Ida Lovisa Anderson
A Story of Healing
|Ida – age 19 – about 1889|
This week in “Come, Follow Me” we’re studying Matthew 8-9 and Mark 2-5 which contain many stories of miraculous healings. Each one is wonderful, but it’s important to know that these precious blessings still happen today. Here’s the story that I grew up with, one told by my great-grandmother Beckstrand. (Skip down to the end if you’re short on time.)
When I was twelve years old I had another sick spell with chills and fever. My aunt, mother’s sister, told mother to get the leaves of a flower that grew in the woods close to our home, crush them and put them around my wrists and they would draw the poison out of my body. Mother put some on my left wrist and was going to put some on my right one, but I started to scream. It burned like fire. When mother took the poultice off, there was a solid blister where she had put it. I had a very sore arm. It got so bad I had to carry it in a sling for three weeks. Our minister told my mother she had better take me to the best doctor in the city or I would lose my arm.
It was ten miles to Norrkoping, one of the larger cities in Sweden. Mother and I started walking but I was very weak because of being so sick and my arm was hurting me so much. It was Saturday and there were many farmers taking their produce to market but none of them would give us a ride. When we had walked about half way I could go no farther. Mother finally persuaded one of the farmers to give me a ride, but he said there was no room for her. I had an aunt living in the city near the market place and I found her home quite easily. When Mother arrived she was worn out from her long walk and worry over me.
The next morning was Sunday, but mother did not take me to the doctor. Instead she took me to the Latter-day Saint Hall in Norrkoping. They were holding a conference and there were many missionaries from Utah in attendance. When they began speaking I had the most wonderful, heavenly feeling come over me. I knew I had heard all this somewhere before. I had studied the Bible in school every day and had to learn most of it from memory. Also, because I had not been very strong I had stayed at home and read while other children were out playing, so I was very well informed, especially with the New Testament. I knew they were teaching the same gospel that Christ and His Apostles taught while here on earth.
I could hardly sit still until the meeting was over. I immediately walked up to the stand to the missionary that had impressed me with his talk on the first principles of the gospel and told him that I wanted to be baptized. He looked at me and asked me when? I told him today, right now before it is too late. I told him I was afraid they would hurt my arm though and he assured me they would be very careful. He took me by the hand and led me to my mother and said, “Sister Anderson, your little girl wants to be baptized.” She was so overcome with joy that she put her arms around me and cried, thanking our Heavenly Father that I also knew the gospel to be true and that I had found it out for myself. Mother was also converted the first time she heard the missionaries and had been baptized a month before. We children did not know she was a Mormon.
They were unable to baptize during the day because of persecution so I was baptized that night. Nearly all the members went with us to Korshagen Motala Strom, a great river, where I was baptized. We all went back to the hall we called the church where I was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Then they administered to me. They anointed my arm with oil and put the bandage back on. It was about 1 o’clock in the morning when we left the hall.
This is what I call a miracle. The next morning when I awoke, Mother took the bandage off and my arm was healed. You could not tell that it had even been sore. For over three weeks it had been so bad I could not use my hand or arm at all. It was nearly useless, but now it was completely healed. We could not even tell where the great blister had been.
Oh, what a wonderful testimony this has been to me throughout my life! How grateful I am to the Lord for this testimony, and that I know I am a member of His true church.
|Nels and Ida on their wedding day – 13 December 1893|
|Nels Peter Conrad Beckstrand family in 1914
Vernard, Della, Lillian
Elmer, Nels (father), Olive, Ida (mother), Ida, Leonard
Even though Ida was baptized in the middle of the night, it was in May; maybe there were some pretty flowers surrounding the river like in this picture.