Thursday, February 23, 2017

President Boyd K. Packer on personal prayer and revelation

President Boyd K. Packer (1924-2015) served as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve (a position that no longer exists) from 1961 to 1970, when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.  He served as president of that Quorum from 1994 until his death on July 3, 2015 at age 90.
"You have your agency, and inspiration does not—perhaps cannot—flow unless you ask for it, or someone asks for you.
"No message in scripture is repeated more often than the invitation, even the command, to pray—to ask.
"Prayer is so essential a part of revelation that without it the veil may remain closed to you. Learn to pray. Pray often. Pray in your mind, in your heart. Pray on your knees.
"You must begin where you are. Pray, even if you are like the prophet Alma when he was young and wayward, or if you are like Amulek, of the closed mind, who 'knew concerning these things, yet... would not know' (Alma 10:6).
"Prayer is your personal key to heaven. The lock is on your side of the veil (see Rev. 3:20)."
- Boyd K. Packer, "Personal Revelation: The Gift, the Test, and the Promise," Ensign, Nov. 1994, 59-60
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

President Packer identifies one of the key blessings that comes when we exercise our agency and heed the invitation to pray: the inspiration and revelation that will begin to flow. And so it becomes critical that we learn to pray often and in every setting and opportunity.

The reluctance to pray enough puts us in the same category as Amulek; President Packer quotes a part of that early convert's admission of his own stubbornness:
Nevertheless, I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear; therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know; therefore I went on rebelling against God, in the wickedness of my heart.... (Alma 10:6).

The heart that knows, but stubbornly refuses to act, is one that desperately needs to be softened and changed. If we are not unlocking the precious door of heaven with our prayers, frequently and consistently, we are invited to repent and begin to claim the greater blessings that are ours.

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