Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Poll: Have you Ever Experienced a D&C Section 9 Stupor of Thought?

I know this appears to be a blatant attempt to generate traffic. It is that. But I am also kicking around a post idea (and a SS class discussion) on Section 9 of the Doctrine & Covenants and personal revelation. So, take the poll and leave your comments.


  1. I believe stupors of thought are supposed to be in response to prayer, so I'm not sure if this counts. Nevertheless, here you go: my first exposure to the Book of Mormon was seven years ago when my boyfriend read me an excerpt. I tried to pay attention, but as soon as he started reading I seemed to lose my ability to process auditory information. It was like listening to something in a language I barely knew--I recognized the words, but I couldn't put them together to get the meanings of the sentences. As soon as one word went by, it slipped out of my memory and was gone. It was soporific, too--I was nearly asleep before he reached the end of a page.

  2. I have experienced a stupor of thought in response to a prayer and it is not something that you can explain but you are able to recognize it when it happens.

  3. Just a comment about personal revelation. Don't seek after it unless you are willing to do what the Lord asks. Many times He will ask you to do that which is very difficult or even something you just don't want to do. Make sure going into the process of seeking the Lord that you have a willing heart come what may. The rewards are great, but there is a price to pay as well. When the Lord says we must be willing to give up all to be fit for the kingdom, know that He really does mean it. He will test you to your very core and beyond. So, seek and you shall find, but when you ready to accept it AND do it.

  4. Miriam: Thanks for stopping by. I am thinking your comment is tongue-in-cheek. Technically speaking, you did not have a "D&C Section 9 Stupor of Thought," you were just bored! It happens to the best of us. I added a link to Section 9 in my post, in case you are really interested in understanding the context. In particular, look at verses 7-9.

    And, Anonymous #2, I completely agree. In D&C 5:24, the Lord talks about revelaing his will to those who are humble and sincere. Which makes sense, right? We cannot expect God to reveal his will to us if we are not sincere about following it.

  5. GD Teacher: Thanks for the link and your response. Yeah, I was being tongue-in-cheek, but not entirely. You're right, I was bored, but I'm usually able to parse dense passages better than that, even when bored. I see that it's not what D&C 9 is talking about, but it struck me, in retrospect, as amusingly similar. I never did get the burning in the bosom, nor any other positive response, so I'm afraid this is the closest I'll ever come to receiving an answer. ;)

  6. I really have a hard time discerning answers to prayers. Most of the time I feel like I'm in a stupor. It's usually well after the fact that I can determine whether something I do/say is an inspired answer to prayer on not.

    I really think there is something wrong with my spiritual wiring.

  7. Mormon Heretic-
    It is possible you are one of those people who just "knows" things. What I mean by that is I have a friend who struggles to get answers to prayers or to feel anything coming to him but he just knows what to do when things come up or he has a decision to make. It is hard to describe, but think about whether that could be you.

  8. Miriam: So, what do you make of your experience? Did you take it as an answer to some unasked question? Or an indication that you did not need to ask?

    Heretic: I, too, think discerning answers to prayers is very difficult. For me, there is always a lot of what I call "emotional interference" in seeking personal revelation. I mean, there is what you want, there is what you think makes the most sense; there is what other people want. And, of course, you are trying to figure out what really IS right.

    By the time I think it through, really study it out in my mind, I pretty much know what I think I should do. I cannot think of more than a time or two in my life (and I am no spring chicken) where I got an answer to my prayers that changed what I already thought. Sometimes, that feels like I don't get answers or revelation.

  9. Teacher-
    I have come to realize that if we are seeking God and His will than many of the decisions we have to make each day are already "right" and good because of our thinking and our desires. In my experience the Lord will speak to us or thoughts that we haven't had before will come, etc. when there is a purpose or something specific we need to do that we don't realize or recognize. If we are already doing what He desires for us to do (and this is very likely when we are seeking Him daily in humility) then it may seem frustrating and like He isn't giving us any personal revelation. The reality is it comes when it is necessary to either fulfill a purpose or to help us see something that we can't see without His intervention.

    Having the gift of the Holy Ghost "spoils" us in a sense because we already have something that we are so used to (if we strive to keep that gift with us) and it is a daily reminder to our spirit that we are on the right track. In a sense this is personal revelation, when you carry that peace with you each day. Peace is a great revelation that you are doing the Lord's will and that He is pleased with you. If you feel like you don't get answers or revelation look in the place that you might be taking for granted and realize that He is speaking to you daily through this gift.

