religion and society

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.

"The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young."

--Henry Ford


"The trouble is that no one wants to correct himself and everyone meddles at correcting others: thus everything stays as it is."

--San Pedro of Alcantara.


"The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who will get me a book I haven't read."

--Abraham Lincoln


Mighty Prayer Brings the Spirit

By Stephen M. Bird, posted January 30, 2012

The term “mighty prayer” is used eight times in modern scriptures.[1] Our gospel doctrine class discussed it a little as we studied passages in the book of Revelation. I had introduced the lesson with a passage from Second Timothy: “This know also, that in the last days perilous time shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud,” etc.[2] I asserted that as more people in the world became wicked, the world would become more dangerous or “perilous”. Later, at home I received a Facebook comment from a friend in Arizona that seemed to confirm my belief. She wrote:


I Was a Bishop Before I Really Learned to Pray

By Richard D. Anthony, Ensign January 1976

[A personal note from me, Stephen M. Bird: Richard's story changed my life. When I first read his story, I was a 26-year-old army sergeant stationed in Germany. My unit frequently went to the field, taking me away from my wife and son. I felt stressed and afflicted being away from my family. I began to pray the way Richard did and I received the same results. For readers who are not LDS, it may help to know that an LDS Bishop is a shepherd of a flock or a pastor of a congregation.]

Read his story at

What Is Mighty Prayer?

By Kersten Campbell, New Era December 2011

Although I prayed every day, I’d never felt like my prayers could be described as anything but ordinary. I wondered if the heroes in the scriptures were the only ones whose prayers could be described as “mighty.”

One day, a friend called and described a beautiful prayer experience she had had. “It was like real two-way communication with my Father in Heaven,” she said. “Heaven felt so close around me.”

What Is Mighty Prayer? (pdf)

Read more... (html)

Three Great Reasons to Give Thanks

By John Hilton III and Anthony Sweat, New Era December 2011

The two things that "offend God" the most are ingratitude (confessing not His hand) and disobedience. Let's learn why we should be grateful so that we don't offend God.

Reason #1: Being Grateful Makes You Happier and Healthier

Three Great Reasons to Give Thanks (pdf)

Read her article at (html)

Prayer Can Bring Miracles to our Marriages

by Stephen M. Bird, Posted November 10, 2011

In Marriage Makes Us Richer, Part 2, I wrote that many more marriages could be successful. I said "it may require a miracle. Yet I am certain prayers can bring miracles." I also said that God is unlikely to change your spouse, but "He can and will change you, if you let Him and frequently, when we change ourselves, we change the relationship."


Prayer Turned Our Marriage Around

by Stephen M. Bird. Posted September 28, 2011

One night, in response to prayer, the Lord blessed me with a greater understanding than I had ever known. I had never been a listener in our family. It just wasn't part of my nature. My new perspective was granted in February of 1982. I was a new graduate student at Brigham Young University pursuing a master's degree in counseling. My wife and I had been married for seven years, and we lived in a tiny trailer with our three children. I felt burdened by schoolwork and school loans. I also felt a rising resentment toward my lovely wife because I thought she was failing in her homemaking responsibilities. I voiced my disappointment freely, but though I didn't know it, my faultfinding was driving a big wedge between us.

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