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Author Topic: Praying  (Read 5319 times)
MJ-12
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« on: April 13, 2002, 16:14:02 »

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distant bell
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2002, 17:59:10 »

I think there might be soemthing to prayer actaully, would be fun with some more ideas from al of you!

 
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2002, 17:59:10 »

logoVisit the website of Astral Pulse creator Adrian Cooper.

Home of the best selling book Our Ultimate Reality.

Astral Projection, Metaphysics and many other subjects.

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cainam_nazier
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2002, 06:59:49 »

Art Bell ran a test of Mass Sugestion.  He did this twice and then decided because he did not know enough about what he was doing it was not wise to go on.

There was one time when a friend of his named Danion Brinkley got ill.  The man probably should have died.  He was to under go a major surgery.  Art asked in all of his listeners, a couple of million, would pray or think of him during this time.  Danion called Art just a few short hours after words.  The man should have been out, and definatly unable to talk because of the operation.

I believe it was then when Art decided to stop.  Even though he had gotten such positive results he came to the conclusion that because all of this energy or thought is being directed into one spot what is being deprived of it.  They thought about trying to change the weather in one spot but the thought, well if we make it rain here, what if that causes a drought over here.  Thre were just too many veriables.

You should check it out..

http://www.artbell.com/guestb.html
look for Danion Brinkley, he has a web site also. It's listed there.

David Rogalski
cainam_nazier@hotmail.com
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PeacefulWarrior
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2002, 09:41:46 »

DB-

I am very tired, but I want to respond to your post immediately because I pray daily and I know prayer works.  There is a God and He is the Father of our spirits.  Call him what you may God lives and loves each one of us.  Many view God as the "Source"...but you will find that we are all part of this divine and perfect being.  He shines through us and when we are like Him we see Him in our reflection and in the faces of our fellow men...we can see Him in everything.  

After reading this you might think "Yeah, you were tired Dan" but I suspect some part of the above rings true within everyone.

Love and Light-
Dan


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We shall not cease from our exploration, and at the end of all our exploring, we shall arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
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distant bell
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2002, 10:27:02 »

Daniel-

Thanks for the answer mate!

It would be nice to hear some more about how you pray and how the prayers get answerd- if it isn´t to personal for you of course!
I have talked to many people who claim to talk to god through prayer,
and asked them how they do it and how god talks back- but untill now I´we never gotten any good answer. Most people say something like -I cannot explain..

I would love to learn more about the subjekt!

Felix

 
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2002, 10:27:02 »



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Bhikku
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2002, 21:06:49 »

I do take time to pray, but for the most part I feel that my daily thoughts are prayers. If someone can hear me praying in my head then I'm sure they can hear me thinking too. When I do kneel to pray, I give thanks for what I have, and ask for protection for my loved ones and myself, as well as humanity as a whole. I would never pray for "more money" or anything of that nature.

"Look within, thou art the Budda"
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2002, 07:08:27 »

Greetings all!
Well, it's no secret here that I am a Christian.  I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Belief systems are so limiting and blahblah blah.  I understand that principle and on many levels I agree...but in my quest for truth I have found what I am looking for and I am happy, need I say more??  I judge no one and love everyone equally.

Ok, with that said, I introduce some thoughts on PRAYER.  I hope this is helpful for those you who desire to utilize prayer to communicate with the source, with the one and true God and to progress and learn more about the universe and themsleves.  

Well, I find it amazingly difficult to define prayer, but I can describe what prayer means to me and how I use and how I get answers to my prayers.  Prayer is a form of meditation for me and I pray daily, at least twice each day (when I wake up and before I go to sleep).  I begin each prayer by envoking God, our Heavenly Father.  Then I thank him for all that I have.  Next I ask God for those things which I would like, for example I ask for knowledge, the power to overcome negativity, for protection, to help and bless others, etc.  I always end in the name of Jesus Christ.  I believe Christ is my Savior and Redeemer and thus the mediator between us and the father.   Sometimes I don't ask for anything and just give thanks because I want to show my gratitude for all that is and for the love and peace that the God gives me.