  10. The Teacher: I take it to mean that my experiences are not necessarily trustworthy indicators of the nature of the thing experienced. It's a mixed blessing.

  11. I don't know who is posting as anonymous, but could you please pick a handle, or sign some sort of nickname to distinguish yourself?

    Anonymous who said, "In my experience the Lord will speak to us or thoughts that we haven't had before..." Pretty much any time I have had thoughts like this, they turn out wrong.

    Anonymous who said, "he just knows what to do when things come up or he has a decision to make." This has been more my experience. There is no "burning bosom", "bolt of lightning", or anything as obvious as that.

    Let me give an analogy. It often feels no different than picking between rocky road and cookie dough ice cream. It is usually well after the fact that I learn something like "the cookie dough had salmonella--good think I chose rocky road." Given this, it is really hard to know if either choice matters until after the fact, when I get sick or avoid sickness. I really have a hard time differentiating when the actual choice is placed before me. Maybe the choice doesn't matter. In one case, the Lord is protecting me--in the other, perhaps he is teaching me patience. Either way, the Lord is doing something for me. The problem is I would always prefer protection over some of these unpleasant lessons.

  12. Sorry for posting anonymous...I was just being lazy. All the anonymous comments on here are mine (any after this one will not be). That is interesting that when you have had thoughts that relate to this comment ("In my experience the Lord will speak to us or thoughts that we haven't had before") they turn out wrong. My question is have they truly turned out wrong or have you not given them enough time (the Lord's time) to happen or come to pass (if applicable)?

    I have had answers come to me in the "obvious" way but I also tend to be a person that struggles more even after receiving them. My friend, on the other hand, doesn't seem to need the "obvious" route because he is solid and doesn't struggle like I do. Does that tend to be the case with you? From reading your analogy you seem to recognize the Lord's hand whether things lead to protection or an unpleasant experience. That to me indicates a gift of faith (tell me if I am off). You may not need obvious answers because your faith is solid and you accept what is placed on the path before you. Others, like me, who receive obvious answers, still struggle with their faith and have to keep returning to the obvious answers to stay grounded. I have another friend who has had some very incredible experiences which seem to last a bit and then she returns to struggling. Maybe the way we receive answers has a lot to do with our strengths and weaknesses and the gifts we have been given.

  13. Jen,

    In my experience where thoughts come into my head about going to visit someone, or say something to someone that seems to me as inspired, they usually look at me like I'm crazy. Even after the fact, it seems more like the "bad ice cream", so I've pretty much come to the conclusion that the Lord does not speak to me that way. I'm sure he does to others, but just not to me.

    Often, I am doing something completely hum drum, and later find I was in the right place, at the right time. For example, on my mission one time, we were down to the end of the month, and only had a limited number of miles we could drive. So, we decided to check back on some copies of the BoM that we'd given out. We only checked on the ones that were close to our apartment, because we were really worried about getting in trouble for going over our mileage allotment.

    Well, it turns out that we ran into a part-member family who had just moved into that apartment complex. If we hadn't been there at that time, we'd have never known they were there. Did I feel inspired at the time? Absolutely not. But I ended up baptizing the mother because of that chance encounter.

    Now, I don't chalk it up to chance, but at the time it certainly didn't appear to be inspiration. This is often how my inspiration comes, and it certainly doesn't seem to fit into the model the church teaches in the D&C.

  14. Re: Anonymous on Jan 29 at 9:35 am. I agree that if we are trying to live our lives in accordance with God's will, we are sort of "in the groove," and may not need a lot of additional revelation. You and I were thinking along the same lines (I think) - - and it led to today's post!

  15. Mormon Heretic-

    If you read my post under "How much revelation do you really need?" I think it relates to the type of inspiration with which you have had experience.

    I feel that the model taught in the scriptures is one way that we can understand the Lord's will for us, but it is just an example of one of the many ways He communicates with us. Experiencing a tender mercy, feeling joy, having peace in our lives, and being renewed (physically and/or spiritually) are all ways that He witnesses to us that we are doing His will and He is pleased with us. Of course that is my opinion, but it has also my experience when it comes to the Lord.


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