Friday, May 25, 2018

President Russell M. Nelson on the miracles of healing and of aging

President Russell M. Nelson (born Sept 9, 1924) was an internationally-renowned heart surgeon when he was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984. He became president of that quorum on July 15, 2015. Following the death of President Monson, he was set apart as president of the Church on January 14, 2018.
"The Fall of Adam (and Eve) constituted the mortal creation and brought about the required changes in their bodies, including the circulation of blood and other modifications as well. They were now able to have children. They and their posterity also became subject to injury, disease, and death. And a loving Creator blessed them with healing power by which the life and function of precious physical bodies could be preserved. For example, bones, if broken, could become solid again. Lacerations of the flesh could heal themselves. And miraculously, leaks in the circulation could be sealed off by components activated from the very blood being lost.
"Think of the wonder of that power to heal! If you could create anything that could repair itself, you would have created life in perpetuity. For example, if you could create a chair that could fix its own broken leg, there would be no limit to the life of that chair. Many of you walk on legs that were once broken and do so because of your remarkable gift of healing.
"Even though our Creator endowed us with this incredible power, He consigned a counterbalancing gift to our bodies. It is the blessing of aging, with visible reminders that we are mortal beings destined one day to leave this 'frail existence' (Eliza R. Snow, 'O My Father,' Hymns, no. 292). Our bodies change every day. As we grow older, our broad chests and narrow waists have a tendency to trade places. We get wrinkles, lose color in our hair—even the hair itself—to remind us that we are mortal children of God, with a 'manufacturer’s guarantee' that we shall not be stranded upon the earth forever. Were it not for the Fall, our physicians, beauticians, and morticians would all be unemployed."
- Russell M. Nelson, "The Atonement," General Conference October 1996
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

Given President Nelson's scientific and medical training, these thoughts are particularly interesting. He has seen first-hand the miraculous ability of the human body to heal, repair, and strengthen itself. Sometimes we take those abilities for granted; but we experience that miracle constantly, continuously in our lives—far, far beyond the ability of any man-made creation to care for itself.

And yet, there is a counterbalancing miracle that also takes place:

What a profound perspective, to realize that aging and eventual death are just as much a part of God's miracle as are the wondrous gifts of growth and healing! We have that beautiful promise not to be "strranded upon the earth forever" but to know we will move on to a next phase of our eternal existence.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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