This was originally published at LDS Liberty. You can view it here.
It is harder now than in times past to eat from the land. It is possible, however, to grow your own herbs and find the ones, with the Lord’s help, that you think would be most useful for your family and will help to prepare for famine, sickness, and pregnancy. Does not everything the Lord created have purpose? So then, each herb has a specific purpose. Doctrine and Covenants 89:10 states: “And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man.” To those who disregard the healing properties of herbs, they would do well to re-read the previous scripture. The Lord ordained, or in other words, intended, destined, or fated herbs for our use.
While on Earth each of us is tried with emotional, spiritual, and physical difficulties. Does the Lord expect us to fight these things alone? No; and in these trials if we seek his help and guidance will he not surely give us the things that we need in order to heal ourselves? This is not to say all illnesses need or ought to be healed ourselves, but there is great satisfaction in caring for ourselves and for our families. By living the Word of Wisdom, we are promised we “…shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures” (Doctrine and Covenant 89: 19). This promise, especially in times of sickness, can help a mother feel as though she is truly fulfilling her calling as a mother and not relying upon the arm of flesh—but rather upon the Lord and the knowledge she has been privileged enough to receive.
In Brigham Young’s Journal of Discourses, he stated: “Learn to take proper care of your children…If any of them are sick, the cry now, instead of ‘Go and fetch the Elders to lay hands on my child,’ is, ‘Run for a doctor’…you should go to work to study and see what you can do for the recovery of your children… It is the privilege of a mother to have faith and to administer to her child; this she can do herself.” We are the stewards of our children and as such, we have a divine right to revelation. This revelation does not only apply to teaching our children, but also to caring for them emotionally, spiritually and physically. It takes a lot of effort to learn how to care for our families. But this effort, guided by the Spirit and with the help of the Lord, enables us to fulfill our callings as mothers.
Why would one have to go to a doctor for an illness that could be treated with herbs from a pantry? What is the need to visit the doctor multiple times per year to have them say that a child is growing and developing correctly and quickly? Should not the Lord be who we turn to regarding the well-being of our children? James 1:5 states: “If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” Should not He be the one from who we receive confirmation that we are indeed raising our children correctly and that they are reaching the “milestones” in the time the Lord has set for them and not those set up for an earthly purpose? Do those milestones truly have a purpose? Does knowing what percentile in which a child’s weight is categorized really have a purpose? No. This is an average, and each parent knows that every child grows at different rates and at different times. There are the over achieving babies (like my first) who learn to walk by 10 months and those (like my second) who still decide they would rather sit than put any weight on their legs for standing. The Lord will help us to know that our children are developing at their own pace, and we can be comforted by Him.
The Lord has repeatedly stated when it is appropriate to use a physician, and when he speaks more than once on a topic, we would do well to give heed:
Matthew: 9:12 states: “…They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.”
Mark 2:17 states: “…They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick…”
Luke 5: 31 states: “…They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.”
Moroni 8:8 states: “…the whole need no physician, but they that are sick…”
From the Journal of Discourses, Brigham Young stated in 1872: “The study and practice of anatomy and surgery are very good; they are mechanical, and are frequently needed. Do you not think it is necessary to give medicine sometimes? Yes, but I would rather have a wife of mine that knows what medicine to give me when I am sick, than all the professional doctors in the world… It is that man or woman, who, by revelation, or we may call it intuitive inspiration, is capable of administering medicine to assist the human system when it is besieged by the enemy called Disease; but if they have not that manifestation they had better let the sick person alone.”
How many doctors in the world today practice medicine by the Spirit? Why do we trust everything that comes from the mouths of doctors? We oppress ourselves by relying on the opinions of professional doctors rather than upon the Lord.
Mark 5:25–26 states: “And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse.” We trust a group of individuals who say, “Yes, we can treat you. You have such and such disease, but before that treatment can happen, you will have to sign here stating that you will pay for the treatment and that you will not be able to hold us accountable for any negative side effects. You will be in bondage to us for a very long time to pay for this, and, most likely, you will have side effects from the treatment that you will have to be treated for in the future. Oh, and there is no guarantee that the treatment will work.” How many people have been deceived! Is this the way of the Lord? No. The Lord never withholds help from people nor does he force people to comply with his will, unlike the medical establishment. He allows us our agency to choose for ourselves.
Should not the medical establishment be likening itself to how the Savior healed on the Earth instead of forcing people to comply with their will, and, at the same time, forcing us to dig ourselves deeper and deeper into debt, a lot of the time for “treatments” that don’t even work and/or are unnecessary? Although it would be nice to blame the medical community for these faults, the blame lies with us. We are the ones that politely and blindly comply, while, at the same time, seem to take no responsibility for what ails us. Matthew 7:3 says: “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye.” The medical establishment cannot be blamed when we are ignorantly supporting them.
The Lord also stated in Romans 12:2: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Has the medical establishment really proven that they can deliver us from all of our ills? Or have they provided treatments that generate more disease? Herbs, on the other hand, are proven. Just as we learn from the testimonies of those at church, it would do parents well to read testimonies of the powerful effectiveness of herbs. Each time we have an illness in our family, which is not often, we do not run to the doctor for antibiotics to kill every living bacteria (even the good ones) in our bodies. Instead, we “help” the illness along by receiving a priesthood blessing and allowing our bodies the chance to heal themselves—as they were designed to do with the assistance of herbs.
Doctrine and Covenants 59:17–19 states: “Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards; Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul” (emphasis added). This is the Lord’s way.
Now is the time to take back our rights and responsibilities as mothers. Our children are bestowed to us as gifts, things to treasure and to take care of. We should not rely on the arm of flesh to care for our children before going to the Lord to seek his counsel and healing power. Just as with all things pertaining to the Gospel, learning to care for our families requires effort. It is effort that will not go unnoticed and will yield good fruit.
When we rely on the Lord in all things, we free ourselves from the bondage within which we have placed ourselves. Learning about the wonderful herbs the Lord has given us for our use will edify anyone who desires to acknowledge the Lord’s hand in their creation and their usefulness for humankind. He has given us these herbs; let us use them “with prudence and thanksgiving!”