The miracle of raising the dead is one of the rarest and most sacred of all miracles. Jesus promised that His prophets, apostles, and disciples, would have His power to raise the dead. (Matthew 10:8; 4 Nephi 1:5) The Prophet Joseph Smith observed, “God can raise the dead, through man as an instrument.” (Teachings, p. 120)
This is the third, of five, published accounts I am aware of involving the miracle of raising the dead taking place in the church in modern times.
After the miraculous Willie and Martin handcart company rescues and healings, word spread the Ephraim Hanks had raised a man from the dead, and he had gift of healing. Thereafter, he was often called upon to bless the sick.
Brother Hanks was summoned to Salina, Utah to give Nancy Johnson, a young wife, a blessing. By this time, Ephraim had a long white flowing hair and a large bushy white beard. Salina was a long distance away.
By the time Ephraim reached Salina, Nancy Johnson had passed away. The Relief Society sisters were in her bedroom preparing the body for burial.
When Ephraim arrived, he demanded, “Who gave you the order to commission her unto death?”
He washed up in the horse water trough and entered the house. He ordered the protesting sisters to leave the room where the body lay, and then he locked the door.
Two hours later Ephraim, looking exhausted, came out of the room and closed the door behind him. He quietly said to her husband, “Your wife is sitting up in bed, and would like to talk to you.”
Nancy told her husband, “I dozed off and took a nap. How long have I slept?”
Her husband responded, “You have been a very sick woman for ten days. We thought we had lost you.”
Nancy explained, “I had the most wonderful dream. I dreamed there was a man with long-flowing white hair and a full-flowing white beard sitting here beside my bed, holding my hand. He told me that I would bear and raise seven daughters. The man also said there would be a time when my daughters would all stand together and be a great joy to me.” He prophesied that each of the seven daughters would serve as Relief Society presidents at the same time.
Nancy fully recovered. Sure enough, she had seven daughters. When the daughters grew up, they all served as Relief Society Presidents at the same time.
(Several landmarks in Utah were named after Ephraim Hanks.)
(T.C. Christensen’s 2013 documentary move, “Ephraim’s Rescue,” is well worth watching.)
(Sources: “Martin Handcart Burial,” by Kelly Clark Price; Ephraim K. Hanks, by Steve Halford; “Ephraim K. Hanks Obeying the Spirit,” by Kelly Clark Price; Wikipedia: “Ephraim Hanks, Handcart Company Rescue”; T.C. Christensen’s 2013 Documentary Movie “Ephraim’s Rescue;” Ephraim Knowlton Hanks: A Man of Faith, Paul L. Young)