December 21st, 2011 by admin

16 Comments

Living Proof

Living Proof

Amy Jones

At A Glance

Faced with her husband’s liver failure, Amy Jones turned to the resource she knew best: homeopathic medicine. As a doula and childbirth educator, she had spent many years teaching herself about the body’s many wonders, but in the time of her husband’s crisis Amy taught herself about herbs, essential oils, and, most importantly, the divine powers that come from living the Word of Wisdom to the fullest. As the founder of the LDS Holistic Living Conference, Amy helps others discover the “hidden treasures of knowledge” that come from God’s natural gifts.

You’re interested in the way that the gospel plays out in our relationships to our bodies. Can you tell us how that interest developed?

I grew up in a holistic household in Las Vegas. I was the youngest of six and I had an interesting glimpse into alternative medicine when some specific health issues of my mom’s weren’t responding to traditional treatments. There was a physician in our ward who was a medical doctor but he was also a homeopath. My mom began seeing him and saw improvement in her own condition. One morning when I was in fifth grade I woke up and didn’t have the use of my legs. I could stand briefly, but couldn’t hold my weight. My mom kind of tripped out a bit!  So she immediately took me to this brother in our ward who had treated her and within a pretty short amount of time he diagnosed me with over 50 different allergies. The main one was mercury toxicity, which was causing muscle degeneration. I spent about a year with him getting better and taking homeopathics. Once I got my silver fillings replaced, I regained all the use of my muscles.

After that experience, my mom’s trust in treating with alternative methods was very much strengthened. This was the mid 1980s and being a homeopath wasn’t exactly the most popular thing to do. Being the kid who ate rice cakes and carob brownies wasn’t the norm! I didn’t realize that what I was doing was that much out of the norm until I got pregnant with my first baby. Of course I wanted the smartest, healthiest, prettiest baby ever. And I began researching how one gets the smartest, healthiest, prettiest baby ever. There isn’t one magic pill that makes a healthy baby. It all comes down to eating and nutrition.

I took childbirth classes, I read books, I had a natural birth in a hospital with a doula and it was a fantastic experience. After the birth, I kept on reading birth books. I’d had the baby, but I couldn’t get enough of learning about birth. About a year after I had my baby, I knelt down and asked the Lord, “I have all this knowledge about birth. Should I be doing anything about this?” I got a very clear answer that I needed to become a doula and childbirth educator. I had an associate degree in business but that was it, so I didn’t have professional focus or background at that point. My first step was to look for doulas and childbirth educators in town and try to apprentice with them. But this was in the early 1990s when doulas were something of a new concept. I opened the phone book to look for them in Las Vegas, but there weren’t any. They weren’t nearly as popular as they are now. So then I tried contacting midwives.

Would you explain the difference between a midwife and a doula?

A doula is hired by the couple to work with a medical team, and she is there to give informational, emotional, and physical support to the couple. She doesn’t do anything clinical like fetal heart checks or blood pressure monitoring. She’s not responsible for any clinical outcome; she is there purely for comfort measures and information. A doula does what mothers or grandmothers used to do in the old days before childbirth moved into hospitals and we lost that aspect of maternity care because of health care policies and modern culture.

It was with great disappointment that I realized there were no doulas in Las Vegas and that I was on my own if I wanted to do this. So again I went to my knees and said, “Lord, there’s no one here. What should I do?” With His encouragement, I just started on my own.

Here I was this 22-year-old girl with one child and no formal training! I started writing out a curriculum for my own childbirth education classes, and I started attending births with a local midwife. I asked midwives to refer women to my classes. Every series of classes I held, I got more and more referrals until pretty soon the class was too big to hold in my little living room. I started a childbirth education association in Las Vegas because I was getting calls from other women who wanted to become doulas or childbirth educators as well. If there were others who wanted to train or get support I wanted there to be something to support them.  There are now 40 other women in Las Vegas who are part of that organization. It grew pretty rapidly.

