Prayer, Spiritual Knowledge and a “Bye” week-end.
February 14, 2011 3 Comments
Another unique practice within the Mormon culture is “Stake Conference”. Its roots are based in the scriptures. Jesus Christ himself teaches His disciples to “meet together oft.” (3 Nephi 18:22) Twice a year, a “Stake” (a group of 8-12 Mormon congregations) meets together to receive counsel and instruction from local and General church leadership.
Unfortunately, another unique practice in our culture is the idea that Stake Conference week-end is a “bye week.” A free week-end when we don’t have to go to Church (normal church meetings are cancelled) and we can rest from our CHURCH labors. Those who choose this perspective miss out on an incredible spiritual feast. For me, some of the most spiritual experiences I’ve had are related to Stake Conference.
This past week-end was Stake Conference for the Stake in which we live. The visiting authority from Church Headquarters was Elder Kevin W. Pearson. Like all of the members of the Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Pearson was kind, caring and very spiritual. It was a joy to be in attendance and I found myself wanting him to stay with us longer; even after a long week-end, I wanted more.
I could write a very lengthy post about what I learned but let me highlight two items that were most impactive to me.
1. Prayer/revelation. We have all heard countless talks on the importance of prayer, of visiting with Deity. But this week-end, it was forcibly taught to me that prayer is more than a check list of needs or even expressing gratitude. Real prayer is about getting in tune for revelation . In another post, I wrote about opening spiritual curtains. Prayer is simply a way to get the curtains open to gain access to the influence of the Holy Spirit. Like the other “holy habits”, prayer helps us understand what God wants us to understand; to be what God wants us to be. (See Elder Bednar’s last conference talk)
2. Spiritual Knowledge. Related to above, all spiritual knowledge, including testimonies, is locked up in our “Spirits”. We have been taught everything before. We knew the Father, the Son and Their plan for us. Everyone on Earth was not only taught the plan, but KNEW it. The only way to unlock that knowledge it through the influence of the Holy Ghost. No scientific process, no logical study, no empirical evidence will unlock that knowledge…only the Holy Ghost.
Further, we need to be patient as we are “unlocking” that knowledge. It doesn’t come all at once and sometimes even seems counterintuitive. As Elder Pearson put it, “Don’t let what you know be unraveled by what you don’t know.” We need to focus on what we do know and start from there. If there are things we don’t understand yet, put them “in a box upon the shelf” (Robert Millet) and be patient until we have more knowledge and experience.