2

As a contrast to What is the justification for relying on faith healing over conventional medicine?, I thought I'd ask the opposite. What is the justification for relying on faith and conventional medicine in conjunction with one another?

1

In Like a Broken Vessel, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland is speaking to members of the LDS Church about mental illness, but I think his reasoning is more generally applicable.

If you had appendicitis, God would expect you to seek a priesthood blessing and get the best medical care available. ... Our Father in Heaven expects us to use all of the marvelous gifts He has provided in this glorious dispensation.

So Elder Holland is making the argument that since God has provided us with both faith (and in the case of latter-day saints, blessings of healing) and with medical care, we should use both.

President Dallin H. Oaks goes into more detail in Healing the Sick

The use of medical science is not at odds with our prayers of faith and our reliance on priesthood blessings. When a person requested a priesthood blessing, Brigham Young would ask, “Have you used any remedies?” To those who said no because “we wish the Elders to lay hands upon us, and we have faith that we shall be healed,” President Young replied: “That is very inconsistent according to my faith. If we are sick, and ask the Lord to heal us, and to do all for us that is necessary to be done, according to my understanding of the Gospel of salvation, I might as well ask the Lord to cause my wheat and corn to grow, without my plowing the ground and casting in the seed. It appears consistent to me to apply every remedy that comes within the range of my knowledge, and [then] to ask my Father in Heaven … to sanctify that application to the healing of my body.”

Of course we don’t wait until all other methods are exhausted before we pray in faith or give priesthood blessings for healing. In emergencies, prayers and blessings come first. Most often we pursue all efforts simultaneously. This follows the scriptural teachings that we should “pray always” (D&C 90:24) and that all things should be done in wisdom and order.

President Oaks is making it clear that seeking medical attention (if possible) is a sign of faith, and therefore a prerequisite for a miracle to occur. This is especially important in our day, where many of us have access to excellent medical care. That being said, even in biblical times they did the best they could. Ancient Israel encouraged a healthy diet. In 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, it states that we are the temple of God, which most not be defiled.

I think that many Christians who rely on faith and conventional medicine would agree for broadly similar reasons.

  • Also, Jesus said in an illustration at Matthew 9:12 that sick people need a physician. – 4castle Mar 4 '18 at 14:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.