Sermon Illustrations

BROTHER’S BROTHER

Robert Hingson is a physician, an anesthesiologist, working out of Pittsburgh. A Baptist layman, he got interested in the plight of the diseased peoples of the world. He found out that thousands of the world’s children are dying from a host of contagious diseases. So Bob Hingson coaxed some money out of his colleagues in the medical profession, he talked some pharmaceutical manufacturers out of a supply of vaccine, and went off to Central America to inoculate children against some of the diseases that were taking their lives.

But Dr. Hingson found out that as soon as he set up shop and got the word out that he could keep people from having all this illness, they lined up by the hundreds and the thousands to receive treatment. He found that he and his one or two helpers could have vaccinated people twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, in an endless line, and still the task would not have been finished.

And so Bob Hingson came back to Pittsburgh with a burden on his heart and an idea in his mind. He got together with some of his physicist friends, and they developed a high-speed, high-pressure inoculator, a kind of jet gun, so that a person can just bare his arm, and with one high-pressure squirt instead of the usual needle, several different vaccines can go in simultaneously. It doesn’t even break the skin. Something like one thousand people an hour could be vaccinated with one of these!

Now Dr. Hingson and his helpers could go anywhere in the world, set up with what he calls the "Peace Gun" and "shoot" thousands of people with health, not with death. In nearly forty years of work, it’s estimated that this one man’s efforts have immunized ten million people. Some nations have had diseases wholly eradicated, just from the efforts of this one man, this Baptist layman, Robert Hingson.

But now here’s why I think of him. Like anybody would have to do, in order to do this task in an orderly way, and so that he could receive financial support, he set up a non-profit foundation. It was called My Brother’s Keeper. You know exactly where he got that name, My Brother’s Keeper. But a Nigerian student challenged him, "We don’t need a keeper; we need a brother." Bob Hingson recognized immediately what was at stake; he changed the name. No longer is his group called My Brother’s Keeper. Now it is the Brother’s Brother Foundation.

(From a sermon by Joseph Smith, "Marked Men")

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