“Hezekiah Is Told He Will Die and Pleads with the Lord; His Life Is Lengthened Fifteen Years”

2 Kings 20:5–6

5 Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord.
6 And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.

President Spencer W. Kimball said:

“Just as Ecclesiastes (3:2) says, I am confident that there is a time to die, but I believe also that many people die before ‘their time’ because they are careless, abuse their bodies, take unnecessary chances, or expose themselves to hazards, accidents, and sickness.

“Of the antediluvians, we read:

“‘Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden?

“‘Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood’ [Job 22:15–16].

“In Ecclesiastes 7:17 we find this statement:

“‘Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?’

“I believe we may die prematurely but seldom exceed our time very much. One exception was Hezekiah, 25-year-old king of Judah who was far more godly than his successors or predecessors.

“‘In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah . . . came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.’

“Hezekiah, loving life as we do, turned his face to the wall and wept bitterly, saying:

“‘. . . [R]emember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. . . .’

“The Lord yielded unto his prayers.

“‘. . . I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold I will heal thee. . . .

“‘And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria. . . .’ [2 Kings 20:1, 3, 5–6].

“A modern illustration of this exceptional extension of life took place in November, 1881.

“My uncle, David Patten Kimball, left his home in Arizona on a trip across the Salt River desert. He had fixed up his books and settled accounts and had told his wife of a premonition that he would not return. He was lost on the desert for two days and three nights, suffering untold agonies of thirst and pain. He passed into the spirit world and described later, in a letter of January 8, 1882, to his sister, what happened there. He had seen his parents. ‘My father . . . told me I could remain there if I chose to do so, but I pled with him that I might stay with my family long enough to make them comfortable, to repent of my sins, and more fully prepare myself for the change. Had it not been for this, I never should have returned home, except as a corpse. Father finally told me I could remain two years and to do all the good I could during that time, after which he would come for me. . . . He mentioned four others that he would come for also. . . .’ Two years to the day from that experience on the desert he died easily and apparently without pain. Shortly before he died he looked up and called, ‘Father, Father.’ Within approximately a year of his death the other four men named were also dead.”

(Faith Precedes the Miracle [1972], 103–5; see also Doctrine and Covenants 42:48.)

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