President Russell M. Nelson - Power of Prayer April 2003 General Conference

Sister Bingham told this story at the 2018 Spring/Easter Fireside of Collegium Aesculapium.  She mentioned that she had seen this blog.  She also spoke of the importance of recognizing and sharing such experiences......   Pres. Nelson said:

"Personal Experience with Prayer

Many of us have had experiences with the sweet power of prayer. One of mine was shared with a stake patriarch from southern Utah. I first met him in my medical office more than 40 years ago, during the early pioneering days of surgery of the heart. This saintly soul suffered much because of a failing heart. He pleaded for help, thinking that his condition resulted from a damaged but repairable valve in his heart.

Extensive evaluation revealed that he had two faulty valves. While one could be helped surgically, the other could not. Thus, an operation was not advised. He received this news with deep disappointment.

Subsequent visits ended with the same advice. Finally, in desperation, he spoke to me with considerable emotion: “Dr. Nelson, I have prayed for help and have been directed to you. The Lord will not reveal to me how to repair that second valve, but He can reveal it to you. Your mind is so prepared. If you will operate upon me, the Lord will make it known to you what to do. Please perform the operation that I need, and pray for the help that you need.”21

His great faith had a profound effect upon me. How could I turn him away again? Following a fervent prayer together, I agreed to try. In preparing for that fateful day, I prayed over and over again, but still did not know what to do for his leaking tricuspid valve. Even as the operation commenced,22 my assistant asked, “What are you going to do for that?”

I said, “I do not know.”

We began the operation. After relieving the obstruction of the first valve,23 we exposed the second valve. We found it to be intact but so badly dilated that it could no longer function as it should. While examining this valve, a message was distinctly impressed upon my mind: Reduce the circumference of the ring. I announced that message to my assistant. “The valve tissue will be sufficient if we can effectively reduce the ring toward its normal size.”

But how? We could not apply a belt as one would use to tighten the waist of oversized trousers. We could not squeeze with a strap as one would cinch a saddle on a horse. Then a picture came vividly to my mind, showing how stitches could be placed—to make a pleat here and a tuck there—to accomplish the desired objective. I still remember that mental image—complete with dotted lines where sutures should be placed. The repair was completed as diagrammed in my mind. We tested the valve and found the leak to be reduced remarkably. My assistant said, “It’s a miracle.”

I responded, “It’s an answer to prayer.”

The patient’s recovery was rapid and his relief gratifying. Not only was he helped in a marvelous way, but surgical help for other people with similar problems had become a possibility. I take no credit. Praise goes to this faithful patriarch and to God, who answered our prayers. This faithful man lived for many more years and has since gone to his eternal glory."

Miraculous healing

We are introducing this new page to collect stories and experiences about faith in medicine from medical professionals.  Please share your experiences with the association in a brief email to and after review they will be posted here.


Dr. Johnnie Cook (submitted Nov. 2017) - In 1999, I had a 4 month old baby boy named Ryan in the hospital. He had seen me in the office and was steadily, slowly getting weaker and sicker. He had gotten to the point he couldn't swallow. Our consultants were unable to find the cause for his sickness. One night, I  prayed fervently for guidance and went to bed. At about 2 am, I awoke with the words in my mind, "The Child has Infant Botulism". Now I'm embarrassed to say that at the time I was familiar with the adult version of botulism commonly received by eating spoiled food.  I'd had some involvement with an older couple both hospitalized after their homemade salsa went bad. But I must have missed learning about the infant version commonly acquired when the clostridium tetani bacteria is aerosolized by nearby construction or less commonly by eating unprocessed honey; Ryan's family lived near a new subdivision going in and the earth moving had caused his infection. I awoke, did a little research, called the resident caring for him and said, "Ryan's got Infant Botulism". She said, "What's that?" To make a long story short, he was transferred to Primary Childrens Hospital where he spent over a month on the ventilator. Just recently, I did Ryan's mission physical, and as I think of his having his life preserved to now serve as an Ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ, I am so grateful for divine intervention and answers to prayer!!