In 2005 we moved to Cedar City for my husband’s work, which we thought was going to be temporary, so I continued my practice in Las Vegas. But after a year and a half, my husband was diagnosed with liver failure. It was pretty ugly. There were a few moments when I thought, “What if he dies?” It was a point in my life in which my belief systems were put to the test. Here I had been teaching people about health and nutrition and passing on my little knowing of essential oils, and I had to ask myself if I really believed in this stuff. From the time we started dating, I knew his health wasn’t a hundred percent. Over the years, from my own reading, I had suggested my own diagnoses, but we’d never gotten a formal diagnosis. But then in January of 2007 his liver just stopped functioning. I just wanted my husband well.

Did your husband share your same interest in holistic approaches?

Yes, we had kind of gone down this journey together, although I had done most of the legwork on educating ourselves. He definitely was on the same page I was on, but when he got sick we were open to anything that helped him get better. We finally got a diagnosis from a friend of mine who was a master herbalist and gave my husband a protocol to follow. Before he did this, we prayed if this was what we were supposed to be doing and we both felt great about it.

 

Because my husband was the breadwinner and was sick and couldn’t work, our money went out the door really quickly. Even though the herbs weren’t expensive compared to conventional treatments, it was still money we didn’t have. So I had to find ways to cut costs where I could. I learned to tincture my own herbs and come up with my own formulas. I had a few friends who helped me along the way over the phone, but it was mostly trial and error trying to make this stuff. A lot of it was inspiration: I’d kneel down and ask the Lord how to make something and with what quantities. It was very much a hands on lesson by God.

Were these formulas just for your husband’s treatment, or did you make these for other people as well?

I started primarily making them just for him, but I always have treated my kids herbally. So when my kids got colds or infections during this time, I couldn’t go to the health food store to buy anything so I had to figure out how to make a cold formula from the herbs I had. I learned along the way.

It took my husband about a year and a half to get back to his completely functional self. He healed completely herbally. What I learned through this process is that the liver completely regenerates every seven years if cared for properly, which was a great comfort because I knew it could fix itself if I could give it the right nutrients. And that’s what it did.

I had all this knowledge about herbs and essential oils and I had a testimony of their abilities, but at this point I had a strong prompting that I needed to start teaching out of my home about how to use herbs and essential oils in addition to my childbirth classes. So I figured out how I wanted to structure the classes and what I could teach and my neighbors and people in my ward started trickling in. I just put it out there and people showed up! A few months after I started doing this, I proposed to a friend that we have a class that was on a bigger scale; an all day thing. So we launched an LDS health class, and that’s when we started the LDS Living Holistic Living Conference in the summer of 2009. We thought, if we get 50 people showing up, we’ll be happy. Instead, 450 people showed up. I turned to my friend and I said, “I think we have something here.”

We realized there was a strong desire among the LDS community to marry the two worlds of our faith and our health. I’m a huge believer in the Word of Wisdom. It promises you “hidden treasures” if you obey it. We know that the Word of Wisdom is far more than not drinking and not smoking. My personal testimony is that it’s futile to heal physically without the Savior’s help. I knew I wasn’t alone but I didn’t realize how much company I had.

Would you talk about the connection you see between the Word of Wisdom and holistic healing?

I feel that the Word of Wisdom is a living entity to me. It’s like my friend. Eating fruits and vegetables in their season, eating meat sparingly, using herbs ordained for the “use of man”…. After I started adhering to the Word of Wisdom more closely during my first pregnancy, I fell in love with the grains that aren’t used as much – millet, barley – and I started getting these really cool revelations. I’d be doing the dishes and all of a sudden answers to questions I’d had for years came to me. There is truth in the Word of Wisdom scripture that says hidden treasures of knowledge will be revealed to you. I started experiencing that and it almost became addicting. It was just one light bulb moment after another. It became clear to me that the connection between our bodies and our spirits is much more intimate than we can imagine.

We know that the Word of Wisdom is far more than not drinking and not smoking. My personal testimony is that it’s futile to heal physically without the Savior’s help.

