Mariah Walton is permanently disabled after her parents chose faith healing over medical care.
Mariah Walton's parents would tell her: "God's going to heal you, just have faith." Now she's permanently disabled, and wants to prosecute them.

21-year-old Mariah Walton of Idaho is battling a life-threatening heart and lung condition. The most excruciating part? Her condition was entirely preventable. One of nine children, Mariah was born with a small hole in her heart, a congenital birth defect that could have been simply repaired if it had been found and treated earlier on.

However, her parents opted to pursue "faith healing" instead of taking her to the doctor.

Following devout Mormon teachings, they never bothered to look into Mariah's symptoms while she was growing up, choosing instead to pray for her health to improve. Once she got into her teenage years, the condition grew steadily worse. Finally, Mariah sought professional help. But even when her parents were told the diagnosis, they still refused to let her get treatment, convinced faith healing would pay off in the long run.

Even by then, though, it was too late. Mariah's condition was no long treatable; it had become permanent.

A woman receiving faith healing
Does faith healing work?

The Parents Pick Prayer

Mariah's parents communicated that their decisions were made based on what they thought was genuinely best for their child. The mother explained that on top of prayer she also attempted several natural remedies, including herbs and oils. None worked.

In a recent interview with a local news station, Mariah explained that whenever her condition took a turn for the worse, rather than bring her to the hospital, her parents would simply turn to prayer. "They'd say: 'God's going to heal you, just have faith' and all kinds of stuff "

Her sister, Emily, explains that their parents would routinely instruct the children that "we needed to pray for Mariah, that she wasn't growing or doing well, and the evil spirits would leave her."

Neglect vs. Faith

The debate now is whether or not Mariah's parents should face charges. If the parents sincerely believed that prayer would heal their daughter, should they be held accountable? Was their decision to refuse medical treatment malicious, or simply misguided?

Mariah seems to think it was malicious, and she wants her parents to face consequences. There's just one small problem...

A neglected child sitting on the floor

Idaho Protects Parents

Although Mariah might wish see her parents punished, the state of Idaho likely won't allow it to happen. According to Idaho law, parents have a right to refuse medical treatment for their children on religious grounds. Unless the law is somehow changed or amended, Mariah's parents can't be touched.

State politicians have long supported this protection, arguing that it's an important foundation of freedom of religion.

Children Campaigning for Change

Mariah's condition could have been a simple fix. Instead, she now has a dangerous chronic condition, living her life in and out of the hospital. The price she's paying for her parents' focus on faith is decidedly heavy. "My lungs burn because I can't get the oxygen I need," she explains.

Mariah and her siblings don't want any other children to suffer the same fate. Together, they are currently challenging long-held Idaho parent protection laws, campaigning for awareness and change. Their long-term goal is to prosecute their parents in a court of law. However, until the laws are changed, this goal will remain a pipe dream.

What do you think? Should parents have the right to make medical decisions for their children, even if that means choosing faith healing over a doctor's advice? Which is more important: religious freedom or the safety of children?



  1. Joe Stutler's Avatar Joe Stutler

    Those "religious exemptions are obscene. If you want to kill yourself through denying yourself medical care, so be it. You should not be able to do that to children. I hope those parents are made an example of, and I wish for the very best for the young woman whose parents were so horribly abusive to her.

    1. diggeriraq's Avatar diggeriraq

      AGREED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. Kristy's Avatar Kristy

      Agreed...the parents need to be held responsible in some way. Prayer is terrific as we all know but it should not take the place of conventional medicine. This young woman had her life robbed from her due to her parents actions, what's in store for them?

    3. Millard Longman's Avatar Millard Longman

      Who should pay for the medical treatment?

      1. Keith Rogers's Avatar Keith Rogers

        Since it's a child it shouldn't matter

    4. Gerry's Avatar Gerry

      Agree prayer should be used to help heal, but it needs to be balanced against the miracle of medicine through qualified medical practitioners.

      1. Shauna Maxwell's Avatar Shauna Maxwell

        I agree. It angers me that they didn't get their child the help that she needed. They should've gotten her the surgery and then prayed thar she be protected from future illness.

  1. Cindy's Avatar Cindy

    I just can't believe this is LDS I have been associated with them for the past 38 yrs. not once has this transpired with family members or friends case in point my nephew was a little boy he was having headache and trouble with his vision. They prayed over gave him bless is exact. Took him to his child doctor who set u an MRI. It showed a tumor close to optic nerve rather than operate he had radiation it srank tumor eventually they operated. My point they always had faith in Gods healing but they also St I mortuary lisensed to wisdom the wisdom of God and of their ouwn hearts

    1. David W Barham's Avatar David W Barham

      You are correct, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints do believe in seeking medical care from a doctor & hospital for their family members. These parents must have been misguided or selfish. The fact that the current President of the Church is a World Famous Heart Surgeon totally contradicts what the parents' claim that the Church believes in Faith Healing Only..

  1. Francisco's Avatar Francisco

    Faith healers are the dinosaurs ???of modern religion...they should be extinct ? by now. The parents ? of this child should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law ⚡️.

    1. diggeriraq's Avatar diggeriraq

      AGREED !!!

    2. Dave's Avatar Dave

      Unfortunately, it appears that they have been prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The law in place won't allow any prosecution. So the parents are ignorant, closed minded, stupid, whatever. It's not the parents that are the biggest culprit here, it's the legislature in Idaho that keeps children in the category of chattel, not allowing them to have rights to life of their own.

      1. Keith Rogers's Avatar Keith Rogers

        Definitely, children today are more mature than past generations, they should have a say in their own treatment as long as they understand the implications and possible outcomes.

  1. Jack Lam's Avatar Jack Lam

    Ignorance is no excuse.amen.

  1. Jack Lam's Avatar Jack Lam

    Doctors through God heal!wake up children of god.amen.

