Sign up for Meridian’s Free Newsletter, please CLICK HERE

Did you enjoy last week’s Come Follow Me lesson (II Corinthians1-7) on the roles of apostles and prophets? For me, this lesson was an invitation to carefully prepare for our upcoming General Conference.  Are you aware that since President Nelson was sustained in April of 2018, there have been no fewer than eight conference addresses on revelation? (Just go to the topical index in the front of each Ensign to search!)  His now classic talk, ‘Revelation For The Church, Revelation For Our Lives” (May 2018 Ensign) addresses this important topic and is supported by the others. What a clarion call this is for us to seek and be worthy of the inspiration we so critically need for all the various matters of life — large and small, temporal and eternal, for young and old – and everything in between!

A recent personal revelation experience for our daughter, Emily, the mother of five children ranging from ages 8-years to 7-months old is worth sharing!  Her adorable baby, Peter, now 7-months, woke up screaming inconsolably in the middle of the night.  He’d been constipated earlier in the day, followed by a major diaper explosion before bed. They could tell he was not feeling well and a bit feverish. They thought he must be teething.   She and her husband had done everything they could think of to comfort him and decided he just needed to “cry it out.” Which is so tough on everyone at 2:00 in the morning!

As she tried to settle herself in her own bed, she heard the gentle whisperings of the Spirit: “You know, don’t you, that he has an ear infection?”  Of course!  It all added up!

She hopped out of bed and was inspired to remember the old family remedy that I had learned about as a young mother: onion juice, applied with a medicine dropper, into both ears for ear aches and ear infections!

She went to the kitchen and quickly prepared some onion juice.  She could tell which side was infected as he cried harder when she put the juice drops in that ear. Then he settled right down! He was sound asleep in less than ten minutes and slept peacefully the rest of the night!  The next morning she took him to the doctor. Sure enough! He had infections in both ears. An antibiotic was prescribed and within a day, he was back to his happy darling self.  (I have no recollection of how I learned about it when Emily herself was little.  I just know it’s an inspired remedy that we used regularly!)

As we talked, she shared how strong, direct and personal the prompting had been – and how grateful was for it!  Coincidentally, the same day of this conversation, Bob and I had just finished reading an amazing thought from Elder Holland on the Holy Ghost.  The backdrop is 3 Nephi 19:9 where the twelve newly called Apostles were praying before the Savior re-appears to them on this, the second day of His visit there:

“And they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them.”  3 Nephi 19:9

What makes the Holy Ghost a “most desired” gift? Elder Jeffrey R. Holland says:

“It is most significant that it was this for which the Nephite twelve prayed above all else.  As Christ had not yet appeared to them for this second day (and because the Father and Son could not permanently be with them – or us – in a telestial world), the next best companionship came from that member of the Godhead who can be with mortals permanently – the Holy Ghost … who is the spiritual extension and telestial representative of the Father and the Son.”  (Holland, Christ and the New Covenant).

Did you get that?  The Holy Ghost’s job is to help us here on earth! Today! He is the telestial member of the Godhead and sent specifically to help with earthly/temporal matters — even in the most common and ordinary like babies with earaches in the middle of the night!

While Emily’s experience with Baby Peter was not nearly so dramatic as the one for Amanda Smith, (the mother at Haun’s Mill who was divinely inspired on how to help her young son after his hip was shot away in the Haun’s Mill Massacre,) Peter’s earache and his mother’s concern both mattered! 

For Emily and her family, it’s a personal testimony that our Heavenly Father cares for each and every one of us at all hours of the day and night, no matter the age or stage of life we are in!

(I’ve included that truly incredible story of Amanda and Alma Smith at the bottom of this article.  What a thrill it is to remind ourselves of our Pioneer heritage and faith!)

To me, guidance for the caring of our children is a true testimony to how much care, love and communication is available to us when we seek and are worthy of it.  Now we just need to apply that inspiration to our own adult physical – and to feel as responsible for ourselves as we do for them!

With the constant barrage of information (much of it conflicting) on how to care for our bodies, we need all the inspiration we can find!  Our personal favorite source right now is in beautiful harmony with the Word of Wisdom!  “How Not To Die” by Dr. Michael Greger is a New York Times Best Seller for many reasons. I’ve mentioned this book before, but, as President Nelson says, “good information leads to good inspiration!” I encourage you to check it out of the library or at least load the app “Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen” on your phone for the interesting articles and videos.  Dr. Greger has a delightful sense of humor which makes it very enjoyable.

Now back to the onions!

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

Onions have a fascinating history!  Most researchers agree that they have been cultivated and consumed for 5000 years or more, with medicinal use starting about 4,000 years ago. Here’s a fascinating tidbit: Egyptians buried onions along with their Pharaohs. Onions were not only important to their diet, they saw eternal symbolism in the structure of the onion, i.e. the circle within a circle layers of the onion itself.  Some researchers wonder if it was also believed that their strong scent and/or magical powers would prompt the dead to breathe again!

