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Dearest Gramps,

Our child was born with a massive heart problem. We have struggled greatly with this and have tried to do those things that we know how to do to help him… i.e., fast, pray, give healing blessings. We know that we have been blessed to have him, we count each moment as a blessing. Scientifically there is no reason for him to be alive (he is 2 now), but generally he thrives as if there is no problem. I understand that THIS could be our answered prayer, that he thrives… But the doctors are still SO CONCERNED… amazed, but also worried! They constantly tell us that he could die at any moment. And so we sometimes fear, even though we know we have been blessed. The doctors will be taking action by performing a second open heart surgery on him soon.
I know Heavenly Father loves and blesses us…More than we can see, and I think we have faith that whatever happens is HIS will.

What I don’t know is concerning blessings. How many blessings does it take (to heal for example)? Basically, If Heavenly Father doesn’t HEAL my child’s condition, is it because of a lack of faith on my or my spouse’s or family’s part ~ OR because Heavenly Father has a
different plan? How can I know?

ALSO: Is it a “lack of faith” to ask for numerous blessings? Should one be enough? I ask for blessings all the time from my husband, but the thought came to me that maybe instead of exercising faith (like I thought I was doing by asking), maybe it was a “lack of faith” to constantly ask for blessings. What is your opinion?

Is one enough?




Dear Is One Enough?,

Your questions undoubtedly go deep into the heart of many parents with children who have life threatening conditions. Perhaps I may make a few comments on some aspects of your concerns. In the first place it is my personal opinion that among those who love the Lord and keep his commandments there are no accidents. Our Father loves all his children, and is without a doubt more concerned than we are for their eternal welfare. But He sees life from a very different perspective than our own. As Paul says,

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known (1 Cor. 13:12).

There are needs and opportunities on the other side of the veil, just as there are here. But God controls the time table. He give us life a second at a time–tick, a second, tick, a second–but never the promise of the next one.

You express two particular concerns–one, about the number of blessings that would be appropriate to give a person, and two, whether praying repeatedly for a given blessing is an act of faith or a lack of faith.

Concerning blessings, again it is my personal opinion that anointing with consecrated oil and pronouncing a blessing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit might be done one time unless the condition changes for the worst. Repeated blessings by the laying on of hands, however, would not be inappropriate.

Concerning importuning the Lord repeatedly for the same blessing would seem to me to be an act of faith, rather than a lack of faith. We are told to pray constantly–to have a prayer always in our heart–the Savior even went so far as to say, Look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not (Doctrine and Covenants 6:36). The point is that is would seem inappropriate not to have continually on our minds the welfare of those who are near and dear to us, and repeatedly appealing to the Father in their behalf would seem to be the appropriate and natural thing to do..






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