"Abiding in the Stillands: Christ-Centered Meditation in a Stress-Filled World"
Presented by: Gary A. Purse

The objective of this webinar is to teach what I have learned about Christ-centered meditation practice. My aim isn’t to defend or promote a particular meditation style, but rather to offer a comprehensive look at the spiritual, emotional, and physical benefits of Gospel-centered daily meditation. President David O. McKay has taught, "I think we pay too little attention to the value of meditation, a principle of devotion. In our worship there are two elements: one is spiritual communion rising from our own meditation; the other instruction from others, particularly from those who have authority to guide and instruct us.  Of the two, the more profitable introspectively is meditation.  Meditation is the language of the soul.  Meditation is a form of prayer.  We can say prayers without having any spiritual response.  Meditation is one of the most secret, most sacred doors through which we pass into the presence of the Lord." ("Consciousness of God: Supreme Goal of Life," [President David O. McKay, 1967 General Conference Address, Improvement Era, June 1967, pp. 80-82])

My presentation will include an introduction to meditation, a discussion of why we should meditate, a definition of meditation and mindfulness, instructions for meditating, and a comprehensive enumeration of the many benefits of regular meditation. Most importantly, I will teach that the most compelling benefit of prayerful meditation is greater access to the enabling power of the Atonement.

The presentation will be broadcast via a BYUI Alumni Webcast on
Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 7 p.m.MT 
Watch the webcast live at www.byui.edu/live/2014-10-23

Gary A. Purse

A former Episcopalian, and having grown up in Fairfax, Virginia, Brother Purse converted to the Church   36 years ago.  His interest was sparked by a visit to the Washington, D.C. Temple Visitor’s Center.  After his baptism in Northern Virginia, he transferred from VA Tech to BYU, and then served a mission in New York City.  He returned to BYU where he met his wife, Martha Campbell, in the Sunday School class Brother Purse was teaching.  Martha is from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and she also is a returned missionary and a convert to the Church.  They have been married for 31 years and they have 5 children; a son and four daughters. They also have one grandchild with another one due in February. Brother Purse has served in many Church callings including Sunday School Teacher, YM Advisor, Ward Mission Leader, Elder’s Quorum President, Branch President, Counselor in a Bishopric, Bishop, Stake High Councilor, and in his current assignment as an Area Family History Advisor.  

Brother Purse has a B.A. and M.A. from BYU, and a Ph.D. from Ohio University.  During his 30-year teaching career he has taught scripture courses to High School and University Students on campuses in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, and has been responsible for training hundreds of CES teachers from 4 states, 5 stakes, and 2 mission districts. For the past 17 years, Bro. Purse has taught in the Religion Department at BYU-Idaho, teaching scripture courses and World Religions. He also teaches Eastern Philosophy and a new Eastern Sacred Texts class.  In August 2000 he co-directed a Humanities tour to Europe, and he has been a director and assistant director for 4 BYUI European Religious History Tours.  

Brother Purse enjoys most sports, hiking, reading/studying, traveling, and spending time with his family.