The Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ is the heart and core and center of revealed religion.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie Christ and the Creation

June 20, 2017

Eyring, General Authorities, General Conference, Holy Ghost, Pondering, Prayer

Comments Off on When We Ponder We Invite Revelation by the Spirit

[R]eading, studying and pondering are not the same. We read words and we may get ideas. We study and we may discover patterns and connections in scripture. But when we ponder we invite revelation by the Spirit. Pondering for me is the thinking and the praying I do after reading and studying the scriptures carefully.

President Henry B. Eyring
Priesthood Session, General Conference, 2010

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May 19, 2017

Children, General Authorities, Holland, Prayer

Comments Off on Perhaps no anguish of the human spirit

Perhaps no anguish of the human spirit matches the anguish of a mother or father who fears for the soul of a child. … [But] parents can never give up hoping or caring or believing. Surely they can never give up praying. At times prayer may be the only course of action remaining—but it is the most powerful of them all.

Jeffrey R. Holland, Alma, Son of Alma,” Ensign, March, 1977

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April 22, 2017

Eyring, Forgiveness, General Authorities, General Conference, Prayer, Repentance

Comments Off on We are Spirit Children Temporarily Away from a Loving Heavenly Father

When we teach those we love that we are spirit children temporarily away from a loving Heavenly Father, we open the door of prayer to them.

We lived in His presence before we came here to be tested. We knew His face, and He knew ours. Just as my earthly father watched me go away from him, our Father in Heaven watched us go into mortality.

His Beloved Son, Jehovah, left those glorious courts to come down into the world to suffer what we would suffer and to pay the price of all the sins we would commit. He provided for us the only way to go home again to our Heavenly Father and to Him. If the Holy Ghost can tell us just that much about who we are, we and our children might feel what Enos felt. He prayed this way:

“And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.

“And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed” (Enos 1:4-5).

I can promise you that no joy will exceed what you would feel if a child of yours prays in the hour of need and receives such an answer. You will someday be separated from them, with a longing in your heart to be reunited. A loving Heavenly Father knows that longing would last forever unless we are reunited as families with Him and His Beloved Son. He put in place all His children will need to have that blessing. To find it, they must ask of God for themselves, nothing doubting, as the boy Joseph Smith did.

Elder Henry B. Eyring

“‘Write upon My Heart’,” Ensign, Nov 2000, 85–87

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December 14, 2016

Bednar, General Authorities, General Conference, Gratitude, Prayer

Comments Off on We Express Appreciation for the Atoning Sacrifice of Jesus Christ

During our service at Brigham Young University–Idaho, Sister Bednar and I frequently hosted General Authorities in our home. Our family learned an important lesson about meaningful prayer as we knelt to pray one evening with a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Earlier in the day Sister Bednar and I had been informed about the unexpected death of a dear friend, and our immediate desire was to pray for the surviving spouse and children. As I invited my wife to offer the prayer, the member of the Twelve, unaware of the tragedy, graciously suggested that in the prayer Sister Bednar express only appreciation for blessings received and ask for nothing. His counsel was similar to Alma’s instruction to the members of the ancient Church “to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all things” (Mosiah 26:39). Given the unexpected tragedy, requesting blessings for our friends initially seemed to us more urgent than expressing thanks.

Sister Bednar responded in faith to the direction she received. She thanked Heavenly Father for meaningful and memorable experiences with this dear friend. She communicated sincere gratitude for the Holy Ghost as the Comforter and for the gifts of the Spirit that enable us to face adversity and to serve others. Most importantly, she expressed appreciation for the plan of salvation, for the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, for His Resurrection, and for the ordinances and covenants of the restored gospel which make it possible for families to be together forever.

Our family learned from that experience a great lesson about the power of thankfulness in meaningful prayer. Because of and through that prayer, our family was blessed with inspiration about a number of issues that were pressing upon our minds and stirring in our hearts. We learned that our gratefulness for the plan of happiness and for the Savior’s mission of salvation provided needed reassurance and strengthened our confidence that all would be well with our dear friends. We also received insights concerning the things about which we should pray and appropriately ask in faith.

The most meaningful and spiritual prayers I have experienced contained many expressions of thanks and few, if any, requests. As I am blessed now to pray with apostles and prophets, I find among these modern-day leaders of the Savior’s Church the same characteristic that describes Captain Moroni in the Book of Mormon: these are men whose hearts swell with thanksgiving to God for the many privileges and blessings which He bestows upon His people (see Alma 48:12). Also, they do not multiply many words, for it is given unto them what they should pray, and they are filled with desire (see 3 Nephi 19:24). The prayers of prophets are childlike in their simplicity and powerful because of their sincerity.

As we strive to make our prayers more meaningful, we should remember that “in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments” (D&C 59:21). Let me recommend that periodically you and I offer a prayer in which we only give thanks and express gratitude. Ask for nothing; simply let our souls rejoice and strive to communicate appreciation with all the energy of our hearts.

Elder David A. Bednar
Pray Always,” Ensign, Nov 2008, 41–44

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June 27, 2016

C.S. Lewis, Humility, Prayer

Comments Off on Can we believe that God modifies His action in response to the suggestions of men?

Can we believe that God ever really modifies His action in response to the suggestions of men? For infinite wisdom does not need telling what is best, and infinite goodness needs no urging to do it.

