Sunday, October 13, 2013

Samoa in Church History

Elder Matthew Cowley

From this October 1948 talk by Elder Matthew Cowley, of the 12 Apostles:
Brothers and sisters, with the restoration of this gospel came the reiteration of Christ's commission: ". . . these signs shall follow them that believe" (D&C 84:65). There is no question about it in my mind. "Lay your hands upon the sick, and they shall recover" (D&C 66:9). In Tonga last year there came to the mission home a couple who had been married for twenty-seven years, and they had never been blessed with children. This couple wanted to have children, and so they requested us to lay our hands upon them and bless them that they might have children. And so President Huntsman and I laid our hands upon that couple, and we blessed them. They had the gift of being healed (D&C 46:19). They had the gift of receiving these blessings.
When my wife and I visited Tonga, I think it was last May, the child had been born.
Last year I went from Tonga to Samoa. Another couple who had been married for years and had had no children came to the mission home there to be blessed that they might have this greatest of all blessings. And incidentally, brothers and sisters, the greatest calamity that can come to the home of a Polynesian is not to have children. It is such a great calamity when they do not have children that they go out and borrow their neighbor's children and rear them.
Well, we blessed this young couple, and when my wife and I were there in May, they brought the child to me to be christened and blessed, and asked that it might be given the name of my wife.
A lady came to me in the mission home suffering from what the Samoans call mu mu—or elephantiasis—her legs swollen out of all proportion. She said: "Brother Cowley, bless me and remove from me this dread disease." A month ago in Samoa she came to the mission home and she said: "Do you remember me?" I said, "Yes. You are Sister Purcell who was suffering from mu mu when I was here before." She showed me her ankles, and they were entirely normal. Then she said: "Now, I want the cataracts to drop from my eyes. Bless me now that I may receive this blessing through the priesthood of God, from God who has all power to heal."

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