The Discipleswere United in Mighty Prayer and Fasting

Bryan Richards

James teaches us that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16). The only thing more powerful than the fervent prayer of a righteous man is the fervent prayer of a group of righteous men or women. Their cumulative faith brings cumulative blessings that cannot be obtained individually. Joseph Smith said, “The greatest temporal and spiritual blessings…always come from faithfulness and concerted effort, [not from] individual exertion or enterprise.” (Teachings, p. 183)

Furthermore, the whole reason that the Lord referred to the city of Enoch as Zion was because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness (Moses 7:18). This is why Zion was never established in Missouri, for the saints were not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom; And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principle of the law of the celestial kingdom (DC 105:4-5). The prophet tried to foster this principle with his counsel, “unity is strength. ’How pleasing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!’ (Ps 133:1) Let the Saints of the Most High ever cultivate this principle, and the most glorious blessings must result, not only to them individually, but to the whole Church.” (Teachings, p. 174) So what was the great blessing which attended the mighty, united prayer of the Nephite disciples? It was another visitation from the Lord.

Bruce R. McConkie

"I was present when the Lord revealed to President Spencer W. Kimball that the time had come, in His eternal providences, to offer the fulness of the gospel and the blessings of the holy priesthood to all men.
"I was present, with my brethren of the Twelve and the counselors in the First Presidency, when all of us heard the same voice and received the same message from on high.
"It was on a glorious June day in 1978. All of us were together in an upper room in the Salt Lake Temple. We were engaged in fervent prayer, pleading with the Lord to manifest his mind and will concerning those who are entitled to receive his holy priesthood. President Kimball himself was mouth, offering the desires of his heart and of our hearts to that God whose servants we are…It was one of those rare and seldom-experienced times when the disciples of the Lord are perfectly united, when every heart beats as one, and when the same Spirit burns in every bosom.
"I have thought since that our united prayer must have been like that of the Nephite disciples-the Lord’s Twelve in that day and for that people-who ‘were gathered together and were united in mighty prayer and fasting’ to learn the name that the Lord had given to his Church (3 Ne. 27:1-3). In their day the Lord came personally to answer their petition; in our day he sent his Spirit to deliver the message.
"And as it was with our Nephite brethren of old, so it was with us. We too had come together in the spirit of true worship and with unity of desire. We were all fasting and…There was a marvelous outpouring of unity, oneness, and agreement in council. This session continued for somewhat more than two hours. Then President Kimball suggested that we unite in formal prayer and said, modestly, that if it was agreeable with the rest of us he would act as voice.
“It was during that prayer that the revelation came. The Spirit of the Lord rested mightily upon us all; we felt something akin to what happened on the day of Pentecost and at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. From the midst of eternity, the voice of God, conveyed by the power of the Spirit, spoke to his prophet. The message was that the time had now come…” (Sermons and Writings of Bruce R. McConkie, pp. 159-161)