Joseph Heals Woman’s Arm

John Johnson, as well as several others, joined the Church after a miraculous healing of his wife’s lame arm by the Prophet Joseph Smith. The incident is recounted in the footnotes of the History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Period 1, Vol. 1, by Joseph Smith. Ezra Booth is mentioned specifically. He was a Methodist preacher of “much more than ordinary culture, and with strong natural abilities,” who was one converted by the healing of Mrs. Johnson.

A portrait painting of Joseph Smith holding scriptures in his right hand. “Ezra Booth . . . in company with his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, and some other citizens of this place [Hiram], visited Smith at his home in Kirtland in 1831. Mrs. Johnson had been afflicted for some time with a lame arm, and was not at the time of the visit able to lift her hand to her head. The party visited Smith partly out of curiosity, and partly to see for themselves what there might be in the new doctrine. During the interview the conversation turned on the subject of supernatural gifts, such as were conferred in the days of the apostles. Some one said, ‘Here is Mrs. Johnson with a lame arm; has God given any power to men now on the earth to cure her?’ A few moments later, when the conversation had turned in another direction, Smith rose, and walking across the room, taking Mrs. Johnson by the hand, said in the most solemn and impressive manner: ‘Woman, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I command thee to be whole,’ and immediately left the room. The company were awe-stricken at the infinite presumption of the man, and the calm assurance with which he spoke. The sudden mental and moral shock—I know not how better to explain the well-attested fact—electrified her rheumatic arm—Mrs. Johnson at once lifted it up with ease, and on her return home the next day she was able to do her washing without difficulty or pain.”

Return to Two Church Centers: Ohio and Missouri 1832–1834

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