God wants us to pray

A lot of people wonder what the Book of Mormon teaches. The Book of Mormon is a testament of Jesus Christ, and it teaches everyone that they should come unto Christ. One of my favorite parts in the Book of Mormon is a verse that tells us that God wants us to pray to him always. It goes like this:

8 And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the aSpirit which teacheth a man to bpray ye would know that ye must cpray; for the devil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.
9 But behold, I say unto you that ye must apray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall bpray unto the Father in the cname of Christ, that he will dconsecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the ewelfare of thy soul.
This is from the book of 2 Nephi, chapter 32 versus 8 and 9. You can read more online if you want, at the Book of Mormon Online at LDS.org.
What this means to me is that there are two forces trying to get us to do two different things. On the one side, you have God and the Spirit of God, trying to get us to pray unto Him always, so that He might be able to help us in our lives. On the other hand you have satan, who fears the thought of us praying to God. In this verse it refers to satan as “the evil spirit”, and indeed that is what he is.
This evil spirit whispers to us that we should not pray. Sometimes it might tell us that we’re not good enough, or that we’ve made too many bad choices, and that God won’t listen, or doesn’t want to hear from us. Sometimes that evil spirit will try to convince us that praying won’t help, or that we’re not in a spiritual enough frame of mind for prayer.
All of these things that the evil spirit tries to tell us are lies. We should pray always, in everything that we do, so that God may be able to bless us. When we do, we will find added strength and determination to do what we know we should do. When we pray always, God will bless us, and bless our efforts so they can be for our own good. When we pray, we will be more likely to do those things that will bring us joy in this life.
If you have any questions about prayer, how to pray, why we pray, or anything else, please feel free to ask them here. If you have a private question, feel free to click the “Ask A Question” link at the top of the page- request that your question be responded to in private, and I’ll respond in an email just to you.

Does God really know us personally?

It is pretty much a universal question that everyone asks themselves at some point: Does God really know me personally? Many people think that God is either too big, too important, or too ambiguous to know them personally, and to care about the details of their personal life. Personally, and through my Mormon faith, I do believe that God knows me personally, and that God cares about me on a personal level.

For me, it all goes back to the fact that God is literally my Heavenly Father, or the father of my spirit. As such, I think that God cares about me in a similar fashion to the way I care about my own children. The Bible and Book of Mormon support this idea. Everything that God does, our whole reason for being, is to help us grow up and become like him, just like the scriptures say. Similarly, we hope that our children grow up and following in the good that we manage to do.

So, does God really know us personally? When we have a bad day, does He care? When life is hard, is he there? I remember a well-known poem that I saw hanging on someone’s wall as a child. The background of the picture was a sandy beach with one set of footprints going off into the distance. The poem goes like this:

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,

“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”

The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”

Mary Stevenson, 1936

The thing to realize is this: when life is hard, we may feel alone, but we never are. It is when life is hardest that God, our Father, literally wants to reach out to us, and carry us through. When we choose to turn to Him, He can help us. Countless individuals have testified through the years of the help that can be had if we will but ask God for it.

Here is what I recommend, and what my Mormon faith has taught me: when life is hard, turn to God and He will show you that He is there. If you don’t know how to pray, or if you feel like you’re not good enough to talk to God, reconsider. There is no rule book on how you can talk to God- I promise that no matter how you choose to talk to him, if your heart is in the right place, He will hear and answer your prayer.

Put God to the test, if you want to know if He really knows you personally.

If you have more questions about this or any other basic topic about Mormon beliefs, please feel free to let me know!

Mormon YouTube Channel Announced

http://www.youtube.com/MormonMessages

Mormon Messages is an official channel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Each week, Mormon Messages provides short video segments about the Church’s basic beliefs, as well as inspiring stories and messages of hope. Watch these gospel-centered videos and then share them with family, friends and those of other faiths.

This new YouTube channel provides many insights into basic Mormon beliefs, in a format that is easy to use: video. There are videos that explain our basic beliefs, as well as videos from our general conferences, etc. All of the videos are direct from the Mormon Church, so you know that you’re getting information right from the source. This new website is definitely worth taking a look at, especially if you’re just wanting to know a little more about the mormon church.

What is “General Conference”

Are you curious about the “General Conference” that is held by the Mormons twice each year? Here is a little bit of information about that general conference that will hopefully answer some of your questions.

General Conference, in the Mormon Church, is an event for the entire church to take part in. The conference itself is held in Salt Lake city, but it is also broadcast around the world in over 100 languages. You can also watch it in real-time on the internet at lds.org, or watch, read or listen to the conference after it is over.

Anyone can watch and listen to the General Conference of the Mormon church.  During the conference, church leaders talk about issues that we are all faced with, such as keeping our faith centered in Christ during difficult times, overcoming hardships in life, and helping others, to name a few.

The October 2008 general conference was the last general conference. You can still watch the video archive, or read about it at the following link:

Watch or read about the Oct 2008 general conference

The next conference will be held in April, 2009.  You can watch the 2009 general conference live on Lds.org, or you can read about it after it happens.

If you have any questions about the General Conference, please feel free to ask. Otherwise, feel free to visit the link above for more information and to view the subjects yourself.