A lot of people looked at me and thought I was being extreme. I went off of sugars, started using wheat flour instead of white flour. But I didn’t see it as being extreme. I thought, all I’m doing is what I think the Word of Wisdom is telling me to do.  My husband wasn’t as into it as I was, but he was supportive and would eat my millet taco pie even if he didn’t want to! I believe that the Word of Wisdom is not just a suggestion; it’s one of God’s greatest blessings. The revelation and insights and knowledge it gives us are not only about our health; they’re for accessing knowledge and God’s support in any part of our lives.

What do you think it is about Mormonism about this point in time that is sympathetic to alternative medicines? Why did 450 people come to your conference?

I really feel the gifts that God has given us, the plants He’s provided, the knowledge He’s given us over the centuries about how to treat our bodies, complement our knowledge of the gospel perfectly. He didn’t just give us plants to make the earth look pretty, He gave us plants for our use. If you look through the scriptures you’ll see reference after reference to plants being used for medicinal reasons. Just because we’re in these modern times doesn’t mean the efficacy of what He’s given us is no longer valid. He put all these resources on the earth for modern-day diseases as well. He knew our day; He knew what we’d be facing. These plants have been here for centuries and they are for use on our modern day illnesses as well as ancient illnesses.

Why would He put us on this earth without tools for being healthy and therefore happy? The healthier we are, the more time and energy we have for fulfilling God’s missions for us here on the earth.

Homeopathic medicine is about the connection with nature, not forcing or manipulating the body but working with the body instead of against it. Herbs typically don’t work as fast as allopathic medicine (although I’ve seen some herbs work incredibly fast), and so there is an exercise of patience involved. With my husband’s liver failure, for instance, we had to wait six weeks with him doing his herbal therapies before we even saw a result. That was just six weeks of us praying and relying on God’s answer; I trusted this was right, but I didn’t see results for six weeks! He could have taken a pill and we would have seen results in a day, but I don’t believe it wouldn’t have been as sustainable as our method.

There’s definitely massive validity to using God’s gifts for our health. Why would He put us on this earth without tools for being healthy and therefore happy? The healthier we are, the more time and energy we have for fulfilling God’s missions for us here on the earth. If we’re sick and tired all the time, that’s time we could be using to preach the gospel or parent our children or whatever mission He has for us. This interest from LDS people in alternative health is a full circle return to connecting with the tools God gave us. I feel the decades we spent away from alternative healing have been the deviation from the norm. Allopathic medicine dominating our thinking exclusively was the deviation; herbs, essential oils, those are not a trend. They have always been there, and they’re not going away.

Why would He put us on this earth without tools for being healthy and therefore happy? The healthier we are, the more time and energy we have for fulfilling God’s missions for us here on the earth.

Have there been trends in the broader culture that have brought attention back to homeopathic medicine?

As a broader Western culture, we have realized that traditional medicine generates lots of empty promises. There’s so much in our popular medical community that says if you take this pill you’ll get better. I’m not discounting modern medicine; it is a huge complement and I wouldn’t want to be without it. On the other hand, to have the pendulum swing so far away from using God’s bounties as well to treat major and minor illnesses, is, I feel, naïve and arrogant. There are a lot of great things that modern medicine can do for people but there are a lot of things it can’t do. I think people are finding the limitations of modern medicine. There are always risks with modern medicine, so to go to a method where there is little to zero risk of injury or death—that’s  a very attractive option.

God has given us remedies that, if we learn how to use them properly, can cure us without side effects. To be given a huge diagnosis like liver failure or cancer and to experiment with modern medicine, that would be scary to me. I understand that herbs and essential oils are scary too because they’re not tested, but Christ is the master healer. He’ll tell you what to do. If you’re following His path for you, He’ll take care of you. My experience is living proof that God has all the answers for our health and our happiness.

