From the Life of the Prophet Joseph Smith
Adapted from Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society course of study, 2007), 379–81.
Illustrations by Sal Velluto and Eugenio Mattozzi
When the Latter-day Saints first moved to the place that would become Nauvoo, it was swampy and full of mosquitoes. Many members became sick and died.
Joseph and Emma took sick people into their log home and even gave up their bed. They slept outside in a tent.
There was one day that Wilford Woodruff later called “a day of God’s power.” After a morning prayer, Joseph blessed the sick.
Brigham, do you have faith enough to be healed?
Yes, Joseph, I do.
Joseph and Brigham went to see Elijah Fordham, who was about to die. Each minute was expected to be his last.
Joseph took Elijah by the hand. Elijah did not answer at first, but everyone in the room could see the effect of the Spirit of God resting upon him.
Brother Fordham, do you know me?
Elijah, do you not know me?
Have you faith to be healed?
I’m afraid it is too late. If you had come sooner …
Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ?
I do, Brother Joseph.
Elijah, I command you, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, to arise and be made whole!
The words Joseph spoke were like the voice of God. They seemed to shake the house, and they caused Elijah to leap from his bed.
Healthy color came to Elijah’s face, and he was full of life. He called for his clothes, ate a bowl of bread and milk, and put on his hat. Then he went with Joseph to bless the other sick members.