Throughout time, onions have been known for their strong antiseptic qualities.  They are easy to cultivate and less perishable than many vegetables.  In early times, onions prevented thirst and were dried (as they are now) for consumption at a later time. 

They are specifically mentioned as a favored food among the Children of Israel. In Numbers 11:5, the children of Israel lament the meager desert diet:  “We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onion and the garlic.”

The Greek physician Hippocrates, (famous for his quote “let food be thy medicine”) noted several medicinal uses of onions including that before the Olympic games, athletes would eat onions, drink onion juice and rub onions onto their bodies! 

The Pilgrims brought onions with them on the Mayflower, although they found the Native American Indians were already eating them raw and cooked … and of course, using them as medicine.  During World War II, Russian solders were so impressed with the onions’ ability to prevent infection that they applied onions to battle wounds as an antiseptic.

(This makes me wonder if onions were used in the great battles of the Book of Mormon?)

Onions are still considered to be a modern day preventative and healer.  They are, as my daughter Emily and I can testify, a great help for children’s earaches!

Here are five more helpful things that can make us stand up and shout ONIONS! Onions Oooohh-La-La! 

(IMPORTANT: If you don’t want to eat onions for whatever reason, you can still enjoy their benefits with onion capsules, readily available as a supplement at your health food store or pharmacy.)

Onions can help improve our digestion because they are “rich in inulin, a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic,” says Prebiotics are good because they serve as food for probiotics, “and help those beneficial microbes flourish.”

The inulin in onions also makes them good for relieving constipation, improving blood sugar regulation, nutrient absorption, and they improve bone density (which we’ll get to next). There is also some evidence that onions could help support weight loss, too.

I’ve done so much reading on osteoporosis.  One of the key elements to strengthening bones naturally is a WIDE variety of fruits and vegetables every day.  One study in particular that examined perimenopausal and postmenopausal Caucasian women 50 and older. The research showed women who ate onions more frequently had better density. They were also able to decrease their chances of a hip fracture by more than 20-percent against the women who never ate any onions.

We need to take good care of our heart and a great way to do this is by eating healthy.  Onions have the ability to lower our risk of heart disease by fighting inflammation, decreasing triglycerides and reducing cholesterol levels. “Their potent anti-inflammatory properties may also help reduce high blood pressure and protect against blood clots,” writes the source.

One of the onion’s best components to help isis quercetin, the flavonoid antioxidant that works as an anti-inflammatory to reduce high cholesterol levels and other heart disease risk factors. For example, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition looked at 70 overweight people with high blood pressure and found that consuming 162-mg of onion extract a day can reduce systolic blood pressure by 3 to 6-mmHg.

The quercetin in onions and other foods (especially apple skins) is even more powerful than vitamin E for boosting immunity. Be sure to get plenty of quercetin when you’ve been sick or during cold and flu season, when those viruses are everywhere.  It can give your immune system a real boost!

When you’re congested, onions, garlic, chili peppers, and horseradish are natural decongestants! Eat as much as you can handle and your nose will often start running very quickly.

Other ways to get the power of onions? Just take some onion capsules that are available at your pharmacy or Amazon!  You can also get Quercetin capsules the, powerful flavenoid that is so helpful from onions.


Bacteria can be quite nasty and in some cases even dangerous. Onions help fight against dangerous bacteria like Escherichia coli (E. coli), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Bacillus cereus. 

Also, quercetin, which can be extracted from onions or taken as a capsule, has also been shown to be quite powerful when fighting against bacteria. A test-tube study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that “quercetin extracted from yellow onion skin successfully inhibited the growth of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

We personally love onions in EVERYTHING! We enjoy chopping up onions and steaming them or roasting them by themselves as a side dish. While most of us don’t usually think of eating onions like a regular vegetable, i.e., peas or green beans as a side dish, why not!?!? It is so clear that our Heavenly Father truly “has our backs” as the popular expression goes and has for eternity! With fruits of the field and of the vineyard to help us create healthy bodies and combat illnesses,  It’s up to us to learn, apply and be open to the inspiration that only Heaven can bring to care for ourselves and our families.

As promised, here’s the amazing Haun’s Mill story about Amanda Smith and her little son, Alma and a refresher link to President Nelson’s article on revelation.  Enjoy!

Revelation For The Church, Revelation For Our Lives: President Russell M. Nelson, April 2018

Haun’s Mill Massacre And A Mother Of Faith: The attack happened in the late afternoon of October 30, 1832.  The women and children of the small, new settlement, were alerted to the approach of a mob of 250 men. They fled to the surrounding woods midst volleys of gun fire. Some of the men and older boys were at prayers in a blacksmith’s shop and had no advanced warning of the mob’s approach. The poorly constructed shop had logs that were widely spaced, which gave the mob room to stick their rifles in between the logs and fire. It was later reported that over 100 rifles were stuck into the building and fired.

