what I was looking for.

    I noticed in this last podcast you dropped just enough key personal information to be identified (birth year, baptism year, mission year, etc.).

    Do you think TSCC knows who you are? And if so, have you heard from them? If not, are you anxious at all about being discovered?

    In any event, I love the work you do.

    Illegitimi non carborundum!!!

    • Congratulations, Matt!

      There are certainly enough bread crumbs for anybody who really wants to figure out who I am to figure it out.

      And “certain podcasts” where I appear under my real name are sufficient in many instances, it appears.

      Oh well.

      The drawbacks of having a readily identifiable set of vocal chords, I suppose. ;^)

  8. RFM,

    IF priesthood blessings of healing were a real thing the survival rates of terminal illnesses would be higher in Mormon communities. More people would recover from comas. Less invasive surgery would be needed. I don’t know of any statistical data that supports this notion. Not even to a small degree.

  9. Dear RFM,

    I was just listening to this podcast again. I chuckled out loud at the emphasis you placed on the word ‘succor’. It is certainly a quaint word to use; I guess it must show special reverence to use an out-of-date word in a conference address. Then I thought that perhaps he favors this word because he is honestly saying that the conference audience are a “sucker!!” for believing his “miracle” stories. haha!

    • A touch, a touch, I do confess!

      Brilliant!

      Am I the only one who read “succor” in Edgar Rice Burroughs stories as a kid, though?

  10. The institutional church has conflated power with authority to expand their control.

    There only reference in all the scriptures to priesthood power is D&C 128, a letter from Joseph where her mentions obtaining the power of the priesthood in conjunction with the sealing power.

    That’s it.

    No other mention of priesthood power.

    There is the power of God, the power of godliness, the power of the spirit, and of course the power of faith.

    Read James carefully. (Where we get the doctrine of blessings and healing) the elders are called to preform an ordinance of anointing into death.

    If the person has faith, the prayer of faith heals them. Not priesthood. Faith

    We are worshiping a false good of priesthood.

    No wonder blessings rarely work

    • That is an incredible video, isn’t it?

      It looks like Susan Bednar is so terrified she is ready to chew her right leg off.

  11. Dear RFM,

    “chew her right leg off.” ?????????????????

    I can’t believe you come up with this stuff!

    I’m quite sure I will stop laughing over this in perhaps 15-20 minutes.

    You nailed it!

  12. Well, we need to give some credit to the placebo effect. We can call prayer & priesthood blessings the ultimate placebo effects.

    Where do we turn to now for Priesthood Authority & the True Church or is the Kingdom of God simply within us? Luke 17:21

  13. Interesting podcast. I have been present and have seen my father heal a less active, good man, sentenced to death by doctors and promised him extended time to get his family sealed to him in the temple. Mission accomplished. I have blessed and been an instrument in bringing healing to non-member family members of families as well as members I have been fortunate enough to home teach. I have watched simple priesthood men bring healing to common folk, members, and non-members. An Elder holds the same priesthood as the prophet, just different keys. No difference, no greater power, so there should be no expectation by anyone thinking a blessing by a leader is any better or of greater value. That happens far to often in the church. I am no special priesthood holder, with many weaknesses, but have been able to bless a man who suffered back problems for years, with a promise that led to a discovery of a surgeon who changed his life for the better. I know the differrence of feeling I could say or promnise something, and not being able to promise anything, just couldn’t say it, even when I wanted to. I also know the difference of bleesing someone with a clean vessel (me that is) and not. I also know that the faith of the familiy, the reciever and the person giving the blessing plays a role and I also know that the Lord’s will, in the end, will be done. Faith is an amazing principle and I wish I had the fatih to do many things, but I regretably don’t. I beleive our sisters and wives have healing powers that can bless their husbands and sons that have been given the assignment to bear the priesthood and perform the blessings. I am sure women, in special situations have healed as well. So to summarize, this podcast is interesting, but misses the mark, but that is just my opinion. The faith not to be healed could also be having the faith to accept the Lord’s will for us in spite of our hopes and wishes and even our faith. I think that is what the apostles you reference in the pocast meant. Just my thoughts.

    • I appreciate your thoughts, Brian, and I appreciate you!

      You are a good man!

      If church leaders said the things you say in your comment, I would have much less to criticize!

      ;^)

  14. This is a really interesting topic that I have gone back and forth with over the years for many of the reasons cited by RFM. I believe there were some really good points made in this podcast and I enjoyed listening. I really liked the laugh that almost seemed a bit sinister. This may not be a popular stance in this thread, but I do believe that prayer can work and does in many different faiths around the word. I think a priesthood blessing is another form of prayer that is both acknowledged and approved of by God. My wife was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. The stance I took was that blessings either have the potential power to heal or they don’t. If they don’t, then there is no need to have them. My wife was given several priesthood blessings along the way and was promised to be healed. On one particular occasion, she was given a blessing when her symptoms were so painful she felt she could not go on. I watched her pain go away right after the blessing and she went peacefully to sleep. This is just one of many experiences we had that gave us first hand evidence that blessing can and do work. I also received blessings as a way to help me cope with the stress of being a provider to my family and caretaker of my wife. The peace I received would be very difficult to deny. I have to say I find the talk Elder Benar gave to be something I don’t care for or understand. Fortunately for us, my wife was healed. She got through it and we both have a testimony of priesthood blessings. The gospel can be complex, messy and difficult to understand at times, especially when you add in the culture and imperfection of leaders and members, but it can also be an amazing force for good in our lives.

