By Study and by Faith
Louita Clothier (May 13, 2003)
Therefore, verily I say unto you, my friends, Call your solemn assembly, as I have commanded you; and as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning even by study, and also by faith. -Doctrine and Covenants 85:36a
When I was a student in England at Oxford University, during the dinner hour one night I found myself alone in the library with a young Korean man who was getting his Ph.D. in theology. This young man looked ill and very agitated, with bags under his eyes. My motherly nature prompted me to ask him if he was all right. He explained that he had worked himself into a terrible state of anxiety over his examinations, which began the next day. In the traditional British system, students don’t take tests for each course, but “sit” (as they call it) for several days of exams at the end. It’s all or nothing. It could be four years down the drain.
The young man said he had not slept for several nights and could not eat. I did all I could to calm him down, and finally asked him if he had prayed about his examination. He looked at me blankly. The novel idea of praying over his personal needs had never occurred to him. He was learning about God, but didn’t know God. I urged him to get a good night’s sleep and some food, and I promised I would pray for him if he would pray also.
Two days later as I was walking to the bus at the end of the day, a strange figure caught the corner of my eye. From a side street running over the cobblestones with his black academic robe flying out behind him like some bat-like creature, came my new friend. He was yelling, “Louita, Louita, I did well, I did well!” and when he caught up to me he said, “Thank you, thank you so much for your prayers. I will never forget this moment.”
I appreciate the sense of balance Community of Christ encourages between the head and the heart, between the intellect and the spirit. We need to be educated. We need a thorough knowledge of the scriptures. We need to wonder what the great thinkers of the ages have said about the questions we have. We need to be challenged to stretch our thinking. But we also need to spend time just being with God. Knowing about God can never substitute for knowing God.
This month we are celebrating 70 years of Daily Bread. Each day we will be sharing Daily Bread stories from throughout the decades. You will notice that these stories reflect the language and theology of the time they were written. Our hope is that this act of sacred remembering will bless us with awareness of God’s movement throughout time and a renewed sense of God’s presence with us now! Consider joining this rich tradition of sacred story sharing by submitting your story here: https://www.CofChrist.org/daily-bread-writers-guide
The Spirit is revealed in our sacred stories.
Sharing sacred story is a meaningful way to express and remember God’s activity among us. How have you been transformed by the words and stories of others? What stories do you feel called to share from your own sacred history?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.