K... so here I am sitting at my computer researching the history of the church and why it is false. Anyways, I get this call from my mom. Oh! Here is a little background: her friend was just diagnosed with advanced skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) and had to have immediate surgery to remove the cancer. Well this surgery was scheduled for today and cancelled. From what my mom said they put her under anesthesia and everything and when the surgeon went into remove the cancer it was gone. Huh? My mom goes on to say that she had a priesthood blessing yesterday and her name was submitted to the temple for prayers. So now my mom believes without a doubt the church is true and that this was a huge testimony boost for her... I have a medical background, I worked with breast cancer patients. Cancer just doesn't go away. Logically this makes no since. I know she wants to hear from me that I think it is amazing and also a miracle, the church must be true. I told my mom I think it is great her cancer is gone, but I can't say it is a miracle. I have to believe there is a medical/scientific reason behind this. I can only hope her doctors will continue to monitor her long term. I am not sure that miracles happen, I like to think of it more like fate/destiny. Do you believe in miracles? What is your experience with blessings and prayers, do they get answered?
When I was 15 months old, I was diagnosed with a kidney disorder. The tube leading from my right kidney to my bladder would not close completely, causing infections, etc. I took medications off and on, and had an x-ray done every 6 months for 8 yrs. After my 9th birthday, the dr told my mom that it the next test didn't show any improvement, then they would have to do surgery. My mom, being very TBM, asked for everyone in the ward to fast and pray. I never had surgery and my disorder was declared completely "well" 6 months later. I've not had any other problems since.
I believe that prayer is akind to meditation, magick, or "the secret". Whenever you put a certain about of energy or focus on something, you can affect change in your world. That is why people ask for prayers, blessings, or good thoughts to be sent their way. If prayer itself worked, you'd only need 1 prayer. It is not the method, but the culmination of energy from several people that affects the change. I believe that "luck" works the same way. You have to prepare yourself for a postitive change and when you are prepared, then you are ready for the things that "luck" brings your way.
I agree with what Lady D has said. These types of "miracles" aren't exclusive to the LDS church. Though I no longer believe in Jesus, or religion, I still believe that we come from a greater source of consciousness/intelligence and that we are part of that source. The more focus or intent we give to something, the more likely we will bring about what it was we were hoping for. The larger the group focusing on this intent, often the greater possible desired outcome. Studies have been done with prayer groups helping patients recover from illness and the patient who has a prayer group supporting them has usually healed faster than the patient who didn't. Things like this is why I don't ever see myself becoming atheist. I have seen similar "miracles" in my life as well. I certainly wouldn't take the event your mom shared as any proof of mormonism being "true". Good luck to you.
No. I don't believe in miracles. I believe in luck, flukes and freaks of nature (cancer disappearing) but I don't believe in miracles.
A miracle is attached to a person's worthiness; an agenda. Too many good things happen to too many people on all walks of life for there to be a supreme magical being upstairs pulling strings and saying, "Wow, she sure is praying lots--lets cure that cancer of hers!"
What about others who pray just as hard--oh, that's right....they have to go through a 'trial' of faith. Please. Man's ability to justify is boundless.
I was living in sin with a woman when I was first diagnosed with cancer in 1996. Two minor surgeries later, it was gone--gone-- and I know it isn't coming back. How do I know? I just feel like it's gone. They told me I would never be able to carry another child. Six years later I had a beautiful, healthy baby boy. Was it a miracle? No. It was a fluke and one for which I am glad.
Memorize this and say it to your mother:
"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything." Fredrich Niezsche
I think it's far more likely that she was misdiagnosed to begin with.
Also, keep in mind that people tend to see what they want to see. They want to see miracles, so when they remember and re-tell what happened, they subconsciously tend to focus and put emphasis on the things that show a miracle. So this lady tells your mom the story while filtering it through her TBM-Jesus-Touched-Me glasses. (Imagine the scene: The doctor comes in with some charts and says, "Yeah, we can't find the cancer anymore..." But what she interprets is "Jesus made it go away!" And she's so thrilled about that that she doesn't hear the doctor continue.... "It turns out that you had....") Your mom hears the story from her friend, again filtering it through her TBM lens so that she hears and marvels at the miracle, then tells it AGAIN to you, filtered once MORE through TBM lenses.
I'm not saying anyone is lying or delusional or anything like that. I'm just saying that this is part of human psychology, everyone does it. Including me. And by the time you've heard the story, you're getting it through two very TBM sisters who believe in the power of Jesus.
I'll bet you $20 that if you go and talk to her doctor, you'll get a very different perspective. One that's probably full of sound medical science.
I agree with the misdiagnosis. My guess is something got mixed up in pathology, since the area was biopsied prior to surgery. I would love to hear the story from her doctor versus getting it through the mormon telephone game. :)
My step-dad, about 15 years ago, was diagnosed with cancer of the nasal sinus that had spread to his cheek and upper jaw. He went down to the U of U for his last fitting of the prosthesis before surgery and, same thing, no sign of the cancer. He is also Mormon. A next door neighbor's daughter, many years ago had it happen also, they were Catholic. Other cases, different religions and beliefs.
