This chapter contains instructions given to Christ’s disciples when he visited the Nephites after his death and resurrection. I am struck by step one of these instructions: “Ye shall call upon the Father in my name, in mighty prayer;” (vs. 2). The effect of such mighty prayer will be that one will have power to confer the Holy Ghost on others.
A footnote takes me to Ether 4:15. This is also reflective of a conversation that I had with my oldest daughter last evening, who asserted that everyone is just having the experience of life and to each their own. (I’m failing to capture the essence of her thoughts.) The feeling though was that there was no absolute truth, and while my faith teaches me to respect the beliefs of others, my experience demonstrates to my mind the reality that there is an absolute truth, and that God is the author of such. Some things are revealed to us that we are utterly incapable of “imagining up” even on our best days. There have been thoughts and realities impressed upon me that I know are not my thoughts, but come directly from God. My ways are not yours ways, saith the Lord of Hosts. And when I have those kinds of revelation, I know its not coming from me, but from God.
I use to think that revelation wasn’t necessarily something that everyone had to receive. Yet the longer I live, and the more I see friends and family step away from my faith, the more convinced I am becoming that without constant and continual personal revelation, nobody will be able to continue in the Church of Christ. That is a shift in my thinking that changes everything for me.
Another reason why this instruction impresses me so much is because I know what mighty prayer feels like and looks like. I have had recent seasons of such prayers and am now encouraged to continue in such exercises.
Morning prayers are not rote recitations. When I recognize each day as a moment in time to personally connect with God the Father, for me to express in that moment my gratitude for whatever is before me in my mind, my heart, and maybe even in my physical surroundings, this is what connects me to God and heightens my awareness of the blessings and realities that are presently before me. This is a refining, purifying experience.
In the Doctrine and Covenants we read:
Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;Doctrine and Covenants 84:20-21
Back in Moroni 2, we read:
…and after ye have done this ye shall have power that to him upon whom ye shall lay your hands, ye shall give the Holy Ghost;Verse 2
This suggests to my mind that sometimes I may go through the motions of an ordinance without the power to perform the ordinance. This is also instructions on how to ensure that I do have power with me when I am called upon to perform an ordinance.
Now this causes me to ask questions, and I don’t know if these are the right questions to ask, but they are the natural questions that first arise when I contemplate these things:
- What happens if an ordinance is performed without power? We can ensure that an ordinance is performed by one who is authorized to do so. But how can we guarantee one has power?
- Are ordinances not effective, if they are not performed with power?
These types of questions are ones that I feel like I could not answer. More importantly, the responsibility for their execution are outside of my prerogative or jurisdiction unless I am the officiating priesthood leader. So what really matters is my personal preparation to perform an ordinance when I am being called upon to perform such.
The instructions really are quite simple. Power comes through mighty prayer. The Holy Ghost is conferred through the laying on of hands, in the name of Jesus Christ. (See also Acts 19:6).