Miraculous Healing Narratives and the Latter-day Saint Missionary

Christine Elyse Blythe (Folklore Society of Utah)

Latter-day Saint missionaries regularly anoint and pronounce blessings on the sick. The fruits of this healing ritual have become the core of many legends. Missionary healing narratives and stories of efficacious blessing validate the truth claims that missionaries preach. In this paper, I compare how these stories are told alongside stories of healing by rival church leaders. Rather than validate the truth claims of their rivals, through a narrative twist, these practices continue to uphold the efficacy of LDS priesthood. Drawing on William A. Wilson's personal collection of missionary narratives and my personal field research, this presentation looks at the development of LDS missionary healing lore from the 1970s to present.

Part of 04-11 Charismata and Divination in Vernacular Mormonism, Friday, November 03, 8:30 am–10:00 am