 

At A Glance

Amy Jones


Location:
South Jordan, UT

Age:
37

Marital status:
Married since 1995

Children:
5 kids, ages, 15, 13, 9, 6, 3

Occupation:
SAHM, co-founder/director of LDS Holistic Living, birth professional (doula and childbirth educator), health professional (SimplyHealed practitioner, alternative health instructor)

Schools Attended:
UVSC

Languages Spoken at Home:
English, babytalk

Favorite Hymn:
“I Need Thee Every Hour”

On The Web:
www.ldsholisticliving.com, www.birthologie.com

16 Comments

  1. Laura Bromberger
    8:12 pm on December 21st, 2011

    Amy,
    When I read this I feel like I’m reading my own biography. Thank you for being a pioneer in bringing these wonderful healing methods back from the dust, and being so willing to share the wisdom you have accumulated through the years. It is so comforting to know that there are people out there that feel the same way I do, and interpret scripture in a similar way. Helps me feel a little less insane :) My husband has been battling CFS for the past 2 + years, and that is what started me on my journey. It ended up helping me more in the end. Truth is freedom, and it is so amazing now to be in control of my family’s health using herbs and essential oils. Please keep up the good work.

  2. Lisa G
    9:13 pm on December 21st, 2011

    Amy,
    You are awesome! Luv ya much!!

  3. Sandra
    12:02 am on December 22nd, 2011

    Inspiring. I always love hearing of people who seek inspiration and follow it.

    The word of wisdom is so fundamental in my life as well. I appreciate hearing from others that feel the same and seeing how they interpret it in their own lives. You make me want to do better.

    Thank you for sharing.

  4. Jessica
    4:24 am on December 22nd, 2011

    You put into words what I’ve been trying to say the past year! Our prophets have said store a years supply of wheat and grains,for how long?? Why do you think that is?Because its good for you! We don’t need 50 pounds of meat.I’m an RN and trying to teach people that if they’d just change their diet they would heal ang no one wants to listen.Personally,I’m evolving slowly trying to stay with mostly plant base foods.When I tell others in the medical field about it they look at me like I have 5 heads! “you need protein,too much soy isn’t good for you …..” I then explain The word of wisdom and moderation in all things.
    Our society expects quick results and lots of money too! Like you say traditional medicine works quicker yet it can also cause so many other problems. If we’d just relax,be patient, prayed healthy as we can then pray for guidance majority of our illnesses would be healed.
    The bottom line is there is no money in healthy people! Thanks.

  5. Megan
    10:03 am on December 22nd, 2011

    this is great! why didn’t you mention your book? We love the World of Wisdom! it really has been so helpful in implementing more of the basics of the Word of Wisdom! thanks for all you do. some of us really need the help :)

  6. Elizabeth
    4:16 pm on December 22nd, 2011

    I would like to say, as respectfully as possible, to Jessica that it is offensive to us in the medical profession that there is no money healthy people. People who are interested in “complementary healing” practices charge plenty of money for their services, too.

  7. Terresa W
    5:38 pm on December 22nd, 2011

    My favorite part? (The languages spoken at home: English, babytalk)

  8. Trisha
    2:02 pm on December 23rd, 2011

    Thank you Elisabeth! I agree. A neighbor of my dad’s has spent so much money on holistic healing to “heal” her hip after her car accident 15 years ago. What she really needs is hip surgery. She still walks with a limp and has chronic pain after spending tens of thousands of money on herbs, oils, zoning, etc.

    I am also an RN and I believe alternative medicine has it’s place in healing if used in combination and as a compliment to modern medicine. I admire Amy’s faith, but I think it goes to the extreme a little bit. I find that those without good health insurance are more apt to do home births and use herbal medicine. Those that have ready access to the miracles of modern medicine use them.

    I do agree with Jessica about her feelings about health being completely tied up with what we eat and our level of activity. Most of the patients I see are there in the hospital because of their lifestyle choices. The biggest problem is obesity. It’s great that Amy is making healthy choices in what she eats, but if you’re eating too much and you’re overweight then you are really not as healthy as you could be and are still more susceptible to disease.

