He Could Heal Me!
The Savior’s healing and redeeming power applies to accidental mistakes, poor decisions, challenges, and trials of every kind—as well as to our sins.
Moroni promises that if we read the Book of Mormon and then ask God the Eternal Father with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ if it is true, God will manifest its truth by the power of the Holy Ghost.1 Millions of people have applied this promise and received an assuring witness of the Restoration of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Moroni exhorts us, as we read the Book of Mormon, to “remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until [this] time, … and [to] ponder it in [our] hearts.”2 The stories and teachings in the Book of Mormon remind us and testify of the Savior’s love, compassion, and mercy.
My father passed away in April 2013. As I prepared to speak at his funeral, I realized how blessed I was to know and love his favorite scriptures. He shared them in family gatherings, and he read them with me when I needed counsel, guidance, or strengthening of my faith. I heard him share them in talks and assignments. I not only knew them, but I can still remember the sound of his voice and the spiritual feelings I had as he shared them. Through sharing scriptures and feelings, my father helped me to establish a firm foundation of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
My father particularly loved the account of the Savior’s visit to the people of Nephi.3 This sacred account is of the resurrected and exalted Lord Jesus Christ. He had drunk of the bitter cup and suffered all things so that we would not suffer if we would repent.4 He had visited the spirit world and organized the preaching of the gospel there.5 He had risen from the dead, and He had been with and received commandments from the Father to share scriptures with the Nephites that would bless future generations.6 He was exalted and had all of His eternal power and capacity. We can learn from every detail of His teachings.
In 3 Nephi 11, we read how the Savior descended out of heaven to teach the Nephites that He was Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified would come into the world. He declared that He was the Light of the World and that He glorified the Father in taking on the sins of the world. He invited the people to come forth to put their hands into His side and to feel the prints of the nails in His hands and in His feet. He wanted them to know that He was the God of Israel, who was slain for the sins of the world. The people joyfully responded, going forth one by one until they had all seen and felt that it was truly He of whom it was written by the prophets that should come.7
Jesus taught the Nephites about the importance of repentance, about becoming as a little child, and about the need to be baptized by one having His authority. He then taught much of the doctrine that we are studying this year in the New Testament.
In 3 Nephi 17, we read that Jesus told the people it was time for Him to go unto the Father and also to show Himself unto the lost tribes of Israel.8 As He cast His eyes on the multitude, He noticed that they were in tears, looking steadfastly upon Him as if they would ask Him to tarry a little longer.9
The Savior’s response to the Nephites was both touching and instructive. He said, “Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.”10
I believe that His compassion was much more than a response to the people’s tears. It seems that He could see them through the eyes of His atoning sacrifice. He saw their every pain, affliction, and temptation. He saw their sicknesses. He saw their infirmities, and He knew from His agonizing suffering in Gethsemane and on Golgotha how to succor them according to their infirmities.11
Similarly, when our Savior, Jesus Christ, looks upon us, He sees and understands the pain and burden of our sins. He sees our addictions and challenges. He sees our struggles and afflictions of any kind—and He is filled with compassion toward us.
His gracious invitation to the Nephites followed: “Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.”12
And the people came forth “with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him.”13
In 1990 we were living in the small town of Sale, in Victoria, Australia. We were happily busy with family, Church, and work commitments. On a beautiful summer Saturday just before Christmas, we decided to visit some parks and a favorite beach. After enjoying a wonderful day playing as a family, we packed everyone into the car and headed home. While driving, I momentarily fell asleep and caused a head-on car accident. After some moments of recovery, I looked around the vehicle. My wife, Maxine, had a badly broken leg and was struggling to breathe. She had a broken sternum. Our three daughters were in shock but thankfully appeared to be OK. I had some minor injuries. But our five-month-old son was unresponsive.
Amid the stress and confusion of that accident scene, our eldest daughter, 11-year-old Kate, said with urgency, “Dad, you need to give Jarom a blessing.” After some struggle, my daughters and I managed to get out of the car. Maxine couldn’t be moved. Carefully I picked Jarom up; then, while lying on the ground on my back, I gently placed him on my chest and gave him a priesthood blessing. By the time the ambulance arrived about 40 minutes later, Jarom was conscious.
That night I left three family members in the hospital and took a hushed taxi ride home with two of my daughters. Through the long night, I pled with Heavenly Father that my family and those injured in the other vehicle would recover. Mercifully, my prayers and fervently offered prayers by many others were answered. All were healed over time, a great blessing and tender mercy.
Yet I continued to have deep feelings of guilt and remorse for causing such a terrible accident. I would wake during the night and relive the horrific events. I struggled for years to forgive myself and to find peace. Then, as a priesthood leader, while assisting others to repent and helping them to feel the compassion, mercy, and love of the Savior, I realized that He could heal me.
The Savior’s healing and redeeming power applies to accidental mistakes, poor decisions, challenges, and trials of every kind—as well as to our sins. As I turned to Him, my feelings of guilt and remorse were gradually replaced with peace and rest.
President Russell M. Nelson taught: “When the Savior atoned for all mankind, He opened a way that those who follow Him can have access to His healing, strengthening, and redeeming power. These spiritual privileges are available to all who seek to hear Him and follow Him.”14
Brothers and sisters, whether you are carrying the burden of unresolved sin, suffering because of an offense committed against you long ago, or struggling to forgive yourself for an accidental mistake, you have access to the healing and redeeming power of the Savior Jesus Christ.
I testify that He lives. He is our Savior and Redeemer. He loves us. He has compassion for us, He is filled with mercy, and He can heal you. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.