A Few Minutes to Warm

A few years ago I was leaving the church after a full day of meetings, when I came across a sister I knew sitting in the foyer. Her face was distorted with pain as she cradled her arm in a sling. The Spirit stopped me.

“You look like you’re in pain, Sister Hoolia,” I said. She was a bright-eyed Hawaiian lady with singular faith and a gift of seeing visions and ministering spirits. I have had many engaging conversations with her. 

She looked up and nodded. She explained that her right shoulder was injured, she wasn’t even sure how it had happened, and that the doctors were telling her surgery was needed. She had decided to wait until her Bishop got out of a meeting to ask him for a blessing. The surgery was scheduled for Monday.

I asked her if she would like me to give her a blessing, so that she didn’t have to wait. She readily agreed. I found a bishop of the other ward, a man with great faith, and we went into a small room in the stake offices.

As we were walking into the room I was praying, seeking to know what blessing the Lord had for this wonderful, hurting sister. I knew just from the fact that the Holy Spirit had stopped me, and hand motivated me to offer her a priesthood blessing, that He had something specific for her. I was just waiting for the knowledge to arrive in my head.

As the bishop anointed her, I had an impression enter my mind. It was very “still”. Had I been anything but prayerful at that moment I might have missed it. It was rather odd, but I was willing to obey.

I sealed the anointing and gave her a very short blessing. I commanded her shoulder to be healed instantly. I closed the blessing, and then according to the impression, I moved my hands from her head to her shoulder. She asked me why I had done that.

“I’m just supposed to leave my hands here until your shoulder is better,” I told her.

Believe me, I know this is odd. But, who am I to question how God wants to bless His children.

I felt my hands growing warm and tingly. I didn’t massage or press, just held still. She moved her shoulder a little. “Did you know this is how some of the old Hawaiian elders used to give priesthood blessings?” She said. “My Dad used to do this. He would leave his hands on me until I was well. It usually took just a couple of minutes. My childhood memory is that his blessings always made me better,” she told me.

“I didn’t know that,” I replied.

She flexed her shoulder. “It’s feeling better,” she said.

I waited until the Spirit whispered that I was done, maybe three full minutes. I stepped back and she stood. She took her arm out of the sling and moved it in an arc. “Wonderful! It’s all healed,” she said and laughed. She gave us both a hug and left the room experimentally swinging her arm.

I asked her several times in the following weeks about her shoulder. She said it was completely better.

I have never used that method since, and don’t suggest you do either. The lesson here is that the Spirit instructed me to do this, which meshed with this sweet lady’s childhood experiences, and built her faith. Sometimes it is words we say that trigger faith, sometimes it is feelings of faith and the presence of the Holy Ghost during the blessing. Sometimes it is something unusual. The power isn’t in what we do – it’s in the fact that we do it under inspiration from God.

She wasn’t healed by warm hands, she was healed by her faith which took a few minutes to warm to the occasion.

Brother John

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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1 Response to A Few Minutes to Warm

  1. James says:

    This was a beautiful entry. I had a similar experience at the birth of our 3rd child, and have since pondered how the power of the priesthood is remarkably varied, in that we do not even comprehend the many ways it can be manifest, unless we heed the Spirit to instruct us. It was a home birth – my mom-in-law is a midwife, so all our births were at home. It was always very hard for me (I know, typical man…). The baby was facing posterior, which meant long hard labor. It had been many hours. My wife was at her limit. The baby was stuck in a position so that bearing down was having no affect. My wife exclaimed in crying agony, ‘I’m done, I can’t do this anymore’. I looked at her mom; nothing else to do but to get to the hospital; but that would take time, probably too long. In my exasperation and as mom and wife struggled together, I was compelled to raise my arm to the square and literally shout in my mind (no audible sound was uttered) “Benjamin!” (the name we had decided on for a boy, although we had not had the gender revealed to us; however, I had had a waking vision in the temple months before that it was a dark haired little boy…) In the name of Jesus Christ and by the Power of the Patriarchal Priesthood, as your father I command you to help your mother and be born safely and in good health”. Literally at the end of that statement her mom said she just felt the baby move and the head was no longer lodged like it had been before. He was born a few minutes later, a little purple but overall in good health. I asked if she had done anything (like some midwifery technique) to make him move into position. She answered no, that there was nothing she could do, that she was surprised when he moved and she was whispering gratitude that he had somehow managed to move himself into position. I then revealed what I had experienced. We concluded it was a miracle and offered our praise and gratitude. He’s 6 yrs old now.

    No such application of the Priesthood had ever before entered my mind.


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