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WILLIAM - I'm an 8 year convert to the Mormon church and thankful for every minute of it. I love everything about the church and have been blessed beyond measure as a result of it's teachings. Before I became a member I was a big fan of Benny Hinn. He is a well known Christian evangelist who travels the world holding "miracle crusades" where tens of thousands of people gather together in coliseums to worship Jesus Christ. During these worship services dozens of people are healed and then bear there testimony of what happened to them. Benny Hinn will then touch them and say something like "thank you Jesus" and they will fall down under the power of the Holy Ghost". Benny calls this "the anointing" of God. What does the Mormon church teach concerning the anointing and w! hat is their view of Benny Hinn and those like him as long as they are true to the limited knowledge they have? Does the Lord heal people in other church meetings like this? Is it possible for Benny Hinn to be blessed of the Lord with these gifts even if he doesn't hold the Priesthood? Please advise with references from the Prophets and Apostles concerning this issue please.

JOEL - God answers everyone's sincere and righteous prayers; regardless of their religion. Healings and miracles are certainly not limited to members of the LDS Church. I have known many non lds people who have experienced miraculous healings through their faith and prayers of loved ones. Paul was not just talking about Mormons when he said the following:

"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;" (1 Cor 12:7-9)

These are gifts that God has given to people for the bennefit of mankind because of His love for us all. So it is possible for certain individuals to have a gift of healing that others might not have. But these gifts directly relate to how much faith the person has in God and His power.
It is also out of His love that He has provided us with a little extra help; access to his power through the priesthood to bless and serve others. President Hinckley said:

"We are indebted to the dedicated men and women of science and medicine who have conquered so much of disease, who have mitigated pain, who have stayed the hand of death. We cannot say enough of gratitude for them. Yet they are the first to admit the limitations of their knowledge and the imperfection of their skills in dealing with many matters of life and death. The mighty creator of the heavens and the earth and all that in them are has given to his servants a divine power that sometimes transcends all the powers and knowledge of mankind. I venture to say that there is scarcely a faithful elder of the Church who could not recount instances in which this healing power has been made manifest in behalf of the sick. It is the healing power of Christ." (Faith: The essence of true religion. Hinckley)

Even though the priesthood is a real power that can be called upon to heal; it is probably a person's faith that plays the greater role in the process. There are many scriptures that demonstrate the importance of faith in the healing process. In instructions about how the elders should use their priesthood the Lord gave this revelation to Joseph Smith;

"And whosoever among you are sick, and have not faith to be healed, but believe, shall be nourished with all tenderness, with herbs and mild food, and that not by the hand of an enemy.
And the elders of the church, two or more, shall be called, and shall pray for and lay their hands upon them in my name; and if they die they shall die unto me, and if they live they shall live unto me.
And again, it shall come to pass that he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed.
He who hath faith to see shall see.
He who hath faith to hear shall hear.
The lame who hath faith to leap shall leap.
And they who have not faith to do these things, but believe in me, have power to become my sons; and inasmuch as they break not my laws thou shalt bear their infirmities." (D&C 42: 43-52)

Joseph Smith said:
"The sick will be healed, the lame made to walk, the deaf to hear, and the blind to see, through your instrumentality. But let me tell you, that you will not have power, after the endowment to heal those that have not faith, nor to benefit them," (JS HC2:309)

Jesus Himself demonstrated the power and necessity of faith in regards to healings:

"And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.
Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it." (Matt 9:28-30)

It is because of this faith that makes it possible for anyone, with or without the priesthood, to call upon the power of god to heal both body and soul.

Church leaders normally refrain from commenting on the activities of the so-called faith healers and other televangelists in the world. What happens during Benny Hinns programs may be true healings or it may simply be a result of the power of suggestion and emotion. For the few who may truly expereince a healing during his program there is no doubt that such expereinces come mostly through their own personal faith rather than through any special gift that Hinn might have. But that's completely my own opinion. Sorry, not a Benny Hinn fan :-)

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