Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Henry B. Eyring on meaningful scripture study and sincere personal prayer

President Henry B. Eyring (1933- ) served in the Presiding Bishopric from 1985-1992, as a Seventy from 1992-1995, then was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. He has served in the First Presidency since 2007.
"Joseph Smith's mission was unique, yet his humble prayer can be a helpful model for us. He began, as we must, with faith in a loving God who can and wants to communicate with us and help us. That faith was rooted in impressions which came to him as he pondered the words of God's servants in the scriptures. We can and must go often and carefully to the word of God. If we become casual in our study of the scriptures, we will become casual in our prayers.
"We may not cease to pray, but our prayers will become more repetitive, more mechanical, lacking real intent. Our hearts cannot be drawn out to a God we do not know, and the scriptures and the words of living prophets help us know Him. As we know Him better, we love Him more....
"If you ponder the scriptures and begin to do what you covenanted with God to do, I can promise you that you will feel more love for God and more of His love for you. And with that, your prayers will come from the heart, full of thanks and of pleading. You will feel a greater dependence on God. You will find the courage and the determination to act in His service, without fear and with peace in your heart. You will pray always. And you will not forget Him, no matter what the future brings."
- Henry B. Eyring, "Prayer," Ensign, Nov. 2001, pp. 15-17
Click here to read the full talk

President Eyring urged us to learn from the example of Joseph Smith, whose humble prayer was inspired by reading and pondering the scriptures, linked with "faith in a loving God who can and wants to communicate with us and help us." With that premise, study of the scriptures becomes an important catalyst to improve our prayers:

President Eyring promises that sincere, heartfelt study of the scriptures will lead to greater love of God, and to feeling more of His love for us. Then our prayers become more meaningful, "full of thanks and of pleading" as we understand our dependence on God and His willingness to bless and help. There are so many benefits that come; why would we hesitate?

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