When I pray for an answer to a question, I usually recieve an answer, sometimes immediately and other times it takes time.  I feel the Holy Spirit touch my heart and I physically feel it's presence enter within and I feel positive, high vibrations throughout my whole body...from head to toe.  Other times I feel "pure intelligence" flow into my mind and I learn something totally and completely knew.  In Galatians chapter 5, versus 19-23 Paul describes the "fruits of the spirit".  Basically when you pray if you get a stupor of thought or feel bad, then usually the answer to your prayer is that whatever you are praying about may be something you shouldn't choose, etc.  On the other hand if one were to pray, for example, about a decision and they were filled with a good, positive feeling then it may be the right decision.  Of course God wants us to use our own logic and inelligence to make smart decisions, but many times when in the "gray" areas of life we should pray and meditate in order to tap into that Holy Spirit, or higher consciousness, etc. (whatever you want to call it).  

I also think it's important to live right, in other words if we are negative and making evil decisions, then prayer will be less effective, however, it's always good to prayer, even if we are in a bad mood or in a negative mind set.  When my finace and I are arguing and frustrated we pray...and it is impossible not to begin to have the desire to let it go and allow positvity back into our relationship.  That, for me, is proof enough of the positive effects of prayer...so even a skeptic would have to admit that it works on some level.


Here is some info from www.lds.org about prayer that I find very interesting and informative and, of course, true:
Discerning Answers to Our Prayers
By Grant E. Barton

Grant E. Barton, “Discerning Answers to Our Prayers,” Ensign, Feb. 1996, 48
“President,” the missionary declared, “I don’t seem to be getting an answer to my prayers!” “Elder,” I answered, “one of the beautiful truths of the gospel is that our Father in Heaven is very close and responsive to all who earnestly pray to him. ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth’ ” (Luke 11:9-10; emphasis added).

We were engaged in one of the many interviews I would conduct as a mission president. My young missionary friend, like many other people, had become discouraged in his prayer experience, thinking that Heavenly Father was unresponsive. But the reassuring message of the scriptures is that all who pray in faith for divine assistance, asking for that which is right, will be answered in some way (see 3 Ne. 18:20; D&C 88:63-65). The promise is sure. Our challenge is to discern our Father’s abundant and varied responses.

We know that our Father and our Savior both are eager to strengthen, comfort, and inspire each one of us. The scriptures tell us, for example, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him” (2 Chr. 16:9). The Lord Jesus Christ compared Heavenly Father’s responsiveness to that of an earthly father who gives good gifts to his children (see Matt. 7:9-11; compare JST, Matt. 7:12-17). We read also that the Savior stands at the door and knocks and will enter and sup with us if we are willing to hear his voice (see Rev. 3:20).

“Mighty Prayer and Supplication”
If we wish our prayers to be answered by our Heavenly Father, we must, of course, do all in our power to make them spiritually effective.

The scriptures encourage us to pray with great fervency, crying unto the Lord, as Enos did, in “mighty prayer and supplication,” pouring out our “whole soul unto God” (Enos 1:4, 9). “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).

As I talked with my missionary friend during our interview, I told him of an experience in my youth when I prayed with desperate urgency. I was fourteen and had tried to catch a bus to visit my father, who was stationed at an army base in Tooele, Utah, some thirty-five miles from Salt Lake City. I missed the bus, however, and decided to hitch a ride instead. A man took me as far as the Great Salt Lake and dropped me off near a smelter about twenty miles west of the city. It began to rain, and night was descending. Sulfuric fumes from the smelter filled the air, and I began to cough and wheeze.

Remembering my parents’ teachings, I started to pray. As I struggled for breath, my prayers became more desperate and earnest.

Into my mind came a voice that said, “Run.” I didn’t feel like running and shrugged off the impression. But the voice repeated more distinctly, “Run.” I started to jog through the cold rain. The voice came again and said more urgently, “Run as fast as you can!” So I did.

As I staggered over the top of a hill, I saw a lone car in the process of making a U-turn. I croaked out a noise and waved my arms. The car stopped, and even though I couldn’t speak coherently, the kindly couple in the car seemed to understand, invited me in, and drove away from the fumes. I was thoroughly drenched and was shaking uncontrollably from the cold. The couple told me that they had been sitting in their home in Tooele and felt that they should take a drive—in the middle of the storm!

Receiving Inspiration
That night on the lonely road to Tooele I gained confidence that our Heavenly Father answers fervent prayers. I also learned several other lessons.

First, obey spiritual impressions without delay. Don’t hesitate, as did Zacharias in accepting the word of an angel (see Luke 1:11-20). It is wiser to be like Abraham, who “rose up early in the morning” (see Gen. 22:1-3) to follow the Lord’s commandment. This rule applies even if what I am called on to do is hard. The Spirit can prompt us to do new, challenging things that cause us to grow and, as often is the case, to bless others at the same time (see Ether 12:27; 2 Ne. 32:5). I am especially attentive when an impression comes repeatedly. When I have any doubt about what seems to be inspiration, I ask the Lord to sweep away my own biases and to reaffirm his will in my heart and mind.