But neither does God need any of those things that are done by finite agents, whether living or inanimate. He could, if He chose, repair our bodies miraculously without food; or give us food without the aid of farmers, bakers, and butchers, or knowledge without the aid of learned men; or convert the heathen without missionaries. Instead, He allows soils and weather and animals and the muscles, minds, and wills of men to cooperate in the execution of His will…

It is not really stranger, nor less strange, that my prayers should affect the course of events than that my other actions should do so. They have not advised or changed God’ s mind — that is, His overall purpose. But that purpose will be realized in different ways according to the actions, including the prayers, of His creatures.

C.S. Lewis
The Essential C.S. Lewis, page 381
(paragraph breaks inserted to improve online readability)

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November 2, 2015

Prayer

Comments Off on Prayer

Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.

Prayer, Bible Dictionary

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November 2, 2015

General Authorities, General Conference, Prayer, Scott

Comments Off on It is a mistake to assume that every prayer we offer will be answered immediately

Communication with our Father in Heaven is not a trivial matter. It is a sacred privilege. It is based upon unchanging principles. When we receive help from our Father in Heaven, it is in response to faith, obedience, and the proper use of agency.

It is a mistake to assume that every prayer we offer will be answered immediately. Some prayers require considerable effort on our part. True, sometimes impressions come when we have not specifically sought them. They generally concern something we need to know and are not otherwise able to find out.

We are here on earth to gain experience we can obtain in no other way. We are given the opportunity to grow, to develop, and to gain spiritual maturity. To do that, we must learn to apply truth. How we face challenges and resolve difficult problems is crucially important to our happiness.

To better understand prayer, I have listened to the counsel of others, pondered the scriptures, and studied the lives of prophets and others. Yet what seems most helpful is seeing in my mind a child approaching trustingly a loving, kind, wise, understanding Father, who wants us to succeed.

. . . .

When we receive an impression in our heart, we can use our mind either to rationalize it away or to accomplish it. Be careful what you do with an impression from the Lord.

. . . .

Sometimes answers to prayer are not recognized because we are too intent on wanting confirmation of our own desires. We fail to see that the Lord would have us do something else. Be careful to seek His will.

I confess I don’t know how to make a correct decision except where there is righteousness and trust in a Heavenly Father. The principles simply will not work when agency is intentionally used at variance with the will of God. If there is unrepented sin, we are left to our own devices to flounder and struggle on our own. We can be rescued through our own repentance.

When we seek inspiration to help make decisions, the Lord gives gentle promptings. These require us to think, to exercise faith, to work, to struggle at times, and to act. Seldom does the whole answer to a decisively important matter or complex problem come all at once. More often, it comes a piece at a time, without the end in sight.

Elder Richard G. Scott
Learning to Recognize Answers to Prayer, Ensign, November, 1989

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November 2, 2015

General Authorities, Maxwell, Prayer

Comments Off on Prayer is a Reflection of Our Attitude Toward God

Prayer, in fact, is to be a reflection of our attitude toward God and life. In this sense, we can always be praying. (Luke 18:1.)

Clearly, however, since praying is a part of living, if we are not living righteously the quality of our prayers will be affected.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell
All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience, pages 92-93

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November 2, 2015

Eyring, General Authorities, General Conference, Holy Ghost, Pondering, Prayer

Comments Off on When We Ponder We Invite Revelation by the Spirit

[R]eading, studying and pondering are not the same. We read words and we may get ideas. We study and we may discover patterns and connections in scripture. But when we ponder we invite revelation by the Spirit. Pondering for me is the thinking and the praying I do after reading and studying the scriptures carefully.

President Henry B. Eyring
Priesthood Session, General Conference, 2010

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November 2, 2015

General Authorities, Happiness, Prayer, Scott

Comments Off on Do you ever pray when your heart is so filled with thankfulness that you do not ask for anything else?

It is clear that no one who has an inclination to live the commandments of God would intentionally do things that would separate him or her from the Lord. I am confident you have the intention of doing all of the right things. Yet I wonder, are you doing them as fully and as completely as you are capable of doing? That is not an accusatory question. It is one asked in sincerity to help you, if needed, to open your eyes and evaluate each day’s decisions to confirm that what you are doing will lead you to where you most desire to be. Be certain that you are not being led “carefully” from the main track to happiness onto a sidetrack that can, in time, result in the loss of that which is most precious.

What are some of the warning signals that are red flags indicating danger ahead? Do you think of others more than of yourself? If you are married, are you more understanding of your companion, more anxious to make life easier for that beloved being than for yourself? Do you seek time with your children or your parents in preference to a group of private friends? Have you received all the ordinances of the temple that you can receive–or is that something left for a future day? If so, that day may never come. Does the acquiring of things, when viewed in the brilliant light of reality, sometimes mean more to you than obeying principles known to be true? Do you thirst after righteousness? Or are there times when the allure of stimulating images is allowed to temporarily fill your mind because, after all, they are really not that bad? Do your actions focus on entertainment, immediate satisfaction, self-interests, or personal gratification even though your goals are elsewhere?

Do you find yourself often thinking of all of the things that you wish you had that you’ve not been blessed to have–maybe even very desirable ones like a husband or wife or children, good health, more personal attractiveness, more joy and happiness and peace of mind–while neglecting to recognize all that the Lord has blessed you with already? Do you ever pray to him when your heart is so filled with things to thank him for that you do not feel inclined to ask for anything else?

Elder Richard G. Scott
Finding Happiness, a devotional address given at Brigham Young University on 19 August 1997

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