With your background in medicine you're never heard of other cases of spontanious remission? And it happens with things other than just cancer. Keep reading...
From the web:
(I)n what types of cancer does spontaneous remission occur?
Spontaneous remission of cancer has been reported in almost every type of cancer. The largest number of cases are reported in a few types of cancer: neuroblastoma, renal cell carcinoma, melanoma, and leukemias/lymphomas comprise the largest number of cases reported.
Put "cancer spontaneous remission" into your search engine. There are a number of articles on the subject.
I have a brother-in-law that believes that a number of years ago, his wife jokingly dipped her hand in the holy water at their Catholic church, wiped it across his back and cured the ruptured disk in his back. He's been pain free for years now, but his wife died of breast cancer about 2 years ago.
Sometimes there are things we have no ready explanation for, but that in no way is "proof" of anything. The body holds more answers than we know of, we apparently don't usually ask the right questions.
I, myself, was diagnosed, by barium x-ray, with diverticulitis. The x-ray technician showed me the results as she went along and pointed out, on the screen, just what she was seeing. Supposedly, something that I would have had for my lifetime and could have been life threatening at any point. When I was diagnosed with cancer and had to have many tests, no one believed that I had ever had any problem because there was no sign of it. None! They asked silly questions like, I claimed to have had "divers" but had no surgery? Well, the doctors must have been wrong, or I was not being truthful because I had no surgery scars to prove it, or they'd just give me one of those looks like, yeah, right... I simply modified my diet, made sure I ate nothing that could get "caught" in any of the little "pockets" to abcess, Took pain meds, only occasionaly, whenever the pain got too bad and within a year, I had few problems. After about three years, I went back to eating all the things I had avoided and have had not a sign of it since.
Being a staunch Atheist, no one is silly enough to attribute the disappearance of the problem to my religion and since no one else knew, no one can claim any credit for praying for me. I'm living proof that it does not take religion but what mechanism is at work when things like this happen? I do wish someone would do a genuine comprehensive study on it.
Logicat- I have heard of these types of miracles, but on TV. Skin cancer is something you can see, something is wrong with your skin. Let's say a mole, irregular skin coloring, a lesion or a sore that will not heal and gets crusty. Those are the some of the symptoms of skin cancer. You can't have a lesion one day and not the next. If your body is taking care of itself, where is the scab? the scar? the mole? This is why I can't grasp this "miracle" in my mind. Of course, I did ask my mother these questions and she said there was no sigh what-so-ever, but again this is the mormon telephone game!
Even if spontaneous remission occured, the cancer may still be in the body. Remission is a decrease in or disappearance of the signs and symptoms of the cancer. When a patient is in "remission" or has completed cancer treatment (chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy), that patient is still monitored for at least 10 years after the symptoms and cancer is no longer showing. It is not until after the 10 years that the patient is officially declared cancer free.
I totally agree with what you said "the body holds more answers than we know of." These so called miracles do need to be studied more. The human body is amazing and what it can do is awesome. I think if we studied the odd cases and weird things, we can learn and will learn so much more.
Maybe I am just overly sensitive on this subject. I just have met and known too many good people that have had to go through and deal with cancer. I have had friends and family have pass on because of this disease. I don't wish my mom's friend still had cancer, I have known her friend for as long as I have lived, I am happy that she doesn't have to deal with the radiation and such that was planned for her. Cancer is horrible and I don't wish that on anyone. I just know that there is a more logical explaination behind this than God cured her overnight.
There are cases of visible cancers that have simply dried up and fallen off. Check Google and start reading. One person had a breast cancer that was so bad it had metastacized but the tumor had gotten so bad that it had ruptured through to the surface. One day the gal was in the shower and it simply fell off. Sadly, she died just months later from the metastisis. This is a case that was followed by a highly accredited hospital, too.
One supposition as to a possible reason there seems to be more cancers nowdays is that fevers seem to rid the body of a lot of the cells that cause cancers or attack the verious cancer cells. One page I read says that acetaminifen, Tylenol, may be the biggest blame simply because we're told that fever is such a terrible thing and it has to be remedied as quickly as possible. What if fever is part of the body's cancer removal system? We've hamstrung that sytem from functioning properly by not allowing the body to "do it's thing" and let a fever run it's course.
A few of the cases of sponaneous remission occured after high fevers from influenze and/or malaria. Makes one scratch their heads.
Right. Not having an explanation for something is not the same as having evidence of powers, miracles, or gods. Even if the diagnosis was 100% accurate (which is a hard claim to make in and of itself) when a cancer or tumor disappears and I have to choose between some unknown property of the human body or magic, I'm going to side with the unknown.
People used to be possessed by demons until we learned what seizures were.