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Monday, July 29, 2013

05. The Power of Spiritual Creation

Note: This is one of a series of posts devoted to the study of D&C 93:1, and the fifth examining the phrase "calleth on my name".

In my previous post, we discussed patterns, which are:

"templates, guides, repeating steps, or paths one follows to stay aligned with God’s purpose.  If followed, they will keep us humble, awake, and able to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit from those voices that distract us and lead us away." (Elder Paul E. Koelliker, "He Truly Loves Us", April 2012 General Conference)

The pattern described in this post is based on perhaps one of the most profound, spiritually heightening doctrines you've always known about...yet probably never taken full advantage of.

God's Pattern of Making Physical Things

Regarding the creation, we understand that:
"And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth. For I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth. And I, the Lord God, had created all the children of men; and not yet a man to till the ground; for in heaven created I them; and there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither in the air;
And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also; nevertheless, all things were before created; but spiritually were they created and made according to my word." (Moses 3:5,7; JST Gen 2:9; Abraham 5:2-5)
In other words, "the creation was two-fold, firstly, spiritual; secondly, temporal." (Elder Orson F. Whitney, Conference Report, April 1926, Afternoon Session, p.35).

Let's Personalize This Pattern A Bit

"The power of God is creative, both in a spiritual and temporal sense, for all things were created, first, spiritually and then temporally." (Elder Joseph L. Wirthlin, Conference Report, October 1944, Afternoon Meeting, p. 36-37)
Did you read that?  All things are first spiritually, then temporally, created.

Now see how Elder Bednar meshes that doctrine with another doctrine -- prayer:
"The patterns used by God in creating the earth are instructive in helping us understand how to make prayer meaningful. In the third chapter of the book of Moses we learn that all things were created spiritually before they were naturally upon the earth.
We learn from these verses that the spiritual creation preceded the temporal creation.  In a similar way, meaningful morning prayer is an important element in the spiritual creation of each day -- and precedes the temporal creation or the actual execution of the day.  Just as the temporal creation was linked to and a continuation of the spiritual creation, so meaningful morning and evening prayers are linked to and are a continuation of each other." (Elder David A. Bednar, "Pray Always", October 2008 General Conference).
Here, Elder Bednar provides us with a fascinating concept: You can spiritually create your day.  For example, in your morning prayer, you express the desire to be more patient with a child.  You reflect on those occasions when you spoke harshly or inappropriately with the child, recognize that you know better than this, express remorse for your weaknesses and visualize yourself behaving better.

Then as you go throughout your day, you keep a prayer in your heart for continued assistance and guidance.  You recognize potential situations where you might be inclined to anger, but do not.  You discern heavenly help and strength and humbly recognize answers to your prayer.  Even in that moment of recognition, you offer a silent prayer of gratitude.

You spiritually create your day, then go about physically creating it.  Do it again and again and again.

Just ponder this concept for a minute.  Imagine the ramifications!

Now, merge this doctrine with our discussion on D&C 93:1.

More on that...soon.


  1. I still remember when Elder Bednar gave that talk. That is when it hit me that I am a co-creator with Father, that I can help create each new day, spiritually then physically. Thank you for posting this. It is another witness to me that I am on the correct path and reassured me that I am getting it. To me, prayer is almost a state of Being. Thank you also for putting in the references. I have gone to those sources and read the talks all the way through.

  2. Thank you for this essay. What an amazing quote from Elder Bednar. Thank you again. Helped me put things back in perspective.

  3. What a great concept! I never really thought of prayer this way! I need to start thinking this way.

  4. And our evening prayer, as we get our temporal days to match our morning prayers, we can reflect back over the day and can say -- and I saw that it was good!

    A wonderful extrapolation of God's creation to our lives.


  5. Anonymous @ 11:42,

    What a terrific insight! Thanks so much for sharing this truth with us. I plan to make it part of my prayer life, too.

  6. Prayer has been a focus of mine lately, meaning that I've been putting great effort and thought into how I pray, what I pray for, etc. Thank you for this. It is an insight that I truly needed in this moment of time.

  7. This fits perfectly with the council I was given the other day that our evening prayers should be used to 'return and report'. Pretty profound when you fit that concept in with the principles taught in this post!