Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Brigham Young on the blessing of prayer in our lives

Brigham Young (June 1, 1801-August 29, 1877) was part of the first Quorum of Twelve Apostles of this dispensation, called and ordained in 1835. He served as the second Church president, succeeding Joseph Smith, from 1847 until his death in 1877.
"The cares of the world, we know very well, flood in upon them; but let me tell you one thing—and I want you to seriously remember it—if you are in darkness, and have not the spirit of prayer, still do not neglect your prayers in your families in the morning. You, fathers and husbands, get down on your knees, and when the cares of this world intrude themselves upon your devotions, let them wait while you remain on your knees and finish your prayers. Brother Daniel D. Hunt's blessing over a dinner in Missouri, when he and Benjamin Clapp first met, is a very good prayer for us all. It was: 'O, Lord, save us from error.' If you can say no more than this very short but comprehensive prayer, go down upon your knees and say it.
"When you have labored faithfully for years, you will learn this simple fact—that if your hearts are aright, and you still continue to be obedient, continue to serve God, continue to pray, the Spirit of revelation will be in you like a well of water springing up to everlasting life. Let no person give up prayer because he has not the spirit of prayer, neither let any earthly circumstance hurry you while in the performance of this important duty. By bowing down before the Lord to ask him to bless you, you will simply find this result—God will multiply blessings on you temporally and spiritually. Let a merchant, a farmer, a mechanic, any person in business, live his religion faithfully, and he need never lose one minute's sleep by thinking about his business; he need not worry in the least, but trust in God, go to sleep and rest. I say to this people—pray, and if you cannot do anything else, read a prayer aloud that your family may hear it, until you get a worshiping spirit, and are full of the riches of eternity, then you will be prepared at any time to lay hands on the sick, or to officiate in any of the ordinances of this religion."
- Brigham Young, remarks delivered in the Old Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, November 17th, 1867; see JD 12:103, DBY 46
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In some ways, the early Church leaders often preached a very "practical" faith. In this sermon, President Young extols the importance of prayer, but in very down-to-earth ways. Pray even if you don't feel like it; pray even if it's the most simple of prayers. Pray especially when "the cares of the world... flood in" and distract or discourage us.

And I love the suggested promises when we do pray:

So we can be confident that "God will multiply blessings on you temporally and spiritually" when we pray consistently. We will "get a worshiping spirit" and be "full of the riches of eternity." Wonderful promises!

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