Over the years, our children have always enjoyed participating in the rougher sports like rugby, football, wrestling and basketball. In these sports, there tend to be injuries, so we have become very familiar with the “RICE” treatment. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation and is the standard to help heal sprains, strains and bruises. Over the years, our children have had to apply “RICE” to all sorts of sports injuries from dislocated knees, sprained ankles, torn rotator cuff muscles and bruised egos.
The story is told of a group of friends who bring a sick companion to be healed by the Saviour. Instead of pronouncing a healing upon the man, the Saviour forgives him of his sins. The Pharisees question Christ’s power to forgive sins to whom Christ asks “Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.” Mark 2:3-12
Video: Jesus heals a man with palsy
I have always been fascinated with this story because to Jesus Christ there is no apparent difference in healing the body or healing the soul. His atoning sacrifice heals “…pains and afflictions…of every kind;…” Alma 7:11, so to Him, granting forgiveness and healing infirmities, comes from the same source, namely, His Grace. He invites us to “…return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?” 3 Nephi 9:13. Through the atoning sacrifice of Christ, we can apply the RICE treatment to the wounds of the soul we receive in this world. In this spiritual application, “RICE” can stand for Repentance, Imparting of ourselves to others, Covenants and Endurance.
Repentance brings spiritual healing through the conditions of Christ’s Atonement. Sometimes we think that repentance is Plan B – only used when we transgress, when repentance is actually “The Plan.” Christ lovingly teaches that “…my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross;…that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father,…therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works. Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.” 3 Nephi 27:14-15,20. Elder Richard G. Scott promised, “The Redeemer can settle your individual account with justice and grant forgiveness through the merciful path of repentance. Full repentance is absolutely essential for the Atonement to work its complete miracle in your life. By understanding the Atonement, you will see that God is not a jealous being who delights in persecuting those who misstep. He is an absolutely perfect, compassionate, understanding, patient, and forgiving Father…He so loves each of us that He was willing to have His perfect, sinless, absolutely obedient, totally righteous Son experience indescribable agony and pain and give Himself in sacrifice for all.” Richard G. Scott “Finding Forgiveness Ensign 1995
IMPART OF OURSELVES TO OTHERS
When we impart of ourselves to others, especially through missionary work, we forget our own pains and sorrows and heal those of others. A wonderful cleansing spirit enters our hearts and we are forgiven of our own sins. James testifies, “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” James 5:20 I believe it works like this: sharing your testimony brings the Spirit and the Spirit sanctifies those He affects. As we see others accept the truth, our own doubts and fears flee and we are healed. I love the example of the sons of Mosiah. “…they traveled throughout all the land of Zarahemla,…zealously striving to repair all the injuries which they had done to the church, confessing all their sins, and publishing all the things which they had seen, and explaining the prophecies and the scriptures to all who desired to hear them.” Mosiah 27:35 “Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble. And thus did the Spirit of the Lord work upon them, for they were the very vilest of sinners. And the Lord saw fit in his infinite mercy to spare them;…” Mosiah 28:3-4.
The covenants and associated ordinances of the gospel bring the power of godliness into our lives Doctrine & Covenants 84:19. The power of godliness lifts us up from our sinful state, heals us of our transgressions and purifies us through Christ’s grace. The covenant of baptism brings remission of sin Mark 1:4; the covenant of the Holy Ghost provides sanctification 3 Nephi 27:20; the oath and covenant of the priesthood promises us renewal of our physical bodies Doctrine & Covenants 84:33; and, the covenants of the temple will eventually grant us eternal life Doctrine & Covenants 132:19. Each Sabbath day we renew these covenants through the ordinance of the sacrament. As we do this our joy is full and we become “…unspotted from the world,…” Doctrine & Covenants 59:9. In fact, Isaiah promises that living our covenants will cause that our “…light [will] break forth as the morning and [our] health shall spring forth speedily…” Isaiah 58:8. Covenants heal our souls and bring us to Christ.
The final requirement for true healing is enduring to the end. Endurance is far more than just “…clinging…” 1 Nephi 8:24. It is being actively involved in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to trust that prayers will be answered. I often ponder the example of Zacharias. The angel Gabriel told him to “…Fear not,…for thy prayer is heard;….” Luke 1:13. It is clear in the scriptures that Zacharias’s wife, Elisabeth was past the age of child bearing but Zacharias continued to petition to the Lord. His endurance was blessed with the birth of a son whom Christ declared to be “…much more than a prophet.” Luke 7:26. Endurance brings us the promise of eternal life, “…which is the greatest of all the gifts of God.” Doctrine & Covenants 14:7.
The Saviour, Jesus Christ provides the healing balm for all physical, emotional and spiritual ailments. Through Repentance, Imparting of ourselves in service, Covenants and Enduring to the end, we partake of His healing influence. As we come unto Him with full faith and trust, He will “…succor [us] according to [our] infirmities.” Alma 7:12. His atoning sacrifice will “…wipe away all tears from [our] eyes;…” Revelation. 21:4. He is the Physician of our souls.