I am a denizen of Middle Earth. What I mean is, I love playing LOTRO, the massively multi-player online role-playing game set in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world of Middle Earth. My main character is Bellanoria Bontael, an Elven Champion who is the consummate warrior, unrelenting in battle, excelling at melee combat, able to absorb punishment with her heavy armour.
Or that’s what I am supposed to do, at least. Don’t get me wrong – I love Bella. Super, strong, swinging a sword…. but I do not spend all my time constantly worrying about my next armour upgrade or new weapon capabilities. Though I love playing this character, I am a mediocre champ at best. Truth be told, while I love my champ, I love my Rune-keeper even more.
I did not think I would like being a Rune-keeper. Rune-keepers are one of the two most sought after classes of character, along with Minstrels. They are healing classes, and every good battle needs good healers. The problem is…good healers are hard to come by. As I found out very quickly, I was not a good minstrel, not at all. As in…everyone died. Very quickly. No slow and painful deaths for *my* LOTRO friends! No-sir-ree! wham! bang! dead.
But, I am an awesome Rune-keeper. In Middle Earth slang, I have mad healz, man, mad healz. Whether I am fighting and healing at the same time, or just healing because there are so many heavy tanks whomping everything in sight, I rock at healz.
You know who else rocks at healz? Our priesthood.
Yes, you heard me correctly. Our priesthood, when held by worthy men with proper authority, also has the ability to heal when coupled with true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ on the part of the recipient. I am living proof of the truth of this claim.
In 2001 I was a new member of my church. I also developed severe kidney stones. After meeting with a urologist, it was determined that the stone was too large to pass naturally or to undergo lithotripsy, which at the time meant being immersed in a vat of water as sound waves pummel one’s kidneys until one’s entire back and sides – inside and out – are black and blue. It’s basically the equivalent of being kicked in the kidneys three thousand times. I was devastated as I learned that the only option was surgery. A friend suggested that I ask for a priesthood blessing, which I promptly did. However, my thoughts were , “Yeah, right. Like this is gonna work.” And guess what? Nothing happened, except for getting a phone call from the urologist to come for a pre-operative x-ray in two days as the procedure was going to be performed in three days. The x-ray showed that this huge boulder that was lodged in my kidney hadn’t gone anywhere.
That evening I felt prompted to ask for another priesthood blessing, and so I called the missionaries and my ecclesiastical leader to come over to my house again. This time I was more sincere and fervently prayed that I would not have to have surgery. During the blessing, Bro S said, “We pray that the necessary things will happen so that this too shall pass.” As he said those words, I felt a sharp pain shoot from the top of my head all the way to my toes. As soon as the blessing was over, I ran to the washroom, and quickly and effortlessly and, most importantly, painlessly, passed numerous shards of stone.
The next day, surgery day, I went to the place where the procedure was to be performed. I told the urologist that I didn’t think I needed the surgery anymore. He told me that was highly unlikely and sent me for more x-rays. About an hour later, the x-rays were repeated. And about a half hour after that, he called me into his office, where, with a strange look on his face, he told me that he had never seen anything like this, that in all of his years of practice he had never seen anyone pass a stone as large as mine was.
Fast forward to this year. I was walking my three dogs in the wee hours of a wet and windy Wednesday morning. As usual, I was holding the two little dogs in my right hand and the big 100 pounder in the left. He is so strong that I have to use a harness, much like a horse’s halter, when I walk him. We were approaching the main street of the town where we live, when a passing police car turned on its sirens. All of the dogs were frightened by the sudden sound and lights directly in front of us. The two little dogs ran one way, and the big guy lunged the other way. I heard a popping sound as he did so, but managed to make it back home.
With my arm still throbbing a couple of hours later, I went to see my doctor. My swollen upper arm was already black and blue. Turned out that I had sprained my bicep, and was told that it would take about six weeks to heal properly, and that I shouldn’t do anything strenuous at all and try to use my arm as little as possible, and to come back to see her in two days. I burst into tears – I had just spent six weeks recovering from a trip in the sidewalk where I had ended up in a wheelchair, and was not looking forward to yet another lengthy recovery period. So, I asked for a blessing that evening.
Two days later I returned to the doctor, who looked at my arm. “Oh,” she said. “I guess I wrote down the wrong arm,” as she examined my left arm. “Nope,” I replied, “You’re looking at the right arm.” “But there’s no bruise!” “Nope.” “I don’t understand,” she said. But I did. The bruise was gone. The swelling was gone. The pain was gone. By Sunday morning I had full range of movement again.
There was only explanation: mad healz.
To learn more about this essential component of my faith, I invite you to read this article.