Monday, March 8, 2010

Elder Scott Teaches About Faith and Prayer

"When we receive help from our Father in Heaven, it is in response to faith, obedience, and the proper use of agency."
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"Perhaps Oliver Cowdery’s experiences were recorded for us to understand how to pray and how to recognize answer to prayer. Oliver was told: “That assuredly as the Lord liveth, … even so surely shall you receive a knowledge of whatsoever things you shall ask in faith, with an honest heart, believing that you shall receive. …

“I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost.” (D&C 8:1–2; italics added.)

When we receive an impression in our heart, we can use our mind either to rationalize it away or to accomplish it. Be careful what you do with an impression from the Lord.


Oliver was further taught: “Remember that without faith you can do nothing; therefore ask in faith. Trifle not with these things; do not ask for that which you ought not. …

“According to your faith shall it be done unto you.” (D&C 8:10–11; italics added.)

“Ask in faith” means ask with confidence in our holy Father. Like many of us, Oliver did not recognize the evidence of answers to prayers already given by the Lord. To open his, and our, eyes, this revelation was given through Joseph Smith:

“Blessed art thou for what thou hast done; for thou hast inquired of me, and behold, as often as thou hast inquired thou hast received instruction of my Spirit. If it had not been so, thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time.

“Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth.” (D&C 6:14–15; italics added.)

If you feel that God has not answered your prayers, ponder these scriptures—then carefully look for evidence in your own life of His having already answered you."
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"When He answers yes, it is to give us confidence.

When He answers no, it is to prevent error.

When He withholds an answer, it is to have us grow through faith in Him, obedience to His commandments, and a willingness to act on truth."
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After two unsuccessful attempts, Nephi remained confident. He crept into the city toward the house of Laban without all the answers. He observed, “I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do,” significantly adding, “Nevertheless I went forth.” (1 Ne. 4:6–7; italics added.)

Nephi was willing to try time and again, using his best efforts. He expressed faith that he would be helped. He refused to be discouraged. But because he acted, had confidence in the Lord, was obedient, and properly used his agency, he received guidance. He was inspired step after step to success, and in his mother’s words was “given … power [to] accomplish the thing which the Lord hath commanded.” (1 Ne. 5:8; italics added.)

Nephi knew he was required to confide in God, to exercise faith, and to act so that he could receive help, step by step. He did not murmur nor ask for a full explanation. But, observe particularly, he did not wait passively for help. He acted! By following spiritual law, he was inspired and given power to act.

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When we seek inspiration to help make decisions, the Lord gives gentle promptings. These require us to think, to exercise faith, to work, to struggle at times, and to act. Seldom does the whole answer to a decisively important matter or complex problem come all at once. More often, it comes a piece at a time, without the end in sight.
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For the entire talk, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this message. You know that old saying, "where there's a will there's a way"... I would like to change it a bit and say, "Where it's God's will, there is always, always a way."

    My faith has grown leaps and bounds through experiences I could not and still can't see the end results in. But what He has had in mind to teach me has been far better than what I had in mind. I am so thankful for His wisdom. I know that our Father in Heaven loves us and answers every sincere prayer. I find courage and comfort knowing that the Lord of the Universe, the Master and Creator of all will direct our paths as we seek Him. And I know that I can follow...I know that "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." - Philip 4:13

    Thanks again for this post. Good night.

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