One day at church, another ward member said that if Jerry prayed and fasted he might be cured. With enough faith, he said, we could do anything. This young man offered to give Jerry a blessing, which frightened Jerry. Jerry agreed to a blessing if I would give it. The other man suggested an anointing and blessing for the healing of the sick, but after having his options explained, Jerry elected for a blessing of comfort instead. My blessing was a plea for calm and peace in Jerry’s soul as I felt spiritually directed.
My first reaction was to be angry. It seemed to me that this young guy, long on abstract faith but short on actual experience with suffering, had planted a seed of false hope and possibly self-incrimination in the heart of a very sick man.