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This article compares and contrasts William Branham stories about Donny Morton with the November 1952 edition of Reader's Digest (Condensed from an article originally published in Chatelaine, and written by Alma Edwards Smith). This story tells of the hope given by William Branham and doctors to Donny Morton and his father, then of Donny's heartbreaking passing. It also tells of how William Branham's "Thus Saith The Lord" failed.
Summary of problems with the story of Donny Morton
William Branham's version of this story told on the tapes is very different from the published article. This gives rise to a number of questions:
William Branham's version
- William Branham said,"The Lord healed him, made him well".
- William Branham said that the boy was wearing shoes "the next day" after he prayed for him.
- William Branham said "it got so he could run, meet his daddy and everything".
- William Branham said that he said, "THUS SAITH THE LORD" the boy will be healed".
The Reader's Digest Article
- Donny never began to improve slightly after the operation.
- Donny was never able to walk or run. The best he was able to do was stretch out his arms in bed to reach for his parents.
- Donny Morton died the same year, unable to fully recover.
If William Branham truly had "THUS SAITH THE LORD" as he claimed, why did it fail?. The gift of discernment, as reported by Reader's Digest article appeared to work correctly but William Branham's claim of healing was false.
|The article when you read it, get ready to cry. It'll just break your heart, (William Branham)
Summary of Donny Morton's story
Donny Morton developed a rare brain disease while living on a farm in Saskatchewan. The doctors told his parents that the brain tissue was deteriorating, and he only had six months to live. Donny's father, Arthur, had heard of William Branham through two deaf friends who had been healed during his services, and boarded a bus for California with his ailing child.
The author of the Reader's Digest Article records the following about Donny Morton's meeting with William Branham:
- The healer asked no questions, but his eyes searched the boy’s wide blue ones and saw his emaciated, twisted body. “Your son is suffering from a serious brain malady,” he said to Morton. “But do not give up hope. With faith in God’s power, and help from the medical world, your little son will live.”
William Branham recalls the following about his meeting with Arthur Morton, who had no prayer card:
- I Said, 'You come by... started to come part of the way by a sled. And then you went down to the place...to get on a plane, you and your wife, you found out you didn't have even enough money for both of you to come on a bus. And now, Traveler's Aid's a helping you.'"
- And the man like to have fainted. And the Holy Spirit spoke THUS SAITH THE LORD. And the baby got well.
Arthur Morton did find a doctor who could perform the operation. Donny Morton then survived a series of four brain operations, and was declared by the doctors to be on the sure road to recovery. By mid-September Donny Morton was sitting up, and was able to stretch out his arms towards his parents - something he had not been able to do for months. Sadly, Donny contacted pneumonia in October, and passed away on November 2 in his sleep from a combination of pneumonia and meningitis.
One of the closing comments in the Readers Digest article states: "Skeptics will say, “You see? Miracles don’t happen in the 20th century,” But they are wrong." They viewed the miracle not in the failure of the boy to live but in the outpouring of love by those impacted by the plight of the young boy and his loving father.
William Branham's Version of the Story
DEMONOLOGY OWENSBORO.KY 53-1112
- And I brought the little baby up, said, never asked a question but looked right into the little baby's face and said, "You bring this baby from Canada. And you come here by a bus, a Greyhound Bus. Traveler's Aid has helped you." And he'd been there about five minutes. Said, "Traveler's Aid has helped you to get here. And the baby has been to Mayo Brothers and Johns Hopkins. It's got a rare brain disease, and there's no way for them to operate. The baby must die."
- And he started screaming real loud. And I prayed for the little baby. He started crying real loud and started off the platform. He turned around. He said, "What about my baby? Will it ever get well?"
- I said, "That, I don't know, sir." And while I was speaking to him, a vision broke forth. And I said, "Yes, your baby... Three days from now you're going to meet a woman with a--a brown looking, I guess you call it, coat-suit: it's got a coat here and a skirt beneath. And she's black headed. And she's going to tell you of some country doctor that can operate on that baby; and you won't believe it. But that's the only hope that you have, through the mercy of God, and that operation. You let the doctor operate on the baby."
- And he took that baby over there, and the doctor performed the operation absolutely successfully. And the baby come out of it. And so they had the baby around there; it got so he could run, meet his daddy and everything.
