Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Hugh Nibley


A practice that was eventually condemned by the church because of its Jewish affinities—being found, for example, in the Testaments of Abraham and Job and in the writings of Philo—the prayer circle has a long and complex history in Christian practice. This practice was considered one of the “ mysteries” and therefore was protected from all who weren’t initiated. For the initiated participants, this was a very sacred practice, which demanded unity between all those involved. The prayer circle, generally referred to as a “ dance,” often included hymns, prayers for the living and the dead, and gestures that would prepare the participants for heavenly visitations.