  1. Miranda Allison Young's Avatar Miranda Allison Young

    Parents should definitely pray for their children to get well, but they should first take them to a doctor and do what the doctor says is needed. Prayer does help but it has to be used in addition to medical treatment. What her parents did to her is child abuse and they should be charged, tried, and convicted. They should have to go to jail.

  1. Dwayne Crandall's Avatar Dwayne Crandall

    God uses tools and people as tools to help others. Such as Doctors! I'm not a Mormon but where do they get this idea of no medical help? The parents tried natural remedies and prayer only? Why not doctors and prayer? I tried healing myself naturally for my high cholesterol and used natural red rice yeast to lower it. I ended up having a heart attack because I refused the Doctors advice of taking cholesterol medication and believed the natural stuff would work. I ended up having a massive heart attack and prayed to God on the way into the operating room where I received three stents. Now I am alive and well. I am able to warn others about the dangers of treating things naturally with herbs, etc. Let God help by using some of the Doctors he has provided you with! I know God kept me alive for a reason. I survived so that I could become saved and born again. Now God can use me as a tool to help others learn about Christianity. I'm so glad God gave me a second chance because now I am ready and know I am going to Heaven when I die. I don't think I was truly saved at the time I was having my heart attack. Nor was I born again. God saved me from eternal damnation and I cannot thank him enough. I have mixed feelings about her seeking justice on her parents. We are supposed to forgive. Honor thy mother and father. Why isn't she going after the state for having a law in place that allowed her to be put in danger? Maybe at least try to have them change the law and give her any medical help she needs.

    1. Beth K's Avatar Beth K

      To this I will respond, "It depends".

      Cholesterol-lowering medication, like most medication, is not without unwanted side effects.

      My husband was diagnosed with high cholesterol from a test given right after a high-fat meal. We felt this test result was in error. He refused the statin drugs, insisting upon another test. He eventually got one from another doctor, as a fasting blood test. It was still a little elevated. We used the natural solution - quite simply, a change in diet. No herbs other than as flavorings. Then, a repeat test in 3 months. No more high cholesterol.

      The take-away from this is to try the natural solutions first. Then, FOLLOW UP WITH OBJECTIVE TESTING. If lab tests show that it's working, great. If it's not working sufficiently, THEN use the medical solutions.

      In the case of this girl, there were no natural solutions. Prayer is fine, so long as she'd been taken to get conventional medical care. Her parents did neither. Faith healing is pretty close to doing nothing at all, and that course of action has been tried since the beginning of time, with bad results. It's fine to thank God that the medical interventions worked, but don't forget to thank the doctors, nurses, technicians, and everyone else, including those who sterilized everything for their hard work, study, and all of the research that was behind what they did.

    2. Dwayne Crandall's Avatar Dwayne Crandall

      You know how some religions believe only in prayer and faith alone and refuse to see a physician? I found some very clear answers about that in Ecclesiasticus which is one of the books taken out of the bible when King James had the scholars review what should stay or not. 1 Honour a physician with the honour due unto him for the uses which ye may have of him: for the Lord hath created him. 2 For of the most High cometh healing, and he shall receive honour of the king. 3 The skill of the physician shall lift up his head: and in the sight of great men he shall be in admiration. 4 The Lord hath created medicines out of the earth; and he that is wise will not abhor them. 5 Was not the water made sweet with wood, that the virtue thereof might be known? 6 And he hath given men skill, that he might be honoured in his marvellous works. 7 With such doth he heal men, and taketh away their pains. 8 Of such doth the apothecary make a confection; and of his works there is no end; and from him is peace over all the earth, 9 My son, in thy sickness be not negligent: but pray unto the Lord, and he will make thee whole. 10 Leave off from sin, and order thine hands aright, and cleanse thy heart from all wickedness. 11 Give a sweet savour, and a memorial of fine flour; and make a fat offering, as not being. 12 Then give place to the physician, for the Lord hath created him: let him not go from thee, for thou hast need of him. 13 There is a time when in their hands there is good success. 14 For they shall also pray unto the Lord, that he would prosper that, which they give for ease and remedy to prolong life. 15 He that sinneth before his Maker, let him fall into the hand of the physician.

      1. Matthew's Avatar Matthew

        “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

        John 14:12 King James Version (KJV)

        1. TheMinisterLady's Avatar TheMinisterLady

          What is the scripture number to this verse please

    3. David W Barham's Avatar David W Barham

      Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Nickname: Mormons) do believe in taking family members to doctors & hospitals for medical care. These parents were WRONG period. The fact that the current President of the Church is a World Famous Heart Surgeon is a total contradiction to the parents' claim that the Church believes in Faith Healing Only.

  1. Tom B's Avatar Tom B

    Religious freedom should never be at the same level as the health of children...the Idaho law is fundamentally wrong, because it is religion-based...that was never the intent of the American democracy

    1. Lea Weisenbach's Avatar Lea Weisenbach

      Spot on.

      1. Tom B's Avatar Tom B

        Zea...thank you...the more there is research on the Revolutionary Era, the clearer it becomes that religion was not the basis for America...the only organization (which is not a religion) that seems to have had an organizational impact, is the Masons...Tom

    2. Keith Rogers's Avatar Keith Rogers

      I pledge Allegiance to the flag..... One nation under GOD......

      1. Dave's Avatar Dave

        Keith: That phrase was added in 1954 during McCarthyism. And not everyone says that part. The pledge itself wasn't adopted until 1942, although it was written in 1887, more than 100 years after the Declaration of Independence, and almost a century after the constitution was adopted, including the first amendment. We are not a nation based on god. Even if we were, which god? The Judaeo/Christian/Islamic god? (It's the same one, sorry.) Or any of the Hindu gods? Or how about Zeus? Thor? Balaam? I much prefer to be based on inclusion and equality. Protection of the citizens. Including the children. DaveJ

        1. Matthew's Avatar Matthew

          Good point. There is this erroneous thought that the "Founding Fathers" were predominantly Christian and created this country likewise...but that is simply not true. A little research into their beliefs turns up some interesting questions.