Another lesson I have learned: after praying, I must do my part to help answer the prayer. President Spencer W. Kimball taught: “When we pray for health we must live the laws of health and do all in our power to keep our bodies well and vigorous. We pray for protection and then take reasonable precaution to avoid danger. There must be works with faith” (Faith Precedes the Miracle, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1972, p. 205).

A scriptural lesson on how to judge impressions is given in chapter seven of Moroni: “Every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, … 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” (Moro. 7:13, 16; see also Moro. 7:17-19).

Modern prophets have cautioned us that true personal impressions from the Lord will always be in harmony with what is taught in the scriptures and by the living prophets. It is well to remember, furthermore, that only the President of the Church receives revelation for the Church as a whole (see D&C 28:2; D&C 107:91-92). Personal revelation is for one’s own edification. “Strong, impressive spiritual experiences do not come to us very frequently,” said Elder Boyd K. Packer, now Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “And when they do, they are generally for our own edification, instruction, or correction. Unless we are called by proper authority to do so, they do not position us to counsel or to correct others” (Ensign, Jan. 1983, p. 53).

Why a Still, Small Voice?
My confused young missionary friend seemed worried that the voice of the Spirit might be so soft and unclear that its message could be difficult to discern; so I asked him to consider the following questions: “Why must the voice of the Spirit be so still and small? Why doesn’t the Lord simply write with his finger on your wall every morning the names of those he wants you to visit?”

“Well,” the elder answered thoughtfully, “I suppose if the Lord did that, I wouldn’t have to make any effort myself. I would be living by knowledge and wouldn’t have to develop faith. I wouldn’t have to listen to the Spirit.”

Immediate divine intervention to solve every problem would invalidate the test that earth life was designed to be. Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote: “It is not, never has been, and never will be the design and purpose of the Lord—however much we seek him in prayer—to answer all our problems and concerns without struggle and effort on our part. This mortality is a probationary estate. … We are being tested to see how we will respond in various situations; how we will decide issues; what course we will pursue while we are here walking, not by sight, but by faith” (Ensign, Jan. 1976, p. 11).

Even though our Heavenly Father may not give us the immediate and complete answer that we think we need, he nonetheless may offer comforting assurance that we will in due time receive the blessings right for us. This revealed assurance is itself an answer! It tells us that the Lord will care for us. The Apostle Paul ties this assurance to faith (see JST, Heb. 11:1), a divine gift that enables us to persist in the face of adversity without knowing when promised blessings may be received in full.

When the Prophet Joseph Smith cried out in anguish, “O God, where art thou?” (D&C 121:1), the Lord’s answer was comfort and assurance that the Prophet would ultimately triumph. This heavenly assurance gave him the strength and patience to endure. Similarly, while witnessing the terrible martyrdom of innocent women and children at the city of Ammonihah (see Alma 14:8-11), Alma was given revealed assurance that “the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory,” which allowed Alma to endure in the face of horror. Likewise, we may receive heavenly assurances, according to our faith and our Father’s wisdom, that will see us through our adversity. When we seek his blessings worthily, we can be sure that we will receive them at the time and in the way that will be best for us.

A Variety of Answers
Our Heavenly Father may answer prayers in a wide variety of ways other than a simple “yes” or “no.” For example, when we have properly prepared ourselves to receive and accept his counsel, he might lead us to a scripture offering the very answer we need. I have a close friend who some years ago was pondering whether to adopt a Native American child. Having considered their personal situation thoroughly, he and his wife prayed, then randomly opened the Book of Mormon. On the pages in front of them, they saw first a passage about being nursing fathers and mothers to the Lamanites. Feeling the confirmation of the Spirit, they accepted the scriptural passage as a direct answer to their prayer and went on to build a loving relationship with the daughter they adopted.

When there seems to be no clear-cut “yes” or “no” answer to a question asked in prayer, it may be that either choice is acceptable. Or perhaps neither choice is the best one. We might consider changing the question to ask an all-knowing, loving Heavenly Father what his will is. Again, the answer might come in a variety of ways—a new thought or opportunity we had not considered, a change in the situation to make one course clearly preferable, or intervention by someone with needed information, practical skill, or spiritual perspective.

