Updated on October 24, 2022
Doug Tales 89: A Healing Lesson
Doug Mendenhall’s sighted friend, Kitten, heard a man speak years ago about a healing he experienced when nineteen years old. She shares in I See…Arise! (2016), on pages 39-42 the unusual circumstances surrounding the man’s injury and what was learned from its healing:
In the late 1960’s, an adult returned missionary was speaking to a chapel full of people (of whom most were teenagers) at a Sunday church meeting. Due to an injury, he had to return home before completing the normal time of call.
The circumstances of his injury while on his LDS mission were that shortly before his 20th birthday, he and other missionary companions had gone out for some R&R for the day. As young men are want to do, they goofed off. They were mindful of nature and other’s property. Nevertheless, while enjoying life, running, jumping and in general expending excess energy, the speaker leaped up over a large object to land badly. There was instant pain in his left ankle. The affected part was examined. It showed a rapid progression of bruising and swelling. He became frightened it may be broken which would bring harsh reprimand and possible expulsion from the mission field. Perhaps it was only badly sprained. Effort to stand upon it only resulted in him dropping to the ground again. The pain was too great.
The group decided to lay hands on the injured missionary’s head for healing. Without any preparation, a simple prayer that the pain be stopped and the ankle healed, was pronounced. Amazingly the pain ceased! The injured youth stood up and walked around. Joy of joy the injury would not have to be reported after all! Oddly, the swelling remained. Shrugging it off, he and the group happily returned to their quarters.
For a week he performed in his capacity as a missionary, pain free. The only problem was, the ankle continued to swell. Nothing he did reduced the swelling or faded the bruising. At every opportunity possible, the affected part was propped up. Icing and cold soaking eased the swelling a little only to return, greater in size, during use. Finally, the swelling could not be hidden and the adult leader took note. When the leader examined the missionary’s ankle, it had swelled to the size of the calf and was quite badly bruised. The young man was promptly taken to the local hospital emergency room. The X-rays revealed the ankle and part of the leg had been broken. With all the walking on it, the wound had been exacerbated to the point surgery had to be performed to save his leg.
In tears the young man confessed what had caused the injury, the blessing and results. The entire group could not understand why the companion had not been healed. They had laid hands on his head and blessed him to be healed. The pain was gone! Granted the swelling never reduced, but still they had prayed with the expectation all would be well. After all they held the priesthood of their church. How could there be that much injury without pain? All the young men were beside themselves with consternation and worry.
By the grace of God, the mature adult leader happened to have the Gift of Revelation. In private, the situation was presented to the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The answer was quite startling.
Collecting the injured missionary’s companions, the leader returned to the hospital. In the injured man’s room, the answer to the conundrum of why no pain with such a bad injury was given. The young men had been in an unauthorized area performing in ways unbecoming of anyone on a mission for the Savior. There was no preparation for the voicing of the prayer. Theirs was quick and to the point. Nothing else. That type of injury required fasting, prayer, and holy oil before administration. To top it all off, after the pain “miraculously” vanished, no one thought to thank Heavenly Father or the Savior.
An evil Being answered the prayer! The pain was only blocked. No healing of any type was performed. That is why the swelling and bruising remained. The object of the evil was to prevent the missionary from completing the calling. That was accomplished.
As soon as arrangements could be made, the injured missionary was sent home. It was a year before the leg and ankle were fully healed. The leg was in a cast for six months, in a long leg brace for three months followed by three months of physical therapy. During that year, great repentance, much prayer, and a lot of soul searching was instituted. Pleading with the Savior, because of the mission having to be cut short, he begged for some type of work that could be viewed as “missionary.” Eventually, the Savior answered via an exceptionally strong impression. The young man (then almost 22 years old) was to go out to (as many as allowed) church groups and speak of the experience. He was to teach and warn others the adversary can and will affect the mortal body in ways never thought of. All who do any work under the call of Jesus Christ must be very careful to hold to the narrow path He puts each on. For many years, that man spoke and taught about the very unusual mission. His humility was amazing. All praise and honor was given to Heavenly Father.
The Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ turned the badly performed mission of a young man into a much greater one. Although the mission in his youth was thwarted, it paved the way for another one. However, the man admitted, the original mission would have reached others ready to hear the glad news but had to wait, several years, for another with the same message. It would have been far better to have been obedient to Jesus Christ. Many took the lesson taught to heart.