“Why I Believe,” New Era, Apr. 2005, 39
When I was young, I had an experience that helped me relate to the blind man described in John 9. The man was blind from birth. The disciples asked Jesus, “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
“Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him” (John 9:2–3; emphasis added).
Jesus anointed the blind man’s eyes with clay and instructed him to wash in the pool of Siloam. The man did as instructed and “came seeing” (John 9:7).
There were witnesses to this miracle who could not comprehend it. They took the man to the Pharisees, who questioned him about it repeatedly. The man finally told the Pharisees, “If this man were not of God, he could do nothing” (John 9:33). For this statement, he was cast out.
Then a great blessing occurred—an even greater blessing than having his sight restored. Jesus, having heard that they had cast the man out, found him and allowed him to declare his belief: “He said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him” (John 9:38).
I was 11 years old when the “works of God were made manifest” in me. In the fifth grade, I developed warts on my hands. Both hands were covered with the ugly virus sufficiently enough to earn me the nickname “warthog” among my classmates. Needless to say, it affected my self-esteem and social life.
When my family moved from Utah to Idaho the following summer, I dreaded the thought of going to a new school. In my old class, I took plenty of teasing, but I also had two good friends who stood by me. This new place offered no such assurance.
I began to search for ways to rid myself of my burden. With my mother’s help, we tried over-the-counter remedies and even some home remedies, but the warts remained. Money was limited, so seeing the doctor for such a nonemergency was out of the question. I began feeling like there would be no end to this malady.
Towards the end of summer, it occurred to me to ask Heavenly Father for help. My family had been active in the Church for about two years, and I had been taught about the power of fasting accompanied by prayer, but I had never before taken the opportunity to do this.
Over two weeks I fasted every few days. I remember how hard it was to pass up my mom’s homemade cherry pie, but I believed the outcome of my fast would be equal to my faith and sacrifice. I prayed earnestly in our backyard, where I could speak aloud and not be interrupted. At the end of the two-week period, my warts were gone. Every one of them had shrunk away.
When school started a couple of weeks later, I felt a new confidence. This confidence came, in part, from having healed hands that I did not have to hide, but more so from an internal seed that had sprouted to life.
I had gained personal knowledge of a great truth—that I was a daughter of Heavenly Father, the true and living God. I knew that He loved me and that He heard and answered my prayers. Just as the man in the scriptures, the works of God had been made manifest in me, on a physical and a spiritual level.
A few years later, when I was a senior in high school, my philosophy teacher asked each of us to justify our belief in God. He asked us to “prove” God’s existence. I shared this experience with my class and testified not only of God’s existence but of His love for us. After the bell rang, my teacher pulled me aside and asked me to consider that perhaps it was the power of positive thinking, rather than God, that had caused my warts to disappear. I did not hesitate in my response to him that I knew of a surety the source of this miracle.
Perhaps someday I too will be allowed the blessing of kneeling before my Healer and proclaiming, “Lord, I believe.”