Wednesday, January 10, 2018

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf on being an answer to prayers

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (born November 6, 1940) served as a Seventy from 1994-2004, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve.  He has served as second counselor in the First Presidency since 2008.
"In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair; let us feel the silent prayers of others around us, and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Happiness, Your Heritage," General Conference, October 2008
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

This is a beautiful thought from President Uchtdorf. It's critical for us to pray, and we are blessed as we do so; but often the greatest blessings will come to us as a result of reaching out to others and serving them in their times of need—in effect becoming the answer to their prayers:

President Uchtdorf suggests that we should strive to be more observant, watching for the needs around us that may include sadness, grief, and loneliness. Perhaps in addition to watching for those situations, we can actively seek inspiration from heaven for situations where our help might be such a blessing. Then we can be prepared to intercede as we are prompted.

I love this similar thought from President Spencer W. Kimball:
"God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom. The people of the Church need each other’s strength, support, and leadership in a community of believers as an enclave of disciples. In the Doctrine and Covenants we read about how important it is to '… succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees' (D&C 81:5)."
- Spencer W. Kimball, "Small Acts of Service," Ensign, December 1974
It's a beautiful, sacred invitation for each of us, to reach out in care and concern, fulfilling our covenants to "bear one another's burdens" and to "comfort those who stand in need of comfort."

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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