The massacre in Amanda Smith’s words: “When the firing had ceased I went back to the scene of the massacre, for there were my husband and three sons, of whose fate I as yet knew nothing…

Emerging from the blacksmith shop was my eldest son, bearing on his shoulders his little brother, Alma. “Oh! my Alma is dead!” I cried, in anguish.

“No, mother; I think Alma is not dead. But father and brother Sardius are killed!”

What an answer was this to appal [appall] me! My husband and son murdered; another little son seemingly mortally wounded; and perhaps before the dreadful night should pass the murderers would return and complete their work! But I could not weep then. The fountain of tears was dry; the heart overburdened with its calamity, and all the mother’s sense absorbed in its anxiety for the precious boy which God alone could save by his miraculous aid.

The entire hip joint of my wounded boy had been shot away. Flesh, hip bone, joint and all had been ploughed out from the muzzle of the gun, which the ruffian placed to the child’s hip through the logs of the shop and deliberately fired. We laid little Alma on a bed in our tent and I examined the wound.

It was a ghastly sight. I knew not what to do. It was night now. There were none left from that terrible scene, throughout that long, dark night, but about half a dozen bereaved and lamenting women, and the children. Eighteen or nineteen, all grown men excepting my murdered boy and another about the same age, were dead or dying; several more of the men were wounded, hiding away, whose groans through the night too well disclosed their hiding places, while the rest of the men had fled, at the moment of the massacre, to save their lives.

The women were sobbing, in the greatest anguish of spirit; the children were crying loudly with fear and grief at the loss of fathers and brothers; the dogs howled over their dead masters and the cattle were terrified with the scent of the blood of the murdered. Yet was I there, all that long, dreadful night, with my dead and my wounded, and none but God as our physician and help. “Oh my Heavenly Father,” I cried, “what shall I do? Thou seest my poor wounded boy and knowest my inexperience. Oh, Heavenly Father, direct me what to do!”

And then I was directed as by a voice speaking to me. The ashes of our fire was still smouldering. We had been burning the bark of the shag-bark hickory. I was directed to take those ashes and make a lye and put a cloth saturated with it right into the wound. It hurt, but little Alma was too near dead to heed it much. Again and again I saturated the cloth and put it into the hole from which the hip joint had been ploughed, and each time mashed flesh and splinters of bone came away with the cloth; and the wound became as white as chicken’s flesh.

Having done as directed I again prayed to the Lord and was again instructed as distinctly as though a physician had been standing by speaking to me. Near by was a slippery-elm tree. From this I was told to make a slippery-elm poultice and fill the wound with it. My eldest boy was sent to get the slippery-elm from the roots, the poultice was made, and the wound, which took fully a quarter of a yard of linen to cover, so large was it, was properly dressed. It was then I found vent to my feelings in tears, and resigned myself to the anguish of the hour. And all that night we, a few poor, stricken women, were thus left there with our dead and wounded….

The crawling of my boys under the bellows in the blacksmith’s shop where the tragedy occurred, is an incident familiar to all our people. Alma’s hip was shot away while thus hiding, Sardius was discovered after the massacre by the monsters who came in to dispoil the bodies. The eldest, Willard, was not discovered….

But to return to Alma, and how the Lord helped me to save his life. I removed the wounded boy to a house, some distance off, the next day, and dressed his hip; the Lord directing me as before. I was reminded that in my husband’s trunk there was a bottle of balsam. This I poured into the wound, greatly soothing Alma’s pain. “Alma, my child,” I said, “you believe that the Lord made your hip?” “Yes, mother.” “Well, the Lord can make something there in the place of your hip, don’t you believe he can, Alma?” “Do you think that the Lord can, mother?” inquired the child, in his simplicity. “Yes, my son,” I replied, “he has showed it all to me in a vision.”

Then I laid him comfortably on his face and said: “Now you lay like that, and don’t move, and the Lord will make you another hip.” So Alma laid on his face for five weeks, until he was entirely recovered—a flexible gristle having grown in place of the missing joint and socket, which remains to this day a marvel to physicians. On the day that he walked again I was out of the house fetching a bucket of water, when I heard screams from the children. Running back, in affright, I entered, and there was Alma on the floor, dancing around, and the children screaming in astonishment and joy. It is now nearly forty years ago, but Alma has never been the least crippled during his life, and he has traveled quite a long period of the time as a missionary of the gospel and a living miracle of the power of God.”

Carolyn Allen is the Author of 60 Seconds to Weight Loss Success, One Minute Inspirations to Change Your Thinking, Your Weight and Your Life. She has been a columnist for Meridian Magazine for 11 years,  providing mental and spiritual approaches for weight loss success and happy living both online and in the Washington, DC community since 1999.  She has presented for Weight Watchers, First Class, Fairfax County Adult Education and other community groups. She and her husband, Bob, are the parents of five children and grandparents of a growing number of darling little ones. They are now happy empty nesters in Jackson, Tennessee, close to Memphis, where they center their online business for an amazing herbal detox. CLICK HERE