      2. John A Anderson, CD, CIF Mons ON's Avatar John A Anderson, CD, CIF Mons ON

        That line from your pledge of allegiance, like the one on your currency, was added during the "Red Scare" of the 50's and 60's.

  1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

    The only thing I have to say about this one is, if you support abortion on demand, you need to stay quiet on this one, because you will probably be talking out both sides of your mouth-- defending children above religion on one hand, and murdering them over the objection of religion on the other. I'm just saying...

    1. Jenny Worth's Avatar Jenny Worth

      I'm not sure thats 100% the same thing... I am pro-choice, but this is a little different.

      1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

        So, you're saying, it's okay for a mother to have her unborn baby pulled out of her and killed in the early stages of development, but it's NOT okay for parents to decide not to hire a member of the same profession that kills the babies to treat their child after it is born? I really don't see the big difference.

        Here's something else to consider: a young woman is making arrangements for an abortion-- her choice. She doesn't want that baby. On the way she is hit and killed by a drunk driver, another woman. The woman is charged with two counts of manslaughter. Now, if that unborn baby was a human whose untimely death is prosecutable as a homicide, HOW COME THAT MOTHER CAN CHOOSE TO KILL IT WITH IMPUNITY?

        Somewhere, somehow, society MUST be consistent about some things. This is ridiculously inconsistent.


          consistency is the hobgoblin of simple minds

  1. Lea Weisenbach's Avatar Lea Weisenbach

    All the evils of the world have hide behind religion. This is a form of child abuse and her parents should be prosecuted. Religions are not above the law...Stuff like this have gone on to long.

    1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

      Satan Himself masquerades as an angel of light, and His ministers as the ministers of righteousness.

  1. Charlene Newman's Avatar Charlene Newman

    The parents seem to be missed guided and confused. God indeed sends healing in any way or form He/She chooses​. Through Devine healing, medical intervention, natural and herbal healing,etc; the how is up to God. States should have medical child protection laws for when parents get confused and can't see that God works in medical knowledge as well as Devinely.

    1. Tom B's Avatar Tom B are right; God is in everything...but the problem is not the failure to read/understand scripture, as scripture is irrelevant...the problem is the lack of loving care caused by the egos of the parents...Tom

  1. angel's Avatar angel

    Faith healing or no money? With 9 kids, I would imagine they are broke as a joke and can't afford health coverage. Medications and procedures would probably cost them a fortune. Is there a possibility that the reason why then tried faith healing is because it was all they felt they had? I can't judge them if I am not sure about their actual intentions. See, if it was due to not having health coverage, they could nail them for neglect. If they claim "faith based", it will be harder to prove in court. Funny how our system works like that, but it does! Anyway's, I'm reading eveyone condemn these people to hell,lol, but we don't know what it is like to walk in their shows and the real reason why they did what they did, and that's the reality of it. Is it evil people, corrupt religion or simply a broken society where thousands of families are in the same boat? Just some food for thought!

    1. littlecloud1's Avatar littlecloud1

      The government helps you out on things like this. Especially the more so, the more children you have (which is something a lot of people complain about).

      1. Glenda webster (@wisdommagnet)'s Avatar Glenda webster (@wisdommagnet)

        I pray for people healing after there is no medical help God always heal. The lord has given me the gift of healing and i know Jesus still heals today !

  1. drrgrivera's Avatar drrgrivera

    That's not only child neglet, that's also ignorance! WHEN YOUR FAITH LEADS YOU TO SELF DESTRUCTIVE RESULTS, IT IS THE WRONG WAY TO GO.






    1. Bob Anderson's Avatar Bob Anderson

      What is a neglet? A 'covfefe'?

    2. Kenny's Avatar Kenny


      "This generation honors Me with their lips but their hearts are far from Me."

      What Jesus are you talking about? The same one who touched people and healed them? Was He also ignorant? Abraham waited years for his child. Is it possible that there were doubters along the way? Yes. Are you God that you know that this couples prayers will never be answered?


      So praying to God as Jesus said, "Ask and you shall receive..." is a course of injury? Quit using the name of Jesus Christ. Your judgment shows that you don't know Him.

  1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

    Almost every comment on this page should also be directed against Islamists. Just saying...

  1. Beth K's Avatar Beth K

    All of the comments here can be directed toward any religion - including Islam. It's just that in the US, Christianity is by far the dominant religion, in all of its range of denominations - from Roman Catholic through Pentecostal through LDS through Jehovah's Witness. Refusing medical care with a stated religious reason, with horrific results, is fine if you're doing it to yourself. It's not if you're making the decisions on behalf of another person who cannot make their own decisions, such as a child, a comatose person, a person not fully in control of their mental faculties, or so forth.

    1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

      So, if you are making those decisions on behalf of another person who cannot make their own, why should you have to answer to any OTHER person, such as you? I mean, if you are the one in charge, then you are the one in charge. No one else has any say in it. If they do, let THEM adopt that person. If they don't want to adopt, let them be silent.

  1. James's Avatar James

    So much anger and need for revenge! These people, (the parents) are ignorant, trained to be ignorant by their own upbringing and experience. The disability is sad, of course, but how will revenge improve things. Always work towards truth and love. When you do otherwise, you've lost the path.

    1. Jessie Klinesmith's Avatar Jessie Klinesmith

      I see less revenge and more as future prevention. Future protection for children seeking treatment

  1. Kristy's Avatar Kristy

    Good morning, So I've read most comments and they range from one end of the spectrum to the other. What we cannot forget here is that this you woman (now and when she was a child) has rights, medical care is one of them. If she took herself to the Dr and was properly diagnosed and her parents knew but STILL chose prayer-they are accountable,period. This girl will continue to suffer for her short life. Maybe a sentencing for the parents that was community service in a children's hospital would be appropriate here as they need to "learn" from this. As for Mariah, my heart goes out to her-I'm deeply sorry for her suffering at the hands of ignorant parenting. Peace people ✌??

