My Come, Follow Me studies for this week took me to 2 Kings 2-7 and the story of Elisha the prophet. Elisha was a student of Elijah and saw him taken into heaven. The mantle of Elijah fell upon Elisha, and the people observing the experience proclaimed, “There is a prophet in Israel.” The lesson material was introduced with the following information.
A prophet’s main mission is to teach and testify of the Savior Jesus Christ. Our record of the prophet Elisha, however, doesn’t include much of his teaching or testifying. What the record does include is the miracles Elisha performed, including raising a child from the dead (see 2 Kings 4:18-37), feeding a multitude with a small quantity of food (see 2 Kings 4:42-44), and healing a leper (see 2 Kings 5:1-14). So, while we don’t have Elisha’s words bearing witness of Christ, we do have, throughout Elisha’s ministry, powerful manifestations of the Lord’s life-giving, nourishing, and healing power. Such manifestations are more plentiful in our lives than we sometimes realize. To see them, we need to seek the miracle Elisha sought when he prayed on behalf of his fearful young servant, “Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes that he may see” (2 Kings 6:17).
A prophet works for the Lord, so those who receive the Lord’s servant receives Him (see Doctrine and Covenants 84:36). The principle for this post is that the words of the Lord through His prophets will be fulfilled. As He does with His prophets, the Lord inspired Elisha to prophesy of things to come – things that seemed, from the perspective of others, unlikely to occur. One such prophecy is found in 2 Kings 4:8-17:
8 And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.
9 And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually.
10 Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.
11 And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there.
12 And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite. And when he had called her, she stood before him.
13 And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? Wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people.
14 And he said, What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old.
15 And he said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the door.
16 And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid.
17 And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.
The Lord fulfills His words given through His prophets, and He fulfilled the words to this faithful Shunammite woman. She showed her love for God by her kindness to His chosen servant Elisha. She, in turn, was assured that she would be blessed with a child. Like the widow who helped Elijah, she received a special blessing from the prophet.
Millions of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints testify of miracles in their lives. President Gordon B. Hinckley shared one such miracle in the restoration of sight:
I recall once when I arrived in Hong Kong I was asked if I would visit a woman in the hospital whose doctors had told her she was going blind and would lose her sight within a week. She asked if we would administer to her and we did so, and she states that she was miraculously healed. I have a painting in my home that she gave me which says on the back of it, “To Gordon B. Hinckley in grateful appreciation for the miracle of saving my sight.” I said to her, “I didn’t save your sight. Of course, the Lord saved our sight. Thank Him and be grateful to Him”
(Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley (1997), 343).
Miracles do not come to the unbelieving because faith precedes the miracle. We must believe in Jesus Christ and in His power to bless us before we will receive miracles. Most people receive more miracles than we recognize. If we recognize Christ as the Savior and look for miracles, we may see more of them.