- The daddy went back to plant his spring wheat or something another. Now, here's what the "Digest" didn't get (See?), what didn't picture. But we had to know behind, because if you did, that a hospital would bring suit against this paper, and there's where it would be; a slip-up come. Somebody left a window up one night and throwed a draft across the baby. And the baby taken pneumonia and lived about two days with the pneumonia, not with the disease, with the pneumonia killed the baby. The "Reader's Digest" give it. Then it goes ahead and gives a nice good write up about--about the miracle was already performed anyhow.
GOD.PERFECTING.HIS.CHURCH BINGHAMTON.NY 54-1204
- He that receives truth... Here not long ago, you seen the article in the paper of that little Donny Morton being healed out there in California. The "Reader's Digest" packed it, went in every language under heaven, everywhere, about the miracle. Mayo Brothers had turned him down. John Hopkins had turned him down. The little fellow come on the platform and twenty-seven hundred people standing in the prayer line. Assembly of God, place we was having the meeting, out in Costa Mesa, California.
- And when the little fellow come on the prayer line, the book--the "Reader's Digest" wrote it up right. Said, "The evangelist asked no questions. Looked into the child's face and said..." Well, many of you read it. And you know the article.
- And it said, "Why, he looked into... The evangelist's looked into it's face. And never asked no questions. But said, 'You come from Canada. You brought the child. It's been to Mayo's; it's been to John Hopkins. It's got a rare blood disease, a brain disease. There's no cure for it.' And the father started crying.
- Said, 'You come by... started to come part of the way by a sled. And then you went down to the place and when you did... to get on a--to get on a plane, you and your wife, you found out you didn't have even enough money for both of you to come on a bus. And now, Traveler's Aid's a helping you.'"
- And the man like to have fainted. And the Holy Spirit spoke THUS SAITH THE LORD. And the baby got well.
GLORIFIED.JESUS PHOENIX.AZ 55-0225
- Notice, someone then, about a year later, you read the Reader's Digest, of my meeting in California, down there at the campgrounds, when they brought that little Donny Morton. Many of you has read it, no doubt. From Donny Morton, the miracle, when they brought him down out of Canada and give a wonderful write up, how he come to the platform., little fellow, twisted all out of condition. And how, said, the evangelist never asked one question but looked straight at the child, and told him where he come from, how he'd been to Mayo Brother's, and turned down and everything. And just exactly how the outcome of the child would be. And it was just exactly word by word.
ABRAHAM BROOKLYN.NY 56-1208
- Now, I've been interviewed. You read the "Reader's Digest" about a year or something ago, in October a year ago or something like that on the healing of little Donny Morton, that Mayo Brothers had give up. And they brought him to the platform in California, and there the vision showed the little boy was healed (see?), and they packed a big article of it, and I was at Mayo Brothers for an interview. All right.
STAND.STILL.AND.SEE.THE.SALVATION.OF.THE.LORD CHICAGO.IL 57-0629
- It wasn't two years ago, October's this year, the "Reader's Digest," when God made Mayo Clinic stand still and hear the testimony of little Donny Morton on that incurable disease, when he was brought to the platform and the Holy Spirit told him exactly what to do, and God healed the boy there.
- The scientific world, John Hopkins and Mayo's, when I went there, there lay the "Reader's Digest" on their platform, or on their table there, to be read. God made the medical world stand still and see Donny Morton be healed by the power of God.
HEAR.YE.HIM CHATTANOOGA.TN 58-0301E
- Let me just show you a little something. Of all the fine medicines we got (to settle this)... Now, I was interviewed. Many of you read the "Reader's Digest" of the miracle of Donny Morton.
- And I was interviewed at Mayo Brothers Clinic on account of that, 'cause Mayo's had turned him down. And the vision told him who he was, where he come from, what was going to happen. And that's just the way it was, and the baby was healed.
- And they wrote it up in "Reader's Digest."
BE.NOT.AFRAID.IT.IS.I PHOENIX.AZ 60-0305
- Many of you, about three years ago in Reader's Digest, read the article of the miracle of Donny Morton, when I was in Arizona, I mean in California. How the Lord, after Mayo's, and John Hopkins, and all of them had turned that little twisted up baby down, the power of God unfolded that child and made him well. And Mayo's called for an interview for it, wanted to know what happened. Sure. Reader's Digest wrote it up. What happened to little Donny, that little Canadian boy?
- All hopes was gone after Mayo and John Hopkins said the child cannot be healed. But the father said, "Donny, we're not whipped. For not long ago, there was someone here in Canada praying for the operator, long-distance operator. She was in a school, she was deaf and dumb." Like these people setting here. And when--there was two of them went to the meeting at Calgary. And the Lord healed both of them. One of them is a singer in church, and the other one's a long-distance telephone operator.