  1. Heggie Speller's Avatar Heggie Speller

    This is neglect, pure and simple. I don't think doctors do always know best - they can advocate to extend suffering or to withdraw treatments which still offer hope. I think parents should, to some extent, be able to choose what is in their child's best interests (which can lead to court involvement) but not even getting her a diagnosis? Not hearing what the treatment options were much less seriously considering them? That is not faith, that's stupidity.

  1. Mike Seiler's Avatar Mike Seiler

    I believe that God helps those who help themselves. God will guide a surgeon's hands if that is His will. When there is no alternative to surgery, modern medical treatment or recognized medicines, then we should look to God and pray to God. God's will shall then prevail and we should be ready to accept it. But only after we have used our God-given intelligence and experience accumulated over the ages. Just my opinion though.

  1. Skottie's Avatar Skottie

    As a parent I am beyond conflicted by this. I have a chance of with a disability and have made decisions for him that are permanent, because I felt that would be what would give him the best life. I have researched and followed medical advices, but I have also disagreed and refused at times. So my issue is could this extend beyond religion to parents simply not agreeing with a doctor's assessment? This young ladies story, in my opinion, is basically torture. As a Christian I personally believe God created us in his image thus all the advances that have been made are his vision for us. Praying for a miracle for my child may come in the form of news story about the exact condition my child has and where to be treated. Or a miracle could be that a child wakes up and is healed. Who is to know? I think that is where faith healing has it's fault, the focus is much too narrow. So in the end what may have to be legislated is forcing people to open their minds.

    1. Kenny's Avatar Kenny

      You're a "Christian"? What does that mean? Do you believe that Jesus touched people and healed them? As a "Christian" have you become so enlightened that you believe that Jesus should have consulted a doctor before each healing? Do you believe that God is the same yesterday, today and to forever? So why could He heal someone yesterday but not today? Now being a "Christian" means that you follow Christ, right? I mean there is no other way to be one is there? So you follow Him but you don't believe in God being Almighty? You don't believe in God being able to heal someone outright as Jesus and the disciples did? Then what kind of "Christian" are you? What scriptures do you believe in? The ones that suit you?

      "I think that is where faith healing has it’s fault, the focus is much too narrow."

      So, have you ever tried to have the kind of faith that this couple had? No, You haven't. Be honest about it and quit casting judgment upon those who at least tried. In your lack of faith, like many of those here, you think that you can judge someone of something that you yourself were never willing to try.

      "So in the end what may have to be legislated is forcing people to open their minds."

      Do we worship the god of forces now? "Freely you have been given..." I suggest that you read the words of Jesus as to why the law of divorce was given. "Because of the hardness of your hearts." You lack faith and want another law enacted to force others to do your will, or the will of the people, but it's not God's will. Tell me how many laws does this country have now? Can anyone tell me? This couple had faith and their prayers were seemingly unanswered. Yet Abraham waited a long, long time for his child. Do you understand what that kind of faith is? Being a professing follower of Christ you should.

      "Praying for a miracle for my child may come in the form of news story about the exact condition my child has and where to be treated."

      You do not believe fully that a person can be healed according to "Ask and you shall receive" so you have a backup "faith" in the scientific community. Get real and admit that truth. You don't have the faith that this couple had and yet, lacking in that faith and doubting, have judged their actions of relying upon prayer as bringing about "torture" upon their child. Remember your judgment then, because those are your words. And they are not from God but what you believe "personally". Try having a deeper faith.

      1. Brian Balke's Avatar Brian Balke

        Jesus never said "I have healed you." He always said "Your faith has healed you."

        Praying over someone else does not heal them unless they have faith. One way of creating faith in God - which is Unconditional Love - is to help them to survive when their faith is not strong enough. It is to be the proof of love in the world.

        A good, caring doctor is love in another form - particularly when that doctor attributes his skills to the God that fills hearts with compassion, motivating medical researchers to create the technology he applies.

      2. Matthew's Avatar Matthew

        “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

        John 14:12 King James Version (KJV)

      3. Matthew's Avatar Matthew

        “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

        John 14:12 King James Version (KJV)

  1. Charissa's Avatar Charissa

    We will never know the circumstances that led to this woman's life in jeopardy. Perhaps if her parents had healthcare and birth control she would have had quality of life. I feel for her parents and think we are all responsible for her wellbeing. How many people in this child's life turned a blind eye because they weren't her parents? I implore you all to give support and encouragement to a large family in your life. They often have many children early in their life due to social expectations and then spend the rest of their days trying to rise to the responsibility. Invite them over, make them food, share your resources and give them lots of hugs before it turns into a tragedy.

  1. Daniel's Avatar Daniel

    Let me express my deepest mourning for this child. For I too fear for the lives of my 8 year old nephew Izak and my 4 year old niece Sarah. Christian science , anyone hears of this? My whole family is a part of that community. Please, prayers for my sister and her children. As i have been so deeply grieved for years at my anger against God for this. It has in the passed caused persecution unto being revolted in some churches of Christ that meant the world to me. Not you guys though I've never been to church there although I am ordained by y'all via the internet which is hilarious to me.

    Anyways it's sad but the truth is worse for such families who in some cases have given themselves to certain "unflexible" beliefs but God is plentious in mercy, everlasting even!! And hats off to you Mariah. I personally believe that Jesus is totally on your side through all of this. Father....Healings and commendations made by the spirit of God for provisions unto reward. For this child is yours! Amen!