    Amy, it is really dangerous and irresponsible to say that liver failure and cancer can be treated and cured with just herbal medicine and essential oils. I had a friend that was diagnosed early with breast cancer. As we all know early diagnosis leads to early cure. She was healthy and active before the diagnosis. She felt like she would try eating completely organic food and try herbs, etc.(the alternative medicine route). After about a year of this and the cancer getting worse she finally went to her Dr. to start treatment with traditional and proven medicine. There wasn’t too much the Dr. could do at that point. She died 6 months later at the age of 35.

    I also have 5 children and had all of them in the hospital with an epidural (gasp). They are, all of them, healthy and beautiful and not any better or worse than a child born at home in a bathtub. I have felt very judged by those that choose a home birth. It doesn’t make you better than me. It doesn’t make your children better than mine.

    We follow the word of wisdom. I have a wheat grinder. We eat plenty of fruits and veggies and eat meat sparingly. We also watch what we eat and how much we eat. We exercise regularly and do healthy recreational activities together. We do everything we can to be healthy, but that doesn’t mean something bad won’t happen. Having the faith that, come what may, God will give you the strength to handle it is the most important thing.

  9. ~B.
    2:32 pm on December 23rd, 2011

    I appreciate this article so much. I love hearing stories about women who pray and follow the guidance they receive. I also appreciate the last two paragraphs where she talks about not discounting modern medicine ~ I agree there is a time and place for each of these but I think to discount what God has also given us for health and healing is dangerous as well. Ultimately the Lord does care how you treat your body and you can pray to receive your own answers about the directions you should take concerning it as she did. To me, the most inspiring part about this article is not which healing method she chose but the fact that she had the courage to act according to the inspiration she felt she received.

  10. Anne
    5:10 pm on December 23rd, 2011

    I love everything here!! How can I learn what you do with herbs? I would love some instruction.(making tinctures.. etc.) I do not live in your area, though.

  11. June
    6:54 pm on December 29th, 2011

    Just as there is moderation in the word of wisdom there should be moderation in all aspects of our lives. I am often greatly discouraged by the divide between conventional/alternative medicine and homebirthers/hospital birthers. Each tends to judge the other–on both sides! I tend towards healing with herbs and other “natural” therapies and I have enjoyed my homebirths. I believe God has put natural resources on earth for our benefit. And I believe that there can be fewer side effects from choosing this route.

    That said, I respect the medical profession and believe that for the most doctors and nurses want to help people and do a fantastic job. Most, would agree that following the word of wisdom would be purely beneficial.

    As one person said, there are many “alternative” professionals out to make a buck. Drive down from Salt Lake County to Utah County and look at all the advertisement for some magical fruit or drink that will fix everything.

    When it comes down to it our lives are all in Heavenly Father’s hand. Results are going to be the same. How we get therefore depends widely on our individual perspectives.

  12. amy jones
    12:13 am on January 4th, 2012

    Thanks everyone for your positive and encouraging comments! And to Trish-if you pray about whatever route you take to treat illness, no matter how serious, wherein is the extremism? Extremism only exists when we disconnect from God’s will. I pray everyones new year is full of beauty!

  13. Leslie Street
    3:03 pm on January 9th, 2012

    I don’t know if these comments are going to be moderated or not, but I feel very strongly that using prayer to justify not vaccinating children (and then encouraging others to not vaccinate), is incredibly dangerous. I read your comments on the story on the Salt Lake Tribune in regard to the rising pertussis numbers in Utah. It is one thing to choose not to vaccinate your kids and it is quite another thing to actively encourage others to not do so in the name of being “natural.” The fact is, there are many people who believe that modern science and modern medicine is also a blessing from God. I believe that we are fortunate to live in a day when we can prevent our children from contracting dozens of diseases that can cause death or other serious problems. I am grateful that the church supports childhood immunization programs in parts of the world where children can still be ravanged by these preventable diseases. You try to paint yourself as a “moderate”, but the fact is, you are online encouraging others to not vaccinate their children, and to me, that is harmful. You fault the medical industry for being motivated by “profit”, and yet, isn’t your livelihood also based on getting other people to agree with you and use your “alternative” prescriptions? It works both ways.