    • Thanks for your comments, Tagge!

      I want to chime in with agreement that I believe miracles can and do occur in the lives of LDS members. I know because I have experienced them.

      Maybe I will podcast about that at some time.

      I have to hasten to acknowledge that I believe miracles can and do occur in the lives of non-LDS members, as well.

      And I have to finally observe that, to the extent miracles happen in the lives of the LDS, it almost seems to be in spite of what the leaders say, rather than because of it.

      Thanks for listening!

      • Thanks RFM. First of all, I apologize for posting my comment twice. I didn’t mean to do so. Another thought I forgot to add is I’ve heard the stats of healings and am aware that they are not any higher in the LDS community than outside. It would be arrogant for us to believe we have the corner of the market on blessings from God. I like to think healings are even because there are people all around the world who use the knowledge and means they have been given to open a channel of communication with God. Because God loves all of his children, he blesses them. If God were to only focus on Mormons (which we know is less than 1% of the world population), he would have a lot of time on his hands and would be limiting himself to using only a small fraction of his ability to bless his children. Anyway, keep up the great work.

        • And if God really were focusing on the Mormons, as many Mormons believe, you would think with all that extra time on his hands Mormons would, in fact, have a higher rate of healing miracles than other denominations.

          I am aware that some Mormons believe that any miracles happening to non-Mormons must be caused by Satan.

          If that is the case, Satan must be working a lot harder at miracles than God. ;^)

          • That is pretty crazy. I’ve also heard that before about Satan. If that really were true not only would he be working harder, but it would make him a pretty benevolent fellow as well.

  15. I wonder if Elder Donald L. Hallstrom listened to this episode before composing his General Conference talk on the subject (Sunday morning, Oct. 1, 2017). He seemed to be addressing the problem.

    • Dear Tim,

      I noticed that Hallstrom used the faith not to be healed reference. My guess is that they are passing around the ‘wacky tobaccy’ in an effort to get everyone all the same page, and accept the reality of there being no power to heal, so make lemonade when you are given lemons.

      • Oh no, Gale! Elder Hallstrom used the same expression from Elder Bednar’s talk?

        This sounds like more typical sucking up to superiors in the ranks.

        The effect it has is of taking a much lesser known young adult devotional from four years back and putting it front and center in General Conference.

        With the added perk that it now becomes “canonized” as scripture and will be quoted by lay members for at least the next six months.

    • I have not listened to Elder Hallstrom’s talk yet, but plan to.

      I received a similar message from a friend right after that session was over.

      It is good to know Elder Hallstrom is an avid listener to RFM!

      ;^)

  16. This is a really interesting topic that I have gone back and forth with over the years for many of the reasons cited by RFM. I believe there were some really good points made in this podcast and I enjoyed listening. I really liked the laugh that almost seemed a bit sinister. This may not be a popular stance in this thread, but I do believe that prayer can work and does in many different faiths around the word. I think a priesthood blessing is another form of prayer that is both acknowledged and approved of by God. My wife was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. The stance I took was that blessings either have the potential power to heal or they don’t. If they don’t, then there is no need to have them. My wife was given several priesthood blessings along the way and was promised to be healed. On one particular occasion, she was given a blessing when her symptoms were so painful she felt she could not go on. I watched her pain go away right after the blessing and she went peacefully to sleep. This is just one of many experiences we had that gave us first hand evidence that blessing can and do work. I also received blessings as a way to help me cope with the stress of being a provider to my family and caretaker of my wife. The peace I received would be very difficult to deny. I have to say I find the talk Elder Benar gave to be something I don’t care for or understand. Fortunately for us, my wife was healed. She got through it and we both have a testimony of priesthood blessings. The gospel can be complex, messy and difficult to understand at times, especially when you add in the culture and imperfection of leaders and members, but it can also be an amazing force for good in our lives.

  17. Props for getting Opus and ‘shrinkage’ into the same podcast. Nicely done! I was a huge Bloom County fan while in HS in the 80s. I had a couple of stuffed Opuses (Opi?) back in the day. I imagine they are around here somewhere. Sadly, you completely neglected Bill the Cat. I doubt he would be surprised. 🙂

    As for the topic…when a believer (finally turned in my TL last April), I just assumed that I didn’t have enough faith, either as the voice of the blessing or as the recipient, for anything to come of it. I always hated the pressure associated with offering the blessing. Glad those days are behind me. It’s all total nonsense (IMO, of course).

    Good stuff as always. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks for your comments, TMR!

      Glad somebody has finally referenced the “shrinkage” part of the podcast!

      Also glad to have listeners who didn’t need the Bloom County reference unpacked for them.

      Thanks also for sharing your feelings of pressure related to giving priesthood blessings. I didn’t think I was the only one to experience that sort of thing.

      I think it can be helpful for non-priesthood holders to understand what is involved with this particular responsibility, and how being able to perform priesthood blessings isn’t always a blessing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*