“Thy Faith Hath Made Thee Whole,” Ensign, Aug. 1972, 43–44
November 13, 1960, was a beautiful day in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The summer sun beat down, seemingly merciless, but that is common in the Southern Hemisphere during these months.
Though the air traffic at the Port Alegre Airport was normal for the day, the waiting crowd was unusually large. Suddenly, with the announcement of one of the arriving planes, the crowd began to push forward expectantly. The plane landed and taxied across the black asphalt to the gate toward which the crowd was surging.
Most of the passengers deplaned and departed without much notice, but at last the man the crowd was seeking came into view. A murmur of joy went through the people as they gazed upon an apostle of the Lord, President Joseph Fielding Smith.
President Smith was making a tour of missions in South America and had stopped at Porto Alegre for a conference with members and missionaries. He was accompanied by Sister Smith, President A. Theodore Tuttle of the First Council of Seventy, and Sister Tuttle. They would be there just two days.
A few weeks prior to this occasion two missionaries had knocked at the front door of a small house in Canoas, a town ten miles north of Porto Alegre. The lady who answered the door had a certain sparkle about her. She seemed to be one who lived her life to the fullest, and about her was an air of goodness and sincerity.
The elders were invited into the small house and sat on straight-backed chairs, and the senior missionary then proceeded to explain why they had come to her country. As the elders began to teach the gospel to her, she became more and more excited. When she saw the picture of the modern-day apostles of the Church that the missionaries showed her, she exclaimed, “A church with twelve apostles, just like Christ’s!”
The missionaries and their investigator had a spiritual feast that day, and the date for the woman’s baptism was set. Joy filled her bosom, and she could hardly contain her emotions. She told her neighbors, friends she met on the street, even strangers. Her whole life was now bent toward one goal: baptism into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—the church that had continual revelation through twelve apostles.
Soon after her baptism was performed, word came that President Joseph Fielding Smith, then President of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, would be arriving. This was a blessing beyond her wildest dreams. Think of it! An apostle coming to Brazil, even to Porto Alegre, and she could see and hear him. Maybe she could even shake his hand. What a marvelous experience!
As the day drew near, her excitement rose. Then suddenly, the day before his arrival, she suffered a heart attack and the doctors felt she would be unable to resume her normal life for some time. To make matters worse, she now felt she had nothing to live for. The apostle was coming and she wasn’t going to be able to see him. Her life became meaningless to her. During this time the elders tried to encourage her, but she would not be consoled.
On the second day of the conference, after the morning meeting and just as President Smith was finishing lunch, two elders knocked on the door of his hotel suite. They told President and Sister Smith the story of the hospitalized member, and the story moved them deeply. President Smith decided to personally visit her and administer to her.
When he entered the hospital room, the woman gave a cry of joy, exclaiming, “Now that he has come, I’m sure to get well!” Then President Smith placed his hands on her head and commanded the sickness to depart from her.
From that time there were no symptoms of the woman’s heart attack. Later she explained that when President Smith placed his hands upon her head and began to speak, the pain immediately left her. The physicians, amazed and uncomprehending, found her medically sound and released her the following day.
This sister continued faithful in the gospel, testifying to many of this miraculous healing. It was an added witness to her of the divinity of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. …” (Mark 5:34.)