The first is Enos from the Book of Mormon. After praying all day and night, Enos is told that he has been forgiven of his sins. He asks the Lord, “how is it done?” This is the response:
“And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen....wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.” Enos continues, “Now, it came to pass that when I had heard these words I began to feel a desire for the welfare of my brethren, the Nephites; wherefore I did pour out my whole soul unto God for them (Enos 1:5-9).”
The second is the woman with the issue of blood who reaches for the Savior’s garment and is cleansed. Of course, the disciples were baffled that Christ could feel the touch when being thronged by many others, nevertheless, He did feel and He healed. When discovered, the woman “came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he’s aid unto her, ‘Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague (Mark 5:27-34).”
The third is Bartimeaus, a blind man. After discovering the cause of a great commotion nearby, Bartimeaus calls out, “Jesus, thou Son fo David, have early on me.” Those around him try to silence him, but he is determined to be heard and calls out more loudly, “Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” Jesus hears and calls the man to him. “And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way (Mark 10:46-52).”
The last is the story of the ten lepers, only one of whom is made whole. “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face a t his feet, giving him thanks....And Jesus answering said, We’re there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole (Luke 17:15-19).”
Reading each story side by side, we can see a pattern. First each person comes to Jesus, they reach for him and seek Him. . Coming to Jesus requires action, it requires faith. To come to Jesus our desire to involve Him in our lives is crucial and important. We must do some reaching. Enos sought the Lord in prayer, the woman with the issue of blood reached for His garment, the blind man called out to Him, and the leper turned back and gave thanks.
Once they come to Jesus they are then healed. In the account of Bartimeaus he is healed “immediately.” The Lord desires to heal us, to make us whole and will always do so.
The last step of the pattern comes after the healing. Each person is changed. Not only are they healed physically, their very natures are changed. Enos begins to pray for others and seek their welfare, the woman is given peace, the blind man “followed Jesus in the way,” and though we don’t see explicitly what happens with the leper, we can only imagine his desire to serve God has been strengthened.
The Patter: Come to Jesus, Be Healed, Serve more Fervently
We see this same pattern in King Benjamin’s people:
“And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood fo Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God...
And it came to pass that after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they ere filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ...
[and the Spirit] has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually (Mosiah 4:2-3; 5:2).”
Can you see the pattern? They came to Jesus by calling up Him and his Atonement to cleanse them. They were then healed and received a remission of their sins. Afterwards, because of their faith and the sanctification of the Spirit, their very natures were changed, they had “no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.”
Using this same pattern, we too can be made whole! We can take any infirmity, any weakness, any sin and apply the Atoning blood of Christ in our own lives.
Elder Kyle S. Mackey recently wrote, “[The analogy of cancer] helps us understand that spiritually we must be not only cleansed from sin but also cured from sinfulness. The war that pits our will to do good against our nature to do bad can be tiring. If faithful, we will be victorious not simply because we have imposed our will upon our nature, but because we have yielded our will to Gods and He has changed our nature (Ensign April 2020).”
So maybe the idea of being made whole or having our nature changed isn’t about having a personality shift (something I think many of us fear when giving up our will to God’s), maybe it’s simply changing our hearts and desires. Who we want to become eventually leads to who we truly are. As Elder Richard G. Scott once said, “We become who we want to be by consistently being who we want to become (CR Oct. 2010).”
I have come to the belief that Heavenly Father doesn’t want us to become more like Jesus Christ; rather, He would have us apply the atoning blood of the Savior to become more of our true selves. He wants to make us whole - - being cured from personal diseases that plague us, being saved and preserved from the affects of evil, and ultimately being spiritually reborn.
Elder Mackey continues, “...it is beyond our power and capacity to change our nature. For this mighty change, we are wholly reliant on Almighty god. It is He who graciously purifies our hearts and changes our nature ‘after all we can do.’ His invitation is constant and sure: ‘Repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal [you] (3 Nephi 18:32).”
So let us follow this pattern: come unto Christ through repentance and trust that He will heal us. Then, believe the promise that our very natures can be changed and we can become more wholly our best selves, just who we were created to be!