  1. Tom Reno's Avatar Tom Reno

    One of the definitions of faith is "confidence or trust in a person or thing". In my belief system, I have faith in our Heavenly Father and also in those to whom He has given various gifts, such as the Gift of Healing. Yes, I agree that we should always pray for healing; however, part of praying and part of faith is also listening for guidance to have discernment. Physicians have been given the Gift of Healing and, by virtue of that gift, can be considered part of our Heavenly Father's promise to heal those who have faith in Him. There are many gifted physicians and surgeons whose hands can be considered extensions of the hands of Christ to do healing in His name, including LDS physicians. I believe the girl's parents used too narrow of a view of faith - they expected a miracle and in doing so tested our Heavenly Father, when all the time he was providing a means of healing through one of His gifted servants. Should they be punished and open to prosecution? I can't make that judgement. I just hope that they have learned from their mistake and pray that the girl will have the faith to seek out inspired medical assistance.

    1. Daniel's Avatar Daniel

      Testing the father like a new pair of free air Jordan's on the ball court is one thing; to tempt Christ Jesus like he s a magiacian completely different

      1. Kenny's Avatar Kenny

        And just how is praying for healing tempting Christ?

    2. Kenny's Avatar Kenny

      "...they expected a miracle and in doing so tested our Heavenly Father." What Father are you talking about? The same One who said "Ask and it shall be given to you..." So evidently their faith was not strong enough. Is yours any better? You don't even believe the scripture that I quoted. Or is your God no longer Almighty? Does your God bow to science? What science was it that Jesus used? Is His power longer fully available? Is your God unable to do today what He did yesterday? You honor God with your lips but have no faith. Or maybe you don't know Him as much as you profess. In which case the question He would ask of you is, "Have I been with you so long yet you do not know me...?" But even so, at least they tried. Have you ever done so? No. Because your lack of faith won't permit it. But evidently it does permit judgment. Besides this, guess what? Her life's not over yet. If she is healed tomorrow or in the future by God because of their prayers who will be the ones that are then put to shame for their doubt? Or for their false judgment?

      "I believe the girl’s parents used too narrow of a view of faith..." You believe? "Lean not upon your own understanding." Didn't your God say that? Would you teach Jesus now? Show the passage where Jesus sent someone to a doctor please. Where is it? It's not there. You make an assumption and use the name of God as if He said so. He didn't. That's what you and others even here on this page believe. Not because as you imply, that they are "extensions of Christ", but because the as the world teaches its children to not place full faith in God, there are those who say that they follow Christ who have a backup plan. So because of the fear of disease and death even the people of God have no faith in what Jesus did. Again, when have you tried to put full faith in the healing power of God? You know that you haven't. But I tell you this, though their prayers seemingly were not answered, if this couple stayed in faith, yet did not acquire the blessing for their daughter so far, they will yet be rewarded far more than those who never tried. And the daughter who blames them for her cross will not be as blessed as they will be.

      1. Matthew's Avatar Matthew

        “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

        John 14:12 King James Version (KJV)

        But I suppose what Jesus really meant was, "If you believe in me and what I do, then you, too, can do what I do...if you call a doctor." Because Jesus is full of teaching that we should rely on doctors, and lawyers, and politicians, and bankers...not on the "Father", AKA: God within. He never mentioned anything as misguided as relying on some supernatural entity that created us in the first place, and Jesus definitely has never been quoted multiple times that this "Father" within gave him the power to heal, etc. And the quote above has nothing to do with belief in Jesus (what he actually said rather than mere interpretation or ommision of teaching that passage to the new flocks) as a proxy to God, the actual healer. And of course Jesus thoroughly promoted that God would prefer you see a physician, etc. I digress with the sarcasm.

  1. David Rediger's Avatar David Rediger

    Prayer is always appropriate in daily life. But as far as faith healing is concerned, God will heal who God want to heal. This may sound cruel and callous, especially to parents of a seriously sick child, but God has not made us privie to his purposes. We need to pray for discernment prior to attempting any sort of faith healing. Is it in Gods plan to perform a miracle or is it more that he wants to teach the hands of the surgeon for his purpose. God gave us knowledge and skills to use not to let Him do all the work for us.

  1. Matthew's Avatar Matthew

    Unfortunately Idaho law is very stiff. People cannot understand the way the state operates unless they've lived here themselves. Idaho is half-assed backwards and way behind the times. I mean come on we still have laws in the books that are legal that if you're surrounded by three or more Indians or Native Americans you can shoot and kill them because there are hostile Indian war party. Because it's still legal in Idaho you could use it as self-defense in court and win! The system is very broken unfortunately it's up to each individual State whether or not they would uphold particular laws some states hold religious laws that go far beyond normal law and other states do not uphold religious laws as much. The federal government can't control everything. The federal government could say this is neglect and is therefore punishable by law however the state government can say this is not neglect and it's not punishable under law because they are guaranteed freedom of religion in the United States Constitution and in our state constitution therefore they are protected under law and cannot be prosecuted. Now the next step is you got to prove that it was neglect. This is a little difficult for law enforcement. Law enforcement has to First prove that it was neglect and not protected under Idaho law under religious freedom. That could be notoriously difficult to do especially if the family to the outside world and within their own home made it seem as if they did everything they could under their religion and was practicing religious freedom. Under this circumstance they would have had I witness is from both the inside of the family and out that would have said that they did practice religious freedom on faith-based healing this outing law enforcement to be able to prove a case of neglect or at least why is making it more difficult. Do I personally believe the parents should be prosecuted for this I do. They permanently cause life-long damage on their child. Because of their results they will never be able to have a regular healthy adult child. Once more sad is this innocent child will never have a regular normal life. That's not right. It would be one thing if they went to the doctors and the doctors couldn't do anything but they didn't.

  1. drrgrivera's Avatar drrgrivera

    Another thing- How can anyone who's been neglectful expect their faith to operate towards healing. The only thing that can arise from neglect is more ignorance and less of what the neglectful call faith. There is 'no faith' in necglet. None! There is 'no faith in anything causing injoury or furthering injury. Why who anyone think that- Faith is working hand in hand with ignorance, neglect, and injury causing practices.

