Saturday, March 12, 2011

And It Came to Pass That I Prayed

The Book of Mormon reading continues, slowly, but it continues. Unlike some people who are soaring through the BoM (no names shall be mentioned, oh bearded one), I am really trying to sit with the words and figure out their true intent. Alright, that's not totally accurate, I just get lost easily and I have to use Google a lot to figure out what exactly is going on and then I have to read all the opinions about what it is I'm reading.

One thing I was asked to do as I read the BoM was to pray about it and although I lack membership with a specific religion, I do love to pray. Most of the time I send out quick memos to God or Buddha or whoever is tuned in and a lot of them are requests from others. If I am praying about something in my own life, it is often when I feel desperate and very down. Sometimes I throw in a lot of 4-letter expletives - yes, the rated R prayer. During these prayers I have felt a sense of calm and the response of an inner voice, though I don't always equate it to God, I feel it is the answer that is already inside me, but needs stillness and focus to surface.

So, although I was doubtful about praying to determine if the BoM was true or not, I did it. I got a clear answer and it has helped me as I've continued reading. Again, I don't necessarily think prayer is answered by some being outside of oneself, I think we all contain all the knowledge we need in these areas, we just have to trust ourselves to listen to the voice below the noise.

Here's the thing: my answer through prayer seemed very real to me and although I admit that my prayers are not always thoughtful, I really tried with this one. Now I wonder this, if one person is told through prayer that the BoM is true and another is told it is not true, well, those are contradictory statements, so one must be wrong. Ok, I already know there are those of you reading this, rolling your eyes and mumbling, "Gol, just use reason and evidence, forget prayer." Part of me agrees, but for this argument's sake, we'll use prayer as the determining factor. Please know, I am not trying to invite an attack on a specific religion, what I am trying to invite is a thoughtful answer to this, something that will tell me how it can be that one person can pray about a specific truth, be told that yes, it is true and another person can pray about the same specific truth and be told that it is not true. How do those in the former group account for those in the latter group? (Note that the latter group is not part of the Latter Day Saints group...tricky.)


  1. Okay friend, in terms of different answers... If you read the promise at the end of the Book of Mormon, Moroni 10:3-5, where it discusses the need to pray about the book, it gives some specific requirements to receive an answer. You have to pray with faith, with real intent (meaning that you truly want to know and you will ACT according to your answer), then you will receive an answer. And God does not change, so He will not give different answers. It is us that misinterprets or refuses to accept the answer as it was given.

  2. Thank you Kellie. What I'm hearing is that I need to try again - or that I'm really just going to hear what I "want" to hear, because I don't have faith (oh, George Michael song just popped in my head...Kellie, are you too young to know that song?!).

    On another note...I read your blog and how the heck did you all get so much money for the Fitness Challenge at Adams? Yowzers!

  3. Heather. In the LDS Doctrine and Covenants, Section 9 versus 8 & 9 it gives and answer to know how to pray and ask God and what His answer will be. -
    8) But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.

    9) But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong....

    Also in Moroni 7:16
    For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

    If you pray before you start to read and study and ask God for the faith to know what you are reading is true, also ask for the faith to believe in him and he faith to accept his answer, this will aid in having a clearer mind. If you go online to you can also get cross references to the Bible and foot notes to what you are reading that will help as well. I am honored that you are reading the Book of Mormon. It is along with the Bible a focus in my life.

  4. I've been puzzling over this a bit this week as well, and I'm so glad to read what Kellie wrote. I used to know that scripture by heart, (on my mission, we called it "Moroni's Promise", and we read it with every person to whom we gave a Book of Mormon) but in this case, it had been awhile since I'd read it, and I had forgotten or glossed over some key words that are absolutely necessary if you want to receive the "promise".

    (Namely, the requirements that Kellie pointed out.)

  5. Callen and Kellie's stock packaged answer is a shining example of the hypocrisy of religion. It's a one size fits all for his/her organization. There is no room for personal growth and development outside the confines of prearranged edicts. When one seeks truth on their own, and finds it, that personal truth is belittled, mocked, and scorned as uninspired or unworthy of God.

  6. That comment crossed a line for me. Perhaps Callen & Kellie's (and my endorsement of it) crossed a line for Anonymous, and if that is the case, then I sincerely apologize. At any rate, I need to withdraw from this conversation now.

  7. I wish I knew who anonymous was, but I don't.

    I can see what they are saying, though. I think what is hard for those outside of the LDS religion to understand is the claim that it is the one true church. I am not trying to offend anyone, but as a person raised in the Presbyterian Church, I understand that even though I was raised to believe Jesus was the savior (I no longer do believe this) I would still not receive salvation according to Mormon doctrine, because I was not Mormon. Is that right? Again - not trying to offend, trying to understand.