A young man desiring to know of the truth of the gospel prayed about the question one night in a gully behind his family’s home. He felt a prompting to go to the front of the house. There he found in a parked car a member of the stake presidency who gave him wise counsel. A fragile testimony was strengthened. God’s sweetest blessings often flow to us through those who are called as our spiritual leaders here on earth.

In considering our prayers, our all-knowing Heavenly Father may answer our needs by giving us a greater capacity to solve our problems ourselves. “It is not the usual purpose of prayer to serve us like Aladdin’s lamp, to bring us ease without effort,” Elder Richard L. Evans of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote some years ago. “Often the purpose of prayer is to give us strength to do what needs to be done, wisdom to see the way to solve our own problems, and ability to do our best in our tasks” (quoted in Richard L. Evans, Jr., Richard L. Evans: The Man and the Message, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, Inc., 1973, p. 289).

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that divine answers can come through pure intelligence flowing into us, giving us “sudden strokes of ideas” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 151). When we feel this acceleration of thought, President Packer has explained, it is the Spirit conveying to us “what we need to know without either the drudgery of study or the passage of time, for it is revelation” (Ensign, Jan. 1983, p. 53). Often this acceleration of thought comes while we study the scriptures. Nephi counsels us to “feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Ne. 32:3).

Besides telling us in our minds, the Lord also tells us in the feelings of the heart (D&C 8:2). President Packer further indicated that “these delicate, refined spiritual communications are not seen with our eyes, nor heard with our ears. And even though it is described as a voice, it is a voice that one feels, more than one hears. …

“The Spirit does not get our attention by shouting or shaking us with a heavy hand. Rather it whispers. It caresses so gently that if we are preoccupied we may not feel it at all” (Ensign, Jan. 1983, pp. 52-53).

The Spirit’s mellowing, softening influence can fill us with “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith” (Gal. 5:22-23). When we are praying more, reading the scriptures more, and becoming more humble and Christlike in our behavior, we are heeding the Spirit’s promptings, which lead us to do good, and qualifying ourselves for answers to our prayers (see D&C 112:10) and discernment to recognize them in all their variety.

Intensifying the Voice
There are many ways of making the voice of the Spirit stronger in our lives. One of these is praying with faith, really believing that our Father will answer us. On the other hand, being skeptical of such answers is a self-fulfilling fear! These two opposing truths are taught in James 1:5, the verse that motivated Joseph Smith to go into the grove to pray, and in the two verses following:

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally. …

“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

“For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord” (James 1:5-7).

The more often we pray with sincerity and humility, the more often the Spirit has opportunities to whisper to us. In fact, we promise our Father in the sacramental covenant that we will remember his Son always, in return for which he promises us that we “may always have his Spirit to be with [us]” (D&C 20:77, 79; emphasis added).

It is wise to have worship of the Father in our hearts whenever we undertake to act in his service. Nephi taught: “Ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul” (2 Ne. 32:9).

Having virtuous thoughts and keeping the commandments can give us greater confidence, greater trust that “the Holy Ghost shall be [our] constant companion” and that our prayers will be answered (see D&C 121:45-46). How can we have confidence that God will give new guidance to us unless we are being true to the principles he has already revealed? “When they shall cry unto me I will be slow to hear their cries,” the Lord told the people of wicked King Noah through his prophet Abinadi. “And except they repent … , and cry mightily to the Lord their God, I will not hear their prayers” (Mosiah 11:24-25).

We are much more likely to hear the voice of the Spirit when we pray for the right things. “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you” (3 Ne. 18:20). Other scriptures tell us that “right” things to pray for include strength to escape temptation (see 3 Ne. 18:18), blessings upon our families (see 3 Ne. 18:21), the gift of love (see Moro. 7:48) and other gifts of the Spirit (see D&C 46:8, 26, 28-30), and forgiveness for our debts (see Matt. 6:12, footnote 12a). Of course, it would also be appropriate to ask for assistance in doing the work of the Lord, with questions such as “How can I help activate Susie?” or “How can I help the Sunday School class I am teaching to want to live the principles we are to discuss this Sunday?”

The Spirit can teach us what we should pray for (see Rom. 8:26; 3 Ne. 19:24). John the Revelator declared: “If we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

“And … we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 Jn. 5:14-15).

Gratitude and Understanding
Some months after my interview with the elder who was having difficulty discerning the answers to his prayers, I sat in a testimony meeting at the end of his mission. “I am learning what it means to pray mightily,” he testified. “And I have come to better recognize the many answers the Lord is giving me. I know he loves me and is helping me.”