- He said, "Donny, if God knowed them, He knows you honey, and I'll get you somewhere." He hitched his horse to the sled, down through the snow they went with the mother. And when they got to the place where they was to put the little boy, and his mother, and them on the plane, they didn't have enough money for one to get on the plane. So he found a Greyhound bus that Donny and his father could ride in. It come to Los Angeles, and--and the--some kind of an association helped them to get out to the meeting where we was at, the Assemblies of God out there at the campground, North--or Southwestern Bible School.
- There when the father started in the line with the little baby, said, "There was a young man that had to put him out of the line, because he had no prayer card." That was Billy. Billy was doing that, because it wasn't fair for the man to come in the line, because others had been waiting for days in the prayer line.
- But when the little fellow--I seen him walking off the platform with that little twisted baby. I said, "Let him alone, Billy. Bring him on up here."
- And when the father, trembling, brought the little fellow, and his head sideways, his big eyes cast back in his head, shaking his hands, twisted down, his little legs drawed up behind him, I said, "Sir, if I could heal your baby, I'd do it. :But you're a Canadian, and you've come a long ways, and you're... This little baby's name is Donny Morton."
- The father begin to shake, and he said, "That's true."
- I said, "Do you believe?"
- And he started screaming; he said, "With all my heart."
- He went right straight from that meeting that night and bought Donny his first pair of shoes, and he wore them the next day.
ABRAHAM YAKIMA.WA 60-0803
- When I--I was interviewed at Mayo's Clinic. They said to me, "We do not..." The old Jimmy Mayo in the old Mayo brothers had a thing back there in the office, where you used to have there. They took me back and showed me, when this Donny Morton... How many read the Reader's Digest? When Mayo's had turned him down, and everything, and come out there to California, and down out of Canada... The Lord healed him, made him well.
BALM.IN.GILEAD LONG.BEACH.CA 61-0218
- I was interviewed at Mayo's; you seen it in the "Reader's Digest," and so forth, Donny Morton, was healed up here.
A.GREATER.THAN.SOLOMON.IS.HERE PORT.ALBERNI.BC 62-0725
- When this little Canadian, Donny Morton... You read the story in "Reader's Digest," when they brought him all the way down there so spastic and drawed that John Hopkins, Mayo Brothers, and all, turned him down. And he came down to Costa Mesa, and was in the meeting. And the Holy Spirit spoke. "Reader's Digest" wrote up, said the--said, "The evangelist didn't ask the boy. He told the boy who he was, told him what he had done, and where he come from, and what about it." And he was healed. See?
- And then I was called in at Mayo Brothers for an interview for that, and they said... I said, "Well, I..." They never put Mayo Brothers' name on there, but they--there they had the "Reader's Digest," and it was--the father had said it. But of course the writer wouldn't say that about a hospital, and what it said.
- Many great... If you read the article, said many great clinics through the United States and Canada had turned him down. And a spastic, drawed up, name was Donny Morton. October's "Reader's Digest," about four years ago. And then, he said this little ba... this little boy about eight years old...
- Oh, it's a pathetic story, how this little Canadian brother come down on a sled. He said he knowed some deaf and dumb girls that was brought to my meeting before that, and the Lord healed one. And one of them is a singer in church, and the other one is a telephone operator: So was both deaf and dumb.
- So he said, "We're not whipped, Donny. Let's go and tell..." And the mother and them thought they could maybe take fifty dollars, and all of them come to the United States, and take Donny to the meeting, and everything else. It wouldn't even pay one of their ways on a airplane. They had to come by a bus, couldn't even come by train. And when they got there, they had to take Travelers Aid to get out there to where the meeting was.
- And the Holy Spirit told him who he was, where he come from, and so forth--little drawed-over father, holding his baby. And so... Then it told him exactly what would happen. The Lord healed the child to the glory of God.
HIS.UNFAILING.WORDS.OF.PROMISE PHOENIX.AZ 64-0120
- And you seen it in Reader's Digest, not long ago, Donny Morton, The Miracle of Donny Morton. That little child right there in California, at the Assemblies of God, down there at that school, Southwestern Bible School, that child was so twisted and afflicted till even John Hopkins and Mayo Brothers said, "There's not an earthly chance for him." But the Lord is THUS SAITH THE LORD. That was different, see.