“At two o'clock I met the members of the "Female Relief Society," and after presiding at the admission of many new members, gave a lecture on the Priesthood, showing how the sisters would come in possession of the privileges, blessings and gifts of the Priesthood, and that the signs should follow them, such as healing the sick, casting out devils, &c., and that they might attain unto these blessings by a virtuous life, and conversation, and diligence in keeping all the commandments. . .” History of the Church 4:602
Here are some of the remarks of Joseph Smith to the Relief Society reported by Eliza R. Snow:
“No matter who believeth, these signs, such as healing the sick, casting out devils, &c., should follow all that believe, whether male or female. He asked the Society if they could not see by this sweeping promise, that wherein they are ordained, it is the privilege of those set apart to administer in that authority, which is conferred on them; and if the sisters should have faith to heal the sick, let all hold their tongues, and let everything roll on. . .
“Respecting females administering for the healing of the sick, he further remarked, there could be no devil in it, if God gave His sanction by healing; that there could be no more sin in any female laying hands on and praying for the sick, than in wetting the face with water; it is no sin for anybody to administer that has faith, or if the sick have faith to be healed by their administration. . .
“He spoke of delivering the keys of the Priesthood to the Church, and said that the faithful members of the Relief Society should receive them in connection with their husbands, that the Saints whose integrity has been tried and proved faithful, might know how to ask the Lord and receive an answer; for according to his prayers, God had appointed him elsewhere. . .
“This is a charitable Society, and according to your natures; it is natural for females to have feelings of charity and benevolence. You are now placed in a situation in which you can act according to those sympathies which God has planted in your bosoms.
“If you live up to these principles, how great and glorious will be your reward in the celestial kingdom! If you live up to your privileges, the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates. Females, if they are pure and innocent, can come in the presence of God; for what is more pleasing to God than innocence; you must be innocent, or you cannot come up before God: if we would come before God, we must keep ourselves pure, as He is pure. . .
“President Smith then gave instruction respecting the propriety of females administering to the sick by the prayer of faith, the laying on hands, or the anointing with oil; and said it was according to revelation that the sick should be nursed with herbs and mild food, and not by the hand of an enemy. Who are better qualified to administer than our faithful and zealous sisters, whose hearts are full of faith, tenderness, sympathy and compassion. No one. Said he was never placed in similar circumstances before, and never had given the same instruction; and closed his instructions by expressing his heart-felt satisfaction in improving this opportunity.
The Spirit of the Lord was poured out in a very powerful manner, never to be forgotten by those present on this interesting occasion.” History of the Church 4:602-607, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith p. 223-229
I feel blessed to read, hear, and live the words of God. He restored much truth through the Prophet Joseph Smith and his words are worth considering. Some of his views received from heaven seem to differ from what is generally taught in church today.
Sisters administering to the sick? Females laying on hands? Anointing with oil? Casting out devils? All that believe, whether male or female? A sweeping promise? Sisters ordained? And if the sisters should have faith to heal the sick, let all hold their tongues, and let everything roll on. Wow! This is getting interesting.
Delivering the keys of the Priesthood to faithful members of the Relief Society in connection with their husbands? No sin for anybody to administer that has faith? There could be no devil in it? Who is better qualified to administer than sisters of faith, tenderness, sympathy and compassion? No one?
I doubt this would get through the church correlation department in these latter days; in fact, it hasn’t. There are a lot of things Joseph said and doctrines he taught that have been obscured, buried, and discarded. If Joseph preached today what he restored nearly two centuries ago, some may promptly call him on the carpet, believe him to be an apostate, and likely reject him altogether. It may even be said, “There is a strange thing in the land; a wild man hath come among us” Moses 6:38.
Even in his day, Joseph felt opposition from the people and lamented that few of the saints were willing to carefully consider newly revealed truth. He declared:
“There has been a great difficulty in getting anything into the heads of this generation. It has been like splitting hemlock knots with a corn-dodger [a piece of corn bread] for a wedge, and a pumpkin for a beetle [a wooden mallet]. Even the Saints are slow to understand.
I have tried for a number of years to get the minds of the Saints prepared to receive the things of God; but we frequently see some of them, after suffering all they have for the work of God, will fly to pieces like glass as soon as anything comes that is contrary to their traditions: they cannot stand the fire at all. How many will be able to abide a celestial law, and go through and receive their exaltation, I am unable to say, as many are called, but few are chosen”. [see D&C 121:40] History of the Church, 6:184–85