  14. Laura
    11:18 am on June 24th, 2013

    I’m a Mormon woman and a doctoral trainee of natural product chemistry at the one of the leading botanical research universities in the nation. The “natural approach” to healing and medicine is at the heart of my research and I can’t put enough emphasis on how much I respect the trade. That being said, Amy’s approach to healing is not universally applicable. Alma 46:40-God put plants on earth to treat illness. I know it, and I have a testimony of it, and could write poems about it all day long. However, God also gave us the capacity to reason and create and innovate. Millions of lives are saved and made better though modern medicine. Advancement in the world of medicine is just as much a miracle as the healing qualities of an herbal preparation.

    Also, a word of warning to enhance your wisdom: Amy claims “little to zero” danger in natural medicine. This is a false claim. Medicine, in whatever form, must be respected. Our conversation about medicine tends towards the dangers of prescriptions. However, we can’t be swept away in the romance of natural products that we forget that plants contain powerful toxins that often depend on dosage. They are also easily contaminated and as I’ve proven time and time again in the lab, tend to have low concentrations of the active compounds and synergists. Also, be aware that the metabolism and efficacy of prescription drugs is often inhibited by herbals. If this article has inspired motions to attempt herbal remedies–God bless, but proceed with caution.

    This profile is enlightening and educational. However, I hope that we are learning the right lesson. The healing process, and how we choose to pursue it, must be accompanied by prayer, personal revelation, and logic.

  15. Alysia
    7:54 pm on June 24th, 2013

    Amy, thank you for your inspiring work. I have felt very drawn to the importance of the word if wisdom and learning how to really access the spiritual blessings of it. Thank you for the testimony of this and for sharing your story.

  16. Sandi Hachtel
    9:01 pm on December 7th, 2013

    Wow!…This article certainly sparked a lot of controversy.

    As for myself, I began with complete trust in accepted medical practice. They ran out of answers for me. I began to pray for help, and even became humble enough to accept help from the local quacks. Surprise! They had wisdom to share that really improved my condition. Over the next several years as I worked with both forms of medical expertise, I was increasingly drawn to the holistic. More than once the spirit intervened & cautioned me not to take medicine offered by a Physician (even Mormon ones). When I entered into discussions with Medical Doctors about drug side effects & alternative treatments, I was belittled & yelled at for questioning their ‘authority’. There’s something seriously wrong with a system that fosters this kind of behavior.

    As for vaccines, anyone who seriously looks at all of the data will have valid concerns as to their effectiveness. The pertussis rates were highest among the vaccinated population…hmmm…Those people I know who regularly get the flu vaccine are the ones who get the flu…surprise again? If you read the inserts that come with the vaccine package, you will see how incredibly low the stated best case scenario is for effective protection, especially among the young & the old…so much more on this.

    Some of you may have seen a video about a little girl who went into acute liver failure. It was not stated in the video that the liver failure came on the heels of a flu vaccine. Future vaccinations contraindicated….

    All that being said, we each have our free agency. I believe that any laws that dictate which medical care system we must use or may/may not use are contrary to the great plan of happiness as they rob us of our freedom to choose. That choice is precious! The spirit speaks to each of us for our own edification. Muffling those voices because you disagree with them is wrong thinking. What I thought I knew in my 20′s & early 30′s has been turned on it’s ear through health trials & sincere prayer. Hidden treasures indeed. It’s there for anyone who really wants to know. All you need to do is ask.

    I have also found that the higher the level of education, the greater the likelihood that the individual will use natural medicine. Studying for my MS opened my eyes to the tremendous corruption in the research community. Much of the research is bought & paid for before it’s ever begun, with predetermined outcomes. They don’t even follow their own rules on paper, let alone the opportunities for data manipulation before publication. Follow the money. Do I hear Gadianton Robbers? Yes, they did see our day.

    I look forward to hearing more on this topic. My love to all of you.

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