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JOHANNA WORKMAN, Deseret News archives
President Gordon B. Hinckley speaks at The First Presidency Christmas Devotional at the Conference Center, Sunday, December 2, 2001.

It’s Thanksgiving this week and you have a lot going on.

So I’ll keep this short.

Not long ago, while thumbing a magazine, I came across a biblical cartoon. The Israelites stood at the foot of Mount Sinai, squinting and wincing. One of them was pointing toward the summit.

“Our headaches are over!” he calls to the others. “Here comes Moses with the tablets!”

I thought it was funny. It made me smile.

But I smiled even bigger as I recalled a night several years ago when another man considered a prophet also made a headache go away.

By luck of the draw, not personal pull, my wife and I ended up at a banquet sharing the same table as the late President Gordon B. Hinckley, former president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

My wife, a junior high school teacher, lived her life with a perpetual headache. She had a bad one that night. But once President Hinckley sat down, she said later, the pain simply vanished. And it didn’t return until later, as I brought the car around from the parking garage to pick her up.

Mark Lennihan, Associated Press
In this Sept. 16, 2001, file photo, smoke from the smoldering remains of the World Trade Center billows over the skyline of Lower Manhattan, silhouetting the Woolworth Building, center. The Brooklyn Bridge, right, stretches across the East River. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Let the naysayers nay, but I'm well aware of the feelings of well-being that President Hinckley could foster. In Africa, the gathered Saints asked him to stand in front of the sun so his healing shadow would fall across them. I suspect, to them, it was the same as being touched.

And I was with President Hinckley in 2001, a few days after the Twin Towers came down. I’d been sent to interview him for a newspaper piece. And his soothing, salve-like comments eased my own jittery nerves that day and — I’m sure — cured a few headaches among Deseret News readers.

President Hinckley was a healer, as different from the terrorists as the word “balm” is from “bomb.”

2 comments on this story

The terrorists carried destruction in their wings. President Hinckley carried healing in his. He didn’t just say “all is well;” he spoke, and helped make it well.

Hey, ask around.

Where the terrorists used fire to destroy and frighten, President Hinckley used his brand of fire to warm and bring light.

As for that magazine cartoon about the Israelites, on the night my wife and I sat for dinner with President Hinckley, all she had to do was rewrite the caption.

Instead of “Our headaches are over, here comes Moses with the tablets,” her version would read: “My headache just came back. Here comes my husband with the car.”