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.)