Sunday, July 12, 2009

Benjamin Brown - Healing

Benjamin Brown, Testimonies for the Truth, 68-69. Brown records this incident as follows:

He had been engaged with his brother, and brother-in-law, in felling trees in a wood, in an adjoining township. These three had felled some trees, and as they were standing very thick, one had, in falling, struck another, and broken off one of its limbs, which hung suspended by the other branches. It is a very common thing in forest country to see dry detached limbs hanging in this way for months, and sometimes years, without falling. This one was about ten or eleven feet long, and as thick as a man's thigh, and very high up the tree. Some of these trees grow from a hundred to a hundred and fifty feet high, and seventy feet above the ground before a single branch is found. Not apprehending danger, Jesse was working without his hat, just under this branch. Suddenly, a movement caused by the wind shook the tree, and the loose branch fell from a height of at least sixty feet, striking him on the crown of his head, crushing him to the earth. The violence of the blow broke in a portion of his scull, forming a hollow about as large as the palm of a man's hand. His neck and shoulders were also much injured. Altogether, a more deplorable object I never saw in my life.

He was carried home by his friends, most of whom were members of the Church, and his father, who was not a member, procured a doctor, who pronounced Jesse's case desperate, unless, on removing the broken part of the scull, it should be found that the skin of he brain was still entire, when, by using a silver plate over the exposed portion, a chance might still exist of his life. The doctor proceeded to cut into Jesse's head for that purpose, but was stopped by his mother who strongly objected to this experiment, and sent for me to administer to him. I was then eight miles off, and at the time of my arrival he had not spoken, nor scarcely indicated any signs of life. Going into the room where he lay, I found it filled with the neighbors, who were mostly enemies of the Church. Sneers and jeers of "Here comes the Mormon, we'll soon see whether he can heal now," saluted my ears on all sides.

From a sign which I had received while on my way, I knew he would recover, and being minded, on account of the reason given in the previous remarks, that such characters should not be privileged to behold a manifestation of the power of God, I, like Peter of old, cleared the house of all but Jesse's relatives, and administered to him in the name of the Lord. Jesse then recovered sufficiently to speak, after which he fell into a peaceful sleep, and, before morning, was altogether better. In less than four days, from the time of receiving this terrible accident, from which there seemed no human probability that he could recover, or, if he did, only to survive the loss of reason, he was again at work in the woods, hauling timber, the wound being entirely healed up. Since then, he, as an elder of this Church, has been on missions to various parts of the world, including England, and has lately fulfilled a mission to Nova Scotia. The above case of healing occurred in the winter.