His words showed an attitude of thanksgiving for his Father’s blessings. This aspect of receiving answers to our prayers is often neglected, but the Savior himself has taught that we should receive the blessings of God with praise and thanksgiving (see, for example, D&C 46:7, D&C 78:19, D&C 136:28). It is through gratitude that we find the key to understanding how deeply our Father loves us.

He is eager to give us good gifts—including the blessings that we need and the answers to our prayers—as we ask in righteousness. By faith we can come to understand his answers and know that they are the best things for us at that particular time, answers lovingly offered by a Heavenly Father who can see with perfect clarity to the depths of our souls.

Gospel topics: Holy Ghost, prayer

Let’s Talk about It
This article may furnish material for a family home evening discussion or for personal consideration. You might consider questions such as:

1. Do I really listen for Heavenly Father’s answers to my prayers—or only for confirmation of what I think is right?

2. Am I prepared in my heart to obey, whatever the answer may be?

3. Is there anything amiss in my life that blocks the whisperings of the Spirit?

[illustrations] Illustrated by Cary Henrie

Must We Keep the Commandments in Order to Hear the Spirit Clearly?
It helps. For details, see "are you saved?" It is common to think that we do not need to do anything in order to have the Holy Ghost with us, but that is not the case.

Will the Answer Be Obvious?
Not always. Once the disciples saw the resurrected Jesus walking along the road, and they did not recognise him (see Luke 24). Later on they thought back and remembered that they did feel something, though they did not notice at the time.

Luke 24:32:

"And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?"

If we think we have not had an answer, maybe we should think back – perhaps we just did not notice it?

Are Stronger Emotions a Good Sign?
Not always. As atheists often point out, it is possible to be so carried away with emotion that you can no longer think clearly.

They are right to point out that emotion on its own does not mean communication from God. In the same way, a noise on its own does not make a conversation. But a particular type of noise in the right context is called speech. In the same way, a particular feeling in the right context is a communication from God.

But emotions (or other alleged signs of the spirit) exist on their own, then the atheists are right – it means nothing.

'Charismatic' Worship:
The Holy Ghost was sent to bring us knowledge, not just emotion. Read what Paul said with regard to speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 14). Always the test of proper worship is whether or not any useful information is communicated. If we feel emotion that teaches us something new, it could be the Holy Ghost. But if we just feel emotion that does not teach us anything new (or remind us of things we have forgotten), it is not of God.

I have a friend who sometimes attends "worship" services that seem to consist of people praising God in very emotional ways. There is nothing necessarily wrong with that. But if nothing new is learned, it is not the Holy Ghost, but something else.

There are some Christian groups who consider that shouting, falling down, and generally becoming "drunk with the spirit" (as some other Christians describe it) is a sign of the spirit. But note the signs given in Galatians (above). Such frenzy is more like the first group (emulations, revilings) than the second group (peace, temperance). Here are two examples of the damage that such frenzies can cause:

The Zealots were a group of Jews at the time of Christ who were well known for their passionate belief and complete dedication. I am sure that their emotions ran very high. Yet they ignored what Jesus said, and caused the destruction of the temple (see discussion of Daniel chapter 9).


The Montanists were Christians of the second century. They recognised that the apostles were dead, and the Spirit was leaving the churches. So, like Charismatics today, they focused on the gifts of the Spirit. They preached passionately, and prophesied and so on. But unlike today, most Christians could still remember the real thing, and they were not taken in. The Montanists brought preaching and prophesying into disrepute, and in effect discouraged genuine spiritual experiences. (See discussion in the history of Christianity.)
It is always worth remembering 1 Kings 19:11-12:

"And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice."

How Can You Know For CERTAIN?
Telling the Difference Between Emotions and the Spirit:
This is misleading, as the Spirit works through our emotions (see above).

When we feel the emotions described, there are two tests that will show for certain whether or not the feeling is from God.

Moroni 7:16-19 (Book of Mormon):

"the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.

"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. But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil"

To illustrate this, the following are all actual cases, with people I have known well:

Example 1: Should I Join This Church?
Most churches invite you to do good, and persuade you to believe in Christ. So, to that extent, they are from God. But some churches are better than others.

Some teach that doing good is not essential (e.g. you are saved by grace, not works).

Some have a concept of Christ that is so confusing (three in one, one in three, where we have to distinguish between the person, the nature, the incarnation, the substance...) that they have trouble persuading people to believe in Christ. Certainly, all traditional Christians believe in the name of Christ, but relatively few Christians can tell you clearly who Christ is.

