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Vort

Being made whole

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In at least three incidents in the New Testament, the Lord tells people that their own faith made them whole. Most people interpret that to mean that they were healed because of their faith. I don't think that's quite right.

Matthew tells of a woman plagued by an issue of blood for twelve years (told even more dramatically by Mark), who sought to touch Jesus because she thought that by merely touching Jesus' garment she would "be whole". Either she touched the Lord and was healed (as per Mark) or Jesus turned around and healed her (according to Matthew). In either case, the Lord's words to her were interesting: "Thy faith hath made thee whole." Jesus healed her issue of blood, but it wasn't her touching of his garment, or even his words, that made her whole; it was her faith.

Mark also tells the story of Bartimaeus, a blind man who importunes Jesus as the Son of David to restore his sight. The Lord does so, and in doing so tells him as he told the woman: "Thy faith hath made thee whole."

The final example is perhaps the most instructive. Luke records how ten lepers, including at least one non-Jew (a Samaritan), begged to be cleansed. Jesus cleansed them, and they went their way rejoicing, but only one (the Samaritan) returned to glorify God and thank Jesus. The Lord noticed this discrepancy, and then said a very interesting thing to the returning Samaritan: "Thy faith hath made thee whole."

But wait. If the Samaritan's faith made him whole, what made the other lepers whole?

One possible answer: They were not made whole. They were healed of leprosy, but only the Samaritan was made whole. Being "made whole" has little to do with restoration of physical health or vigor; it refers, I suspect, to a spiritual condition of oneness with God.

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One possible answer: They were not made whole. They were healed of leprosy, but only the Samaritan was made whole. Being "made whole" has little to do with restoration of physical health or vigor; it refers, I suspect, to a spiritual condition of oneness with God.

A proposition which seems to comport with James 5:14-15:

14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

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Merrill J. Bateman:

The story teaches at least two lessons. One concerns Christ’s spiritual sensitivity to the individual. The other lesson concerns the depth of the woman’s faith. Because of her faith, she was healed both physically and spiritually. The phrase “thy faith hath made thee whole” often refers to a spiritual healing. It is the same phrase Christ used to bless the one leper who returned to express thanks. All 10 lepers were cleansed of leprosy, but only one was made whole—only one was cleansed from within (see Luke 17:11–19). It is also the phrase the Lord used in answering Enos’ question regarding forgiveness of sin. When the voice said, “Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed,” Enos inquired as to how it was possible. The answer was, “Thy faith hath made thee whole” (see Enos 1:5–8). Enos’ spiritual cleansing came through faith. His faith had the power to produce humility, repentance, and a baptism of water and fire. The woman’s faith brought the same power enjoyed by Enos and the leper. Her faith produced a spiritual rebirth in addition to solving her physical problem. Her faith and determination allowed her to lay hold on two good gifts.

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While this event didn't occur during Christ's earthly ministry I think this scripture is relevant to your thought Vort:

8 And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.

To our knowledge Enos had no physical malady that he sought relief from. Then what relief is it he sought? He sought spiritual relief.

4 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.

Edited by Dravin

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When I first got sick (23 years ago), I felt I had enough faith to be healed and made whole (like the woman in the scriptures, like the lepers). I fasted, prayed, did everything the doctors suggested, read everything I could find, had many priesthood blessings. I wanted to be made whole. What I didn't realize back then was that being whole has nothing to do with our physical body. Yes, we can be healed through the power of the priesthood and our faith.

But to be whole? Whole in the context referred to in the scriptures Vort has referenced means to me that we are only whole when we are one with Christ. It doesn't matter our physical condition at all.

Although it would be really nice to not be in constant pain, I wouldn't go back. I only feel whole when I'm close to my Savior and without the pain and illness I wouldn't know my Savior like I do today.

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I agree with you completely, Vort!

Which Pres was it that had a heart condition, and had surgery on his throat? I'm too new to know, but his illness had nothing to do with not being spiritual enough (obviously) Also, Paul describes a thorn in his flesh....while Christ did often heal people, and forgave sins, it is not without our own agency that we are restored to the path of righteousness leading us back to our Heavenly home. I believe that the 'wholeness' being spoken of is just that...not only relieved of a physical illness for that leper, and forgiveness, but a change of heart, and on the path toward becoming what he was created to be. The healing and forgiving from the Savior, the change of heart on his own part.

We can be whole without being healed I think as well. I know it sounds odd, but sometimes illness can help us to be better spiritually. We hang on to the rod a little tighter. It changes things for family members, giving them an opportunity to serve and learn things that otherwise might be done for them by that ill family member. The important things become more precious, and the little things more dim.

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Anciently the concept of being whole was not that different from being holy. Being thankful is a necessary element for being holy and for salvation.

The Traveler

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True they were all made whole, but we only have the account of the returning Samaritan to illustrate a point of gratitude for God's tender mercies. I hope that the rest of the "ten" were able to come back later and thank the Savior for His healing power. If they did, then it is possible that the thankful Samaritan was a good example to them in strengthening their faith. Gar

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Thought I would add something interesting - just for thought. One of the grand criticisms of Christianity is that Christians spend their whole life consumed by going to heaven and have no idea what-so-ever what they will do when they get there. With this in mind - I posed a question for a "Christian" non-LDS forum for some response and thoughts of what individual Christians planned to do in heaven after they leave this earthly existence.

The response both surprised and shocked me. Not one person (including some other LDS) indicated any priority to personally thank Jesus for the atonement.

It is fun to look at the short comings of others and criticize but I am convinced that the person that goes through live being truly thankful is rare indeed. The other day I spent part of an afternoon just visiting with my mother. Dad died about 4 years ago and she (almost 90) refused to leave the home. She lives alone. We talked about things she want to tell me - and of course I told here I would feel better if she would move into an assisted facility (Dad was very wealthy). But mom expressed her desire to be independent but something else she said made me realize how lucky I am to have the parents I do.

She said that every day she get up and forces herself to be thankful and makes it a point to smile and thank everyone she greets. She said she is tempted to complain about something but is determined rather to smile and express thanks. Anyway another great lesson from my mom.

Why do I bring this up? My wife has to be forced by me to visit her father - because he is such a pain to be around. Strange how so many of us treat the ones we love like crud. My whole life I never ever met anyone that did not adore my mother - I always thought it was because she was just a very kind and loving person. It never dawned on me that she had to work so hard at it.

And so I am convinced that kind and thankful people are not kind and thankful as a default to what life is but rather because they make a "divine" effort to force themselves to do so. It is little lessons like this that convince me that I need to be much more thankful to my fellow man - and of course to my G-d that despite all my flaws and problems is willing to force himself way out of a heavenly comfort zone to express his thanks to the very undeserving me.

The Traveler

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Just look at how we try/ought to/do live our own lives as LDS members. I know for many, including myself, our day does not feel complete unless we have prayed, read scripture, etc. Its like one of the core aspects to building a complete mortal body.

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One possible answer: They were not made whole. They were healed of leprosy, but only the Samaritan was made whole. Being "made whole" has little to do with restoration of physical health or vigor; it refers, I suspect, to a spiritual condition of oneness with God.

I agree, otherwise the word "whole" is very deceptive. Because I would think they weren't made physically "whole" as they still likely had the same rate of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, hypertension, cancer etc. It wasn't like they became like John or one of the three Nephites, that death had no power over them. Even for them, I am not sure if they are without their "thorns".

They were cured of a specific disease, as far as we know, but not made physically perfect or whole in that sense. ... At least that is how I see the story.

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