I AM HERE. John.
I am the apostle, and you need not try me, as your friend said, for no spirit can impersonate me when I am present. So, you must believe me and try to receive what I may write tonight in faith, and you will find that you will be benefited.
I came principally to tell you that I have been listening to the conversation between you two, and to the reading of the “Sermon on the Mount” given to us by the Master in the days of long ago, as you would say.
When that sermon was delivered, we were not in a condition of great spiritual development, and we did not understand its inner meanings. And, as to its literal meaning, we thought it was not intended for the practical affairs of life. People, I know, think that we were very spiritually developed at that time, and had an understanding of the great Truths taught by the Master which was superior to what men have now. But I tell you that this is a mistake. We were comparatively ignorant men, fishermen by occupation, and had no education above the ordinary working man of that time. And when Jesus called us to become his apostles, we were as much surprised and hesitated as much as you did when the similar mission was declared for you.
Our knowledge came with our faith in the great truths which the Master taught, and from our observation of the great powers which he displayed; and also from the influence of the Great Love that he possessed. But when mankind thinks that we easily understood the great truths which he taught, they are mistaken. Only after the descent of the Holy Spirit upon us at Pentecost did we fully come in accord with the Father, or fully appreciate the great truths that the Master had taught.
Of course, we learned many things which men of that time did not know, and our souls became developed to a large extent-but not sufficient to bring us a knowledge of the wonderful meaning of the truths which made men free and brought them in unison with the Father. In your conversation tonight, you discussed the relative value of prayer and works, and did not agree with the preacher that works are the great things to develop men into love and bring about great happiness in the world, and that prayer is not of such importance.
Now, as a spirit, and as a man who worked on earth and prayed on earth, let me say, with an authority that arises from actual experience and a knowledge that comes of observation, that of all the important things on earth for men who are seeking salvation and happiness and development of soul, prayer is the most important! For prayer brings from the Father not only Love and Blessings but also the condition of mind and intent that will cause men to do the great works that the preacher admonished men to engage in.
Prayer is the cause of the power being given to men that will enable them to do all the great works which will bring reward to the doer, and happiness and benefit to the one who receives the works.
So, you see, the results can never be as great as the cause. For the cause, in this instance, not only gives to man this ability to work but also to love and to develop his soul, and to inspire him with all good and true thoughts. Works are desirable and, in some cases, necessary; but prayer is absolutely indispensable. So, let you and your friend understand and never doubt that, without prayer, the works of men would be unavailing to accomplish the great good which even now man performs for his brother.
Pray, and works will follow. Work, and you may do good, but the soul does not benefit. For God is a God that answers prayer through the ministrations of his angels, and through the influence of his Holy Spirit which works on the interior or real part of man.
I will stop now. With my Love to both* of you, I am,
Your brother in Christ,
*(Dr. Leslie R. Stone was present.)