For an attempt at understanding the traditional concept of the trinity, I recommend Cyber Ministries. This Protestant web site contains many pages that attempt to distinguish between the traditional view and tri-theism, monotheism, polytheism, monarchism, etc. It begins:

"If you are like so many people maybe you struggle to understand the Trinity.

Three Persons in one Nature can be a hard concept to grasp. And then add to it the fact that Jesus Christ is fully God and yet fully man and you have one of the most difficult doctrines of the Christian faith."
And after finally nailing down an interpretation that reconciles the Bible with tradition, the author still gives us no authority for believing this view, other than he is very clever with the scriptures. (Incidentally, after a long and tortuous argument, the author comes extremely close to the LDS view. He only differs in that he does not know about the biblical doctrine of pre-existence, which greatly simplifies everything.)

The truth is, of course, always simple. Jesus is the son of God. He is one with God in the same way that we can be one with God (see John chapter 17). We can follow his example. That is all there is to it.

Hence, when it comes to inviting people to do good, and helping people believe in Christ, some churches are better than others.

Example 2: Should I Marry This Person?
I know someone who prayed about whether she should marry someone who had asked her. She felt good around him, but did not get a particularly strong feeling – he was not her idea of "the only one," her knight in shining armour. So what should she have done? Well, she had done the right thing:

She had asked God.
She was trying to live her life in accordance with what God had asked, so she was worthy to receive an answer.
She had identified the feelings she received – not earthshaking, but quietly good nonetheless.
Were the feelings sufficient to act upon?

Would marriage persuade her to do good? Yes. God has commanded us to marry and have families (where possible), so this was, by definition, good.
Would marriage persuade here to believe in Christ? Yes. The man seemed very likely to support her both spiritually (he was an active church member) and emotionally (he loved and cared for her). This would also allow her to raise a family of children who would also believe in Christ.
So, according to the scriptures quoted above, she could marry, with a perfect knowledge that this was the right thing to do.

That was several years ago. Since then, as far as I can tell, this lady has been happy. She did not get the millionaire she wanted, and she still does not have her own horse, but she has a good house, pets, freedom to do what she wants, and a family that loves her. I would say that she made the right decision. Wouldn't you?

Example 3: Should I Take a Particular Business Risk?
This is a particularly interesting case because it illustrates that the Lord will support us if we do our best, even if we make mistakes.

A man I know well was having financial problems, and wondered if he should start his own business in order to make more money. He researched the possibilities, and it seemed like he had a good chance of success (as well as an equally good chance of failure). He prayed about it, and got pretty much the same answer – "it's up to you." So how did the decision measure up to the key tests?

Did it persuade to do good? Yes. The purpose of going in to business was to be financially self sufficient, and not to rely on others for support. It also gave more freedom to organise his life, and ultimately to be of more use to others – he would be his own boss, and could potentially employ others and have more money with which to do good.
Did it persuade to believe in Christ? Yes. It meant leaving the security of the known, and going into the unknown. This meant inevitably relying more on Christ, and thus finding out more about him. For example, before this time, the scripture "seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you" was just words. But now it became very urgent. Did this mean that God would bless him financially? Did it mean that he would have enough and no more? Was the scripture actually only spoken to the twelve apostles? And so on. It forced him to learn more about Christ and to make real decisions based on that knowledge.
So, the decision was a good one. He knew with a perfect knowledge that it was the right thing to do.

And what happened? Well, the business made money, but not quite enough. (He made more money than most comparable businesses, but that is a different story.) So he had to finally go back into full time employment. He later discovered that he had done things that had been specifically counselled against by modern prophets (e.g. founding a business on debt). Hence it was only reasonable to expect the business to fail.

Did this mean that the decision was actually a wrong one? After all, if he had known more about what the prophets had said, he would not have started it. No, he knew "with a perfect knowledge" that the decision was correct at the time, according to the rules given in scripture. Looking back, he could see how this business experience led to doors opening that would not have opened otherwise. It allowed him to start a completely new career, which would provide far more money in the long term and also allow more time and freedom to do the important things.

Conclusion:
The scriptures tell us plainly and clearly how to recognise an answer to our prayers.

Then, after we have acted on the answer – often years later – we know it was right, from experience.

 Are You Ready For Your Answer?
 


The implications are really quite scary. You have real freedom and responsibility – to a large extent, you make the choice, and as long as it is consistent with the guidelines given, and you continue to keep in touch with God, He will approve, and bless you for it.

