Friday, March 28, 2008

Tragic Death, Prayer, and Doctors

A real tragedy recently happened. A 11 year-old daughter was sick. The parents choose to pray for her and not to take her to a doctor. As a consequence, the child died. Some are questioning whether the parents should be prosecuted. Here's the story.

Thanks to my friend over at Life on Gold Plates for this interesting quote from Brigham Young:

You may go to some people here, and ask what ails them, and they answer, “I don't know, but we feel a dreadful distress in the stomach and in the back; we feel all out of order, and we wish you to lay hands upon us.”

“Have you used any remedies?”

“No. We wish the Elders to lay hands upon us, and we have faith that we shall be healed.”

That is very inconsistent according to my faith. If we are sick, and ask the Lord to heal us, and to do all for us that is necessary to be done, according to my understanding of the Gospel of salvation, I might as well ask the Lord to cause my wheat and corn to grow, without my plowing the ground and casting in the seed. It appears consistent to me to apply every remedy that comes within the range of my knowledge, and to ask my Father in heaven, in the name of Jesus Christ, to sanctify that application to the healing of my body; to another this may appear inconsistent.

If a person afflicted with a cancer should come to me and ask me to heal him, I would rather go the graveyard and try to raise a dead person, comparatively speaking.

But supposing we were traveling in the mountains and all we had or could get, in the shape of nourishment, was a little venison, and one or two were taken sick, without anything in the world in the shape of healing medicine within our reach, what should we do? According to my faith, ask the Lord Almighty to send an angel to heal the sick. This is our privilege, when so situated that we cannot get anything to help ourselves. Then the Lord and his servants can do all.

But it is my duty to do, when I have it in my power. Many people are unwilling to do one thing for themselves, in case of sickness, but ask God to do it all (Brigham Young, JD 4:24-25).


LifeOnaPlate said...

I think it is an interesting view of BY's overall view of the gospel. It is the "pray and work" view that carries through for Mormons to this very day.

Andrew Miller said...

Very true indeed! Mormonism is "practical" in its approach to such things.

Thanks for stopping by.