NORMAN — This time of the year is where we start to think about gratitude — or the act of showing thanks or appreciation, being grateful. Yes, even in these difficult of times that we live in, there is much to be grateful for. But today’s message is centered on the Savior Jesus Christ and how he blessed those who showed or expressed real gratitude.
From the time the Savior of the world began his earthly ministry, he went about teaching and blessing individuals one at a time. Yes, he taught the masses, but there are several accounts where he blessed the one because of their faith. Many sought him out to be healed by this heavenly power; from the Canaanite mother whose daughter was sore vexed with a devil and made whole from that very hour because of her faith (Matthew 15:22-28), to the healing of Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus who was blind (Mark 10:46-52).
However, there are a few healings that I think are particularly important to discuss; for example, the woman with the issue of blood for 12 years in Mark 5:25-34. From the moment she touched His clothes, the fountain of her blood was dried up and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And then there are the 10 lepers in Luke 17:12-19. As the Savior entered into a certain village, he met 10 men that were lepers. They lifted their voices to ask for his mercy. His response was to go show themselves to the priest, and then they were cleansed from that very moment. “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God. ... And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole,” (Luke 17:15-19.)
In each of these accounts after the individual was physically healed, the Savior pronounced a special blessing upon them and they were made whole. To many of us this pronouncement has meant that only their illness was taken from them. But it is much bigger than that. Somehow, because of the gratitude that was expressed, an additional blessing was given.
It was while reading from the book of Enos in the Book of Mormon that I began to more fully understand the elements of being “made whole through faith.” Enos had gone into the woods to hunt and he began to reflect upon the teachings of his father regarding the coming Savior. Therefore, he began to pray for a forgiveness of his sins. He prayed all day and all night, and eventually he felt the power of the Atonement cleanse him both inside and out. He asked God how this was done, “Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole,” (Enos 1:8.) This was an inside and outside cleansing.
When the woman with the issue of blood fell down before him and told all truth, and the one Samaritan healed of leprosy turned back and expressed deep gratitude to the Savior for what he had done for them, it was then and only then, that the Savior’s great pronouncement was made: “Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.”
This blessing was not pronounced or given to the nine who were healed of leprosy and took no thought to show gratitude for their blessings. They received only a healing to their body, not their soul.
It is my testimony that our gratitude, expressed through our very deep and heartfelt prayers, will lead us to God’s blessing, “Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.”