I Had a Dream. You Anointed My Child.

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“I Had a Dream. You Anointed My Child.” Ensign, Feb. 1976, 28–29

“I Had a Dream. You Anointed My Child.”

In November 1889 Elder Edward J. Wood and his mission president, Joseph H. Dean, went to a secluded spot under a banyan tree in Samoa and prayed to the Lord for guidance. A child was ill and the mother, having seen the elders in a dream, asked the missionaries to come to her island to heal the baby. Yet the missionaries were wary. The country was uneasy, the Mormon position was precarious, and the elders were afraid of a trap.

Then, in the midst of prayer, Elder Wood heard a voice assuring him they should go. This was the answer the elders needed, and they were soon on their way. When they arrived, the mother, who had been waiting on the beach for them, greeted them respectfully and motioned for them to follow her to her falé (house).

“I am glad you have come,” she said. “It is all right. Here is my child.”

She lifted a white sheet from the body of the child, who was lying on the floor of the hut. The elders declared the child dead, but the mother insisted she was alive and added, “You do what I saw you do last night in my dream, and she will be well. Have you the authority to do what I saw you do in my dream? You anointed that child with oil; you laid your hands upon her head.”

They could hesitate no longer. They had the authority, so they administered to the child, covered her with the cloth, and left.

Elder Wood heard nothing more of the child or its mother until two years later, when he was called to labor on another island. Much to his surprise, he was greeted kindly by a woman who called him by name. She called to her side a young girl about nine years old, and addressing the crowd, she said:

“This is a living testimony of the great power of the gospel, and the power and authority held by Mr. Wood and his associates. They administered to this child over two years ago. I have never seen them since, but I know they have the power of God with them, and all of you must listen to their message.”

Then, addressing Elder Wood, she explained that she was the daughter of the high chief of the island. She invited him to stay at her home where his needs would be supplied.

The next morning Elder Wood was bitten on the hand by a centipede, the most deadly insect of the islands. Immediately his arm and hand began to swell to the size of a boxing glove. The natives gathered around, expecting him to die. “Give us your last message,” they cried. “You will die within an hour.”

While he was suffering excruciating pain, the high chief’s daughter approached Brother Wood leisurely, shook his hand and remarked: “That is all right, Brother Wood. Have you got any of that oil with you?”

He answered, “Yes,” and asked for his valise, from which he produced a bottle of oil.

The woman said, “Now, do what you did to my child, and you will be all right.”

“I felt when she said that,” remarked Brother Wood, “that I positively knew it would be so. I anointed my hand, and the swelling left, just like taking a glove off my hand.”

She turned to the natives who had gathered around and said, “As I told you, the Lord is with this young man, and his church and his people.”

This miraculous healing helped the work of the Lord to spread rapidly, and in a short time a branch of the Church was established there, with a membership of more than one hundred people.

(Taken from Wood’s Journal, November 1889; a “Tape Recording of Edward J. Wood”; and Thomas C. Romney, The Gospel in Action, Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1949, pp. 262–63.)