    Only people do that. An analogy revealing the meaning governing this neglect working with faith: A beautiful flower is cut at the stem, you take it home and admire it and praise of its beauty by all who it while the flower slowly whiters away.

    The flower was supplied with everything it needed to be beautiful. Placing it in a container with whatever is neglect, depriving it of what it needs to be the beauty it's admired for.


  1. Minister Norm Gold's Avatar Minister Norm Gold

    I am a very religious person, and a retired surgeon. And I truly believe that praying to God is very important when someone is ill. To believe in God's powers to heal is part of every religious person's beliefs, no matter which religion he or she practices. But to BELIEVE in God's powers to heal is one thing; to COUNT on them, however, is quite another. That is not faith, that is conceit. God listens to ALL our prayers, but doesn't always choose, for whatever His reason may be, to respond to them as we request. Therefore, not having any way to know what God's response will be, it is absolutely criminal of parents to refrain from seeking medical care for a sick child.

    I think all parents like the ones in this story should be prosecuted, if only to make other parents think very carefully before deciding on prayer alone, as opposed to prayer plus medical care, for a sick child. And let's not be easy on these or any other such parents because "their intentions were good and sincere". The road to hell is paved with such good intentions. Only it is not the parents that have to suffer in that hell, but their abused kids. And abuse, not faith, is EXACTLY what it is.

  1. Bill Fox's Avatar Bill Fox

    There are many religious beliefs that are superseded by state and federal law. We can abort a baby, but once it's out of the womb, we cannot chop it up if its alive or throw it into the fire to appease Molech. Consenting, competent adults can refuse medical treatment, up to and including death, if the proper medical forms have been filled out and witnessed prior to the patient becoming incompetent. But like an incompetent adult, a child cannot agree to a contract. The state represents the legal rights of the child, not the parents and not a religion. If we don't like this, we can vote to change the laws or we can move someplace where there is no governing law. The woman will probably get more suing the state than her parents.

  1. Adam, Minister, UMC's Avatar Adam, Minister, UMC

    Regardless of how we feel, parents have the right to raise their children as they see fit. We may not agree with that. We may even find it absurd. That's how it is. Imagine if someone came and told you, regardless of the situation, "Hi, we are the government and we are telling you how to live your life and raise your children". Would you just lie there and say, ok, sure. As much as we like, we have no say I how other raise their children and how they live their life, no matter how ridiculous you may think it is. And for that matter, the fact that everyone want the government to protect our children is a very dangerous notion as well. It says, "I am incapable of of being a good parent, please government, take over." Each parent is responsible for their own children, free to raise and teach them how they see fit. Not the government.

    1. Minister Norm Gold's Avatar Minister Norm Gold

      Minister Adam, you say, “Hi, we are the government and we are telling you how to live your life and raise your children”. Well, if parents don't take a sick child for medical care, that's, exactly right - the government needs to step in to save the kid. Your comment borders on the ridiculous - here's why: if parents "choose" to allow their young kid to walk out into the middle of a busy street, you would say that they're crazy, and it's a ridiculous and dangerous thing to let them do, right? But what about the "rights" of a parent to decide what is best for their child, eh? Well, not taking a sick child for medical care is potentially just as dangerous, just as possibly life threatening - and just as assinine. Just because someone is a parent has no bearing on whether or not they have the skills to keep a child safe. And when they demonstrate that they clearly don't - like by not taking a sick child for medical care - you're damn right the authorities need to step in. Do I want the government telling parents what to do, in general? Of course not! But the well-being, and certainly the life, of a child absolutely takes priority over the "rights" of the parents, or even over my objection to government meddling in my business. Children's health and well-being trumps all other concerns or rights. I can tell you as a surgeon that I've seen MANY cases in my 35 years of practice where the parents wanted to refuse medical care - and it was only the authorities stepping in that saved the lives of those children, and protected them from their idiot parents or from abusive ones. Under your system of parental "right to choose" - all those children would have died. Do you actually think that would have been better?

  1. Dave's Avatar Dave

    Minister Adam, I vehemently disagree. It is a matter of degree, If you want to teach your children that the earth was made in seven days by an omnipotent being, then that's your right. If you want to deny your child medical attention and they die, that is not your right. The question is always where to draw the line. Parents who feel the government (which we have agreed to as a society, however wrong you may think this or the previous administration is) has an interest in how children are raised have not abdicated their responsibility. They are not saying “I am incapable of of being a good parent, please government, take over.” as you postulate, but rather, "There are limits to what I am allowed to do or not do with/to/for my children. I had a very abusive childhood, several times almost to the point of death. This was in the sixties, so child abuse did not exist. Children were owned by the parents. Are you advocating to go back to that time? And how long does it last? When the child is 18? 21? 40? Or is it earlier, when the child can tell someone? Who decides what age? Is it OK to deny care to an infant but not a youth? Society has to draw a line. In the case of Idaho, it seems that the line is drawn so as not to protect children from idiotic religious tenets that can actually make the rest of the life of the child both short and painful. I believe that is wrong. DaveJ

    1. Adam, Minister, UMC's Avatar Adam, Minister, UMC

      Idiotic religious tenets to you, a strong, uncompromising belief to another. In some instances society says one thing and people follow. Sure ok. But then as our society moves towards a more secular point of view, is it right to dictate how those with idiotic religious tenents to be subjected to the view of society, just because? I do believe strongly that your parent/s are the only ones you need to rely on. I'm sorry that you had an abusive childhood. But if you truly believe that praying will heal you, who are we, as individuals or as society to stand in that way? And yes, if you constantly look to the government to make and pass laws that protect your children, then where do we draw the line? Because one day it may come down to that, going through a screening process, obtaining licenses to have children. Being told by society that you HAVE to raise your children this way. I have children, no one, society or the government is going to tell me how to raise them. I don't deny them medical care, but if I chose to based on an idiotic religious tenent, what are you or anyone else really going to do about it? Post an article on the internet and have arguments about it? Case closed for me. Good debate. Best of luck