YOU decide which of those specific feelings or experiences you have.
YOU decide which choice will lead to do the most good.
YOU decide which choice is most likely to lead people to Christ.
Then, you can act with perfect knowledge that your decision is the will of God.
We have the gift of knowledge of good and evil. We have independent thought. This is what the whole plan of salvation – the fall and the atonement – is about!

You get a lot more revelation from God than you may realise. Whenever things are not going how you think they should be, you can ask God, and then you can know with a certainty that what you have been taught is true. Not because you have had an angel come down and visit you, but because you have learned when to trust quiet feelings and when to ignore them. The decision is always yours. You cannot blame anyone else. You have to take responsibility.

Questions and Answers
Note: as with the rest of this web site, this is not "official," it is simply my understanding and my experience. For the official church web site, visit www.lds.org, or you may also like to visit www.mormon.org, an official LDS web site which explains all basic LDS beliefs and concepts.

Why Aren't Prayers Answered in Instant, Dramatic Ways?
That would teach us nothing. There would be no understanding on our part. No struggle, no appreciation, no thought. A good teacher knows that a student is more likely to remember something if they work it out for themselves.

Also, subtle answers give us more choices in how to respond. God is training us to become like Him – able to make intelligent decisions – not to become blind robots.

"Why must I want to obey God in order to get an answer?"
If someone understands the basics about God (He knows everything, He loves you), they will naturally want to follow what He says. If they do not want to follow Him, it shows they do not really understand Him. If so, they will probably not benefit from any answer to a prayer.

"What if I make a mistake when I decide if I have been answered?"
Of course you will sometimes, but God understood that when He gave you these rules. He is the one who said you can act with certainty.

"What if I follow this answer, and things still go wrong?"
It could be God testing you.

It could be that this is the result of another issue that you did not ask about (e.g. you might choose the right person to marry, but that alone is not enough to guarantee a happy marriage).

Or it could be time to learn some more. There is always another decision to be made! The purpose of this life is not to have everything go right. There is plenty of time for that in the eternities. No, the purpose of this life is for us to be tested (see Alma 12:24).

Why Was the Holy Ghost Not used When Jesus Was Present?

John 16:7:

"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you."

Why?

The Holy Spirit was present in Old Testament times. (Hence the "still, small voice" mentioned earlier, and the countless examples of inspiration. Are we really to accept that when David wrote the Psalms, he did not feel the Spirit? If we say that the Holy Spirit was not present, we must say that most of the Old Testament is not inspired, apart from the occasional chapter where an angel appears and speaks in person.)

The Holy Spirit was active both before and after Christ. So, why was He not active when Jesus was present?

Almost certainly because, to receive answers, a person must decide many things for themselves. How could the disciples be expected to struggle with difficult questions when Jesus was present? The only sensible thing is to just ask Him. So, no answers could rely on the Holy Spirit until Jesus had gone. (The Holy Spirit was present, but just not used – see the example in Luke 24, referred to earlier.)

What About the Gift of the Holy Ghost?
Everybody can receive the Holy Ghost when God chooses to give it, so what is the significance of the apostles laying on their hands to give the Holy Ghost as a gift? Probably because, in order to benefit from the Holy Ghost, we need to understand the gospel (in order to make our own decisions, as above). Without church membership, we do not learn how to benefit from the Holy Ghost, so He soon leaves us.

And it is not enough to just understand the gospel but not join the church. This does not allow us to benefit from the Holy Ghost. If we understand the gospel, we know why we must join. If we know we should do something, and do not do it, that is sin.

James 4:17: "to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

It is difficult to feel the Holy Ghost while we consciously sin.

"I prayed, and did not receive an answer"
Every time I hear this, it turns out that the person either DID receive an answer but did not recognise it, or they did not pray as directed:

James (quoted above) reminds us: "Let him ask in faith" – if there was no faith there will likely be no answer.
Many answers are subtle, and it it up to us to recognise them (see Moroni's advice on judging).
"No" is an answer as well as "yes."
Some answers do not come at once, but can come much later. For example, a friend of mine once prayed earnestly for a job. He started praying in March, and the job arrived the following January. It seemed a long wait for him at the time, but looking back, he tells me the timing was just perfect for a number of other reasons that were not obvious to him back then.
The Bottom Line
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God... And it shall be given him."

