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Following the example set by the question-and-answer columns in the early Journals, when Mary Baker Eddy was Editor, this column will respond to general queries from Journal readers—such as the one above—with responses from Journal readers. It will not cover questions about how to interpret statements in Mrs. Eddy's writings. There's more information at the end of the column about how to submit questions.


From the May 2007 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "Love is not hasty to deliver us from temptation, for Love means that we shall be tried and purified" (Science and Health with key to the Scriptures, p. 22). I find that statement so discouraging. To me it means that it's best not to expect a quick healing because a lengthy period of trial and purification may be required. As a result, whenever a health problem arises in our family we seldom have high hopes for a speedy recovery, and our experience bears out our expectations, Is there another way I could look at this statement that would bring encouragement rather than discouragement?

A1 It is helpful to consider this statement in its proper context. This passage appears in Science and Health as part of an in-depth discussion on the atonement of sin, rather than in relation to the healing of sickness. But we can be encouraged by the fact that one can expect to be healed of sin as soon as this belief in sin is destroyed, and naturally, the sinning itself stops.

With regard to bodily illness, one should always expect to be healed "quickly and wholly" (Manual of The Mother Church, p. 92). Other references in Mary Baker Eddy's writings-"instantaneous cure" (Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896, p. 3550, "Speedy healing," and the "healing work... accomplished at one visit" (Science and Health, p. 365)-should make the fact abundantly clear that Christian Science does encourage one to expect-and demand-quick physical healings. Nowhere do we find in the teachings of Jesus or in Christian Science a necessity for the sick to be confined to bed or to have to endure a long period of suffering as the result of being ill.

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