  1. chiefhall's Avatar chiefhall

    Seems pretty hypocritical to me.... If I'm understanding the parents' point of view, all they needed was prayer and God's intercession - medicine/medical attention not needed. So if all your faith's in God's personal touch - that's it, that's all you need - then why are you utilizing homeopathic medicine? Kinda reminds me of some snake-handling churches I knew when I lived in Louisiana: their doctrine said they could take up snakes without fear if their faith was enough, as well as drink poison, and no harm would come to them. And they always had a glass of poisen on the table as well during services when the snakes got handled. Interesting thing, though - I never saw anyone try drinking the poison.... Guess they didn't like those odds.... Hypocrites! I've always felt that churches who wrap their identity around a single set of verses are terribly afraid of the truth and are willfully ignorant to an extreme.

  1. Herbert Moth's Avatar Herbert Moth

    Make her parents Take LSD then flog them.

  1. Jim Windwalker's Avatar Jim Windwalker

    Daniel 12:4 King James Version (KJV)

    4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased

    Faith healing and medicine go hand in hand. One cannot work without the other. Even my lord Jesus took mud and formed eyes from balls of mud he fashioned the dust of the earth and healed a blind man

    John 9:6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,

    if God directs one to a doctor then we take the doctors advice. But if God performs a healing that healing will come regardless if God chooses to heal and individual for His honor and glory.

    But God does directs us decently and in order to His word n these matters as well... We do not do theses things on our own...

    James 5:13-15 King James Version (KJV)

    13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

    14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

    15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

  1. Minister Norm Gold's Avatar Minister Norm Gold

    Minister Adam, you say, “Hi, we are the government and we are telling you how to live your life and raise your children”. Well, if parents don’t take a sick child for medical care, that’s, exactly right – the government needs to step in to save the kid. Your comment borders on the ridiculous – here’s why: if parents “choose” to allow their young kid to walk out into the middle of a busy street, you would say that they’re crazy, and it’s a ridiculous and dangerous thing to let them do, right? But what about the “rights” of a parent to decide what is best for their child, eh? Well, not taking a sick child for medical care is potentially just as dangerous, just as possibly life threatening – and just as assinine. Just because someone is a parent has no bearing on whether or not they have the skills to keep a child safe. And when they demonstrate that they clearly don’t – like by not taking a sick child for medical care – you’re damn right the authorities need to step in. Do I want the government telling parents what to do, in general? Of course not! But the well-being, and certainly the life, of a child absolutely takes priority over the “rights” of the parents, or even over my objection to government meddling in my business. Children’s health and well-being trumps all other concerns or rights. I can tell you as a surgeon that I’ve seen MANY cases in my 35 years of practice where the parents wanted to refuse medical care – and it was only the authorities stepping in that saved the lives of those children, and protected them from their idiot parents or from abusive ones. Under your system of parental “right to choose” – all those children would have died. Do you actually think that would have been better?

  1. Dr. Iris Gonzalez's Avatar Dr. Iris Gonzalez

    "Faith healing" systems are an especially cruel form of victim blaming: if you are ill, it's because your faith is not strong enough.

  1. Deborah's Avatar Deborah

    This girl has a reasonable complaint, but prosecuting her parents is not viable -- even if she manages to get the laws changed, there is no retroactive prosecution in the United States. She would do well to learn forgiveness, and focus her energies on making the world a better place, instead of contributing to the negative energy by going on the attack. Instead she can educate others, even if she can't change her past, or prosecute her parents. Faith is the foundation of all life, and all knowledge comes from God. Still, we must work within the level of enlightenment the world is at presently. Granted, if a person doesn't want to be cut upon, there are still many other options for improvement, if not complete healing -- her parents' error was in ignoring ALL knowledge.

  1. Chris L Brackeen's Avatar Chris L Brackeen

    Agreed! The parents should be held accountable. God may have given her this malady, but He also gave us our sciences to deal with the situation. This was preventable and constitutes child abuse. I wish her the best of luck.

  1. Brian Balke's Avatar Brian Balke

    I feel so sorry for this poor child. It is a misunderstanding to believe that our faith heals another. It is only their faith that allows love to enter in and heal them. This is as Jesus always testified: "Your faith has healed you."

    When faith is weak in others, our job as people of faith is to be the proof of love in the world. It is to provide for people so that they may survive to receive faith. Her parents, seeing that Mariah's condition did not improve, should have taken her to a doctor. That would have been the Christian thing to do.

    I know that some "faith healers" turn upon the patient when their fraud fails to produce healing. They tell them "your faith is too weak," or even treat them as possessed. This is also abusive: it is not our place to judge others, or to try to profit from their faith when it allows them to receive healing. I hope at least that Mariah's parents never levelled that charge against her. That would be spiritually abusive.

    But what I pray for now is that the family receive the healing of reconciliation. This must be terrible for her parents, who were doing what they thought was best for their child. The root of the problem is a misunderstanding of scripture. Sending the parents to jail is not going to help anyone - particularly the other children. Educating them will.

  1. Tom B's Avatar Tom B

    Religion, which is man-made, should not be the basis for anything...everything should be based on loving and caring; period

  1. Tom B's Avatar Tom B

    Keith...that is reasonable, as long as that is what they are lovingly taught...Tom

  1. Tom B's Avatar Tom B

    Keith...that is exactly what is said in the pledge of allegiance...NOT "under religion"...God is an absolute: religion is an intellectual construct...Tom

  1. Sandy's Avatar Sandy

    Ignorance is 9/10 of the law-- I know the power prayer is very real--but God does work through other people, ie, doctors,etc-- if her diagnosis early on was treatable and she would've recovered completely, and the parents knowing that, still refused treatment, yes, they should be prosecuted, along with their so-called religion and the politicians of Idaho as well!! Because of excessive ignorance, they basically threw Mariah to the wolves-- and she is the one that is suffering, not them!!

