At the October 1985 general conference, Bishop Robert D. Hales, then Presiding Bishop of the Church and now a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, spoke of the experience with prayer had by the brother of Jared.
"Many times when we pray, we merely restate our problems; and this was the case with the brother of Jared," Bishop Hales said. "As you may recall, he was directed to take his people across the waters. He had built his barges, but there was no light, there was no air, there was no visible means of propulsion or navigation. And so he went to the Lord and asked,
Behold, O, Lord, wilt thou suffer that we shall cross this great water in darkness?' (Eth. 2:22.) The Lord replied,What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels?' (Eth. 2:23.)"The brother of Jared just a few short verses before this had been scolded by the Lord for a period of three hours for not praying to Him. And in this environment, the brother of Jared went away to devise a specific plan. And when he did, he brought sixteen stones, beautiful crystals, laid them before the Lord on the top of Mount Shelem, and there asked the Lord to touch the stones with His finger.
"The lesson I would like to bring out from this story is that when the Lord touched these stones, the brother of Jared saw His finger. The Lord said, as the brother of Jared fell to the ground, `Arise, why hast thou fallen?' (Eth. 3:7.)
"And the Lord got an answer that was quite remarkable when the brother of Jared, looking to the Lord, said,
I knew not that the Lord had flesh and blood.' (V. 8.) In verse 16 the Lord explained:Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh.'
"The Lord asked if he had seen more of Him than His finger:
Sawest thou more than this?' (V. 9.) The brother of Jared answered,Nay; Lord, show thyself unto me.' (Vs. 9-10.)
"The Lord then asked the brother of Jared if he would believe in His words; and he said, `Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie.' (V. 12.)
"The Lord thus showed Himself twenty-five hundred years before He was actually born as a babe in Jerusalem. He then bore testimony of the fact that He would be Jesus the Christ, that He would come before His people, and that He would be the atoning sacrifice, that all mankind might live."