– James 1:5

I hope this as been of some help...
your brother and friend,
Daniel

fides quaerens intellectum
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We shall not cease from our exploration, and at the end of all our exploring, we shall arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
T.S. Elliot
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fides quaerens intellectum
Josh Redstone
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2002, 17:08:59 »

I thnk there may be a huge psychological part to prying. It is a known fact that the subconciouse can affect the physical body, like when subjects are hypnotised and tild the will bleed only from one part of a wound, or than an ice cube i burning hot, and they get a blister from it.
When you pray, you are obviously doing it for reasons to help yourself, like get better from a seriouse illness. Is it not possible that your mind could pick up on that and put it into play, I think so.
And @ Peacfull Warrior, I dont mean to infringe on your beliefs, but if God created us in his image, than God would be far less perfect than a lot of us would like to think.

 
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Donna
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2002, 22:13:57 »

Hi there Distant Bell,
The first time I literally "heard" a choir of angels sing is when I first got down on my knees, with a written affirmation, and asked God to come into my life.Oh Boy! I had no idea how my life was about to change! Since that time I have experienced communication with the Holy Spirit within myself. My life has been saved by higher realm angels, and many of my question have been answered. I have also attended school in the higher realms, where the teachers are angelic beings.
Shortly after the 9-11 attack I attended a meeting in the realms with many of others including Muslum Clerics. There we were told by the Goddess who is in charge of our planet at present, that "All is going as it should.".
Our teacher told us that to call on our Creator, Who is within each of us, to sing the tone "OM" , but as soon as we made the connection to stop making the sound, and be respectful during our conversation with Him/Her.
Any questions?
Donna

 
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Arie
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« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2002, 20:48:05 »

No offense....but personally I don't think God answers prayer.  Just yesterday I was overshadowed (partially possessed) by a neg.  And let me ask you all where the hell was God when I was possessed? No where to be found.   I had to take matters in my own hands and get rid of the neg.  I mean if God is sooo good....then where the hell is he when people commit suicide and other people suffer giganticly....for no reason at all.  And don't give me that karma bovine excrement.  Personally I don't rely on anyone.  I am going to stay true to myself and no one else.  Do we really need God? I haven't.  If God does exist....do you think he needs us? No.  I don't know....right now I still believe in God....but I might become an atheist or agnostic....I have to look into it.

Adios

 
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"I hear and I forget... I see and I remember... I do and I understand."
Tom
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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2002, 20:57:27 »

It seems to me that negs should be able to get enough to eat just picking up the energy that people leave behind. If they must feed directly, there are usually places on people which have accumulated too much energy and become blocked. There was no need for them to get into the habit of causing harm just to have a meal or two. There must be more to it than a need for nourishment. I've heard plenty of complaints about people buying hamburger at the grocery store, but no one I know of has ever asked a cow to slice off parts of itself and then do the grilling besides.

God is not really necessary for prayer. We all have or "higher self" with us. I have even found this approach to be effective at times. It is just not in my nature to ask for help until I've truly made a mess of things and can no longer make them any worse.


 
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DjMidgetMan
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« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2002, 01:26:42 »

I believe that the psychological effects of prayer were placed by God... So many things are placed by God, but most of us just assume: "thats the way things are, and it has nothing to do with a divine source". Well I believe it does. I am a Muslim, and in the Quaran it talks about many things that show that God exists, but that most of us have too much pride to acknowledge them... I dont have enough time to quote all the things but I will as the topic picks up a little more...
        Another thing on the subject of prayer to God.... Most people when they prey have too much doubt in their mind about God when praying, and expect God to give them: "clear proofs" about his existence by answering their prayers.... Well if God did that for everyone, than there would be no point on testing us on this earth to see if we will believe in Him.

DjMidgetMan
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distant bell
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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2002, 07:09:39 »

I have been thinking alot about the fenomenon of praying.

My belife system has never involved a "personal god", and thus
praying has never seemd to have any point to me.

I have heard about studies done on in the US, where they studied people in a hospital, and came to the conclusion that the ones who prayed or WHERE PRAYED FOR got healthy again faster. Now if this is true, that is wery interesting.

Prayer might be a form of atracting inner energys, or perhaps there is some sort of entintys that actually respond to prayers. There might even be a "personal God", who knows?

But then if there was a persoanl God that liked to healp,
what would the difference be between prayer and thought?

If a large group sitt an a plain that is about to crash, there should be enough mental "screaming out for help" that a divine entity that hears parayers should be able to detect this too.
But somehow this usually has no effect?  why?

Has anybody of you ever actaully gotten help or response
to prayers? It would be wery interesting to know.

Pleas note, I´m not trying to attac anybodys belifs- I´m just curious.



 
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