  1. Ed's Avatar Ed

    Here's the other side to that:

    Mumps outbreak, despite vaccinations:

    And how about suing the drug companies? Oh wait. In the US, you can't, despite hundreds of thousands reporting damages caused directly by vaccines; and who knows how many aren't:

    Drugs whose side effects include death:

    And who can forget the wonderful stories about Ritalin:

    Is it any wonder that parents don't trust doctors, and the medical industry? They are doing what they thought would work best, just like all the people that used these medical drugs, which would wind up killing kids all the same. But you won't really hear about it much from MSM, because there's an agenda of money. Would we hear about it, if the methods parents used, that weren't "MSM approved" worked? No, only when it fails. Yet we don't hear as much, nor do we have serious debates, about any of the above topics.

    1. Tom B's Avatar Tom B

      Eddie...valid points...Tom

  1. Jon's Avatar Jon

    Another issue that this article does not address: that if the family had the procedure when the young woman was a baby, without insurance, they would be bankrupt today. Such procedures are costly, off the charts really, and this another justice issue.

  1. BrotherTimothyClark (@KC3CDU)'s Avatar BrotherTimothyClark (@KC3CDU)

    There's nothing wrong with faith healing per say however, the problem comes in when faith isn't followed up by action. In the book of James it says faith without Works is dead. You can pray all you want but if you aren't willing to give in order to receive, what will it profit you? That would be like saying that you were going to look for a job, you prayed over it but never asserted the effort to find a job. That's not mobilizing your faith. That's relying on faith when faith is a gift of God. We can rely on faith but sometimes God want's us to also act.

  1. Tracey Bowlas's Avatar Tracey Bowlas

    2 of my children's grandmother there dads mum and sister are Mormons and there believe is if a child needs a blood transfusion they will deny them that even if it's a matter of life or death and if something happened to me and they had to look after them they can do the same to there grandkids too but not if you have a Will stating your wishes in the circumstance of your kids not only that who are they to bring there own kids up as Mormons with no birthday ,Christmas but there ok to marry at a young age doesn't every human being deserve the right to have there own religiou without there parents forcing there religious on there kids

  1. James's Avatar James

    Faith healing? Oils? ect? Prayer is good. But, What about the actual cause. The root of the matter? The genetic (dna) that was passed on to the offspring? One must apply corrective measure AND remove / correct the cause in conjunction and collectively. In this case her launching pad of defective construction of her heart needed more than the parents knew. Even if they sought an ND, Natual-path or a metaphysician.

  1. Matthew's Avatar Matthew

    For a supposedly non-denominational community here, it has actually shocked me how denominational these comments are. Not to mention how the religion of science has crept into it all. Faith is Faith. If your Faith is in Jesus, Buddha, Zoroaster, Zeus, The Goddess, or the myriad of others, then awesome. But Faith is ours alone, individually. Judging others, like the parents of the article seems rather counterintuitive. I personally believe if, say, you are a Christian, then what Christ himself has said should be pretty compelling. The story of Jesus being asked repeatedly about forgiveness, and how many times one should forgive, ending with him making the final point of forgiving 7 times 70...making it clear that forgiveness is a wee bit important. And yet, where is the forgiveness of these parents? But, but, but.....if so many disclaimers, then why be a Christian? That baffles me.

    1. Tom B's Avatar Tom B

      Matthew...i agree...and, as I have posted, it appears that many alleged "Christians" only follow Jesus, concerning forgiveness, when it is me, that is not belief...Peace...Tom

  1. Jill Schmitt's Avatar Jill Schmitt

    Jesus is no longer in human form walking the earth to teach the word of God. We now have the Bible and pastors to teach us. Jesus is no longer walking through crowds touching the sick and healing them. We have doctors. Doctors who have been given their wisdom through God. Did her parents attend church? After all, a man is the one speaking and not Jesus himself. I’m a Christian and firmly believe that God can heal the sick. I also believe that God has given the knowledge to the medical field and doctors to aid in the healing process. To deny a child the right to be possibly healed through a doctor, is absolutely negligent and neglect of a child’s welfare. While I understand the importance of religious beliefs, where in the Bible does is say to not seek a doctor when your sick? If her mother was in a car crash and torn apart, would the father have waived the ambulance by and said “no thanks. I’m taking her home to pray,” I don’t think so! This law needs to change. There is a huge difference between parental religious rights and the rights of a child to be given proper medical treatment. How can what they did even be legal? This poor young lady! I am so so sorry!

  1. Aelric Kofoid's Avatar Aelric Kofoid

    There is no excuse for puttin a child or any human in harms way and with exception of a few you guys are making excuses for it.

  1. Aelric Kofoid's Avatar Aelric Kofoid

    And by the way as an episcopalian I want to let you guys know. Joseph Smith was a con man. If every Mormon were to go to Nauvoo Illinois and look at the 1840 criminal records of Joseph Smith there would be no Mormons anymore. Because you guys would all learn you have been mislead by a sleezy guru leader who has brain washed generations of people of a horrendous cult.

    1. Don's Avatar Don

      So, kind of like another sleazy con man named Jesus. But at least Joseph Smith has evidence to prove he existed...

  1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens

    So, how come there is no great controversy over people disabled by vaccinations, or medical malpractice?

    1. John Owens's Avatar John Owens


    2. Don's Avatar Don

      Because having a controversy over imaginary idiocy would be stupid. But you already knew that...

  1. james's Avatar james

    This is a tough call. Child disabled from lack of medical care VS prayer. What about all the children that die from medical care because of ... Lack of prayer? How about incorporating Natural Pathic type care AND prayer. See the documentary / reenactment on Youtube called "First Do No Harm -Full movie".

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