1. Jennifer O.

    Bryce, great work as always.

    As with Enos’s fine example, we realize that true prayer starts with the individual, the couple, the friends, and ultimately moves to the community and about the community, including enemies, as a way to truly open the conduits of heaven. We can see this clearly in prayer circles as you have described. The voice of the group can bring upon powers that are greater than its parts, as it demonstrates a unity of heart and mind, a true oneness with God and among man, the ultimate reward being the realization of Zion as a people and eventually as a place.

  2. Roy

    I just finished The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown and had to look up the apotheosis of George Washington on the Internet. I thought all through the book that this was very close to LDS doctrine. It was Good vs. Evil all the way through and at the end it showed that we have to work at being righteous all through our lives and if we put our minds too much on the things of the world, we can lose everything that is good.

  3. ChrisS

    I couldn’t help but think about “power” and how it relates to subjects that I/we in the church throw around all the time like ‘faith’ and ‘priesthood’ when I finished reading this book. When I was done the one scripture that kept coming back to my mind over and over again is, “faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for.” It’s not etheral, it’s not pretend…faith is SOMETHING…it is THERE. It has SUBSTANCE. Same thing with the POWER of the Priesthood. Like the quotes you found in the post Bryce, it might not be laws we fully understand, but they are laws none-the-less. And those laws are bound by TRUTH (thanks for that quote by President Hunter – awesome!!!). As we grow in knowledge and understanding, we grow in capacity and ability. We become more like our Heavenly Father – that’s what he wants – that’s the goal!

  4. DavidL

    This could and should be expanded to include family prayer, which has been encouraged to be held morning and night, to call down the powers of heaven on behalf of the needs and protection of the family. Thanks for the insightful post.

  5. Steve

    I liked that quote from Elder Talmage, very good stuff.

    I also find it kind of amusing how people down here on this little rock floating in the vastness of a universe that we can’t even fathom the end of, presume to declare that there is no God. Only a handful of us have ever been beyond the moon. It’s like a grain of sand on a beach judging the entire world from it’s vantage point. We’re not as wise as we think we are.

  6. Considering the prayer circles have to do with covenants, unity, and the Atonement, I found this interesting:

    D&C 93 states that “if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace.”

    David DeSilva (Ph.D. in Religion from Emory University, with emphases on New Testament
    interpretation, Roman history, and sociology of religion), writing on the social context of the Greek “charis,” says that to the Greco-Roman world “grace must be met with grace; favor must always give birth to favor; gift must always be met with gratitude. An image that captured this for the ancients was the picture of three goddesses, the three “Graces,” dancing hand in hand in a circle…we learn that there is no such thing as an isolated act of grace. An act of favor and its manifestation (the gift) initiate a circle dance in which the recipients of favor and gifts must “return the favor,” that is, give again to the giver…Only a gift requited is a gift well and nobly received. To fail to return favor for favor is, in effect, to break off the dance and destroy the beauty of the gracious act.” (DeSilva, Honor, Patronage, Kinship & Purity: Unlocking New Testament Culture, 2000)

    Not only does this “circle dance” capture the essence of a covenant relationship, but it (as far as I’m concerned) destroys the Evangelical understanding of “saved by grace, not of works.” This fits perfectly within the LDS “grace for grace” context.

  7. Jackie

    Great article Bryce, thank you, thank you, for your effort…I’m new to the site, chatted with you a moment the other evening, and all this got me to thinking about, lest we not forget, that great missionary/lds book by Grant Von Harrison, “Drawing on the Powers of Heaven”. Harrison quotes Joseph Smith on page 1: “Regarding faith, the Prophet Joseph Smith taught that: 1) “…as faith is the moving cause of all action in temporal concerns, so it is in spiritual;” 2) “…faith is not only the principle of action, but of power also,” and 3) “Faith, then is the first great governing principle which has power, dominion, and authority over all things.” Joseph Smith, “Lectures on Faith”, pp. 8 & 10. Hmmm, authority over all things (all should be underlined). He also speaks to the power of group prayer in his book, fasting and other methods of drawing on the powers of heaven to make thoughts into things, as I’m sure you know.
    And, from the New Testament: “…when ye pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have [them].” Mark 11:24 And, just before this verse: “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” Mark 11:23.
    Love this site.

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