Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Song of the Righteous is a Prayer

My thoughts turn to the wonderful people I have been teaching and the questions and concerns that they have had. I also think of my own spiritual needs and the aspects of my faith that I have been actively working to build.

My mind instantly goes to prayer.

In Doctrine and Covenants 25:12, The Lord tells Emma Smith that "the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing." During this time, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had been restored to the earth but a few months, and it's noteworthy that the Lord thought it essential to call someone to organize the music of the Church so early in its latter-day history.

I submit that most religious songs are, in essence, prayers. There are songs of praise to our Maker, like "How Great Thou Art." There are songs of Worship and repentance, like "More Holiness Give Me." There are songs of desperate pleas for the Lord's presence, like "I Need Thee Ev'ry Hour."

In a missionary meeting yesterday, I heard a powerful quote, "Pray as if a child might open his eyes to see if He is really there." (Gold star goes to whomever can find the reference for that first)


I think of the kind of faith a little child has. In General Conference last October, President Henry B. Eyring told a story of his 3 year-old granddaughter's experience in an LDS temple for the first time:
"She looked around and asked, 'Mommy, where is Jesus?' Her mother explained that she would not see Jesus in the temple, but she would be able to feel His influence in her heart. Eliza carefully considered her mother’s response and then seemed satisfied and said, 'Oh, Jesus is gone helping someone,' she concluded."
President Eyring explained that no pavilion obscured Eliza's knowledge that God is close to her and she expected to see the Savior in His temple. I love the perfect faith and innocence that little children have! The song I chose for this post is A Child's Prayer.

Please pray. Talk to Heavenly Father. He LOVES you and He wants to hear from you. He misses His precious sons and daughters. He will help you with any of your challenges. He is the Greatest Listener. As a representative of Jesus Christ, I promise you that Prayer is essential to helping us become like our Savior and Redeemer. I continue to have incredible experiences with prayer every day. I had a particularly special experience last night as I knelt to pray. I knew without a doubt that I was truly talking to a Divine Being, and not to the corner of my bed. He was really there, and he heard  and answered my sincere, pleading prayer last night and He answered it!

What are your experiences with prayer?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Because I Have Been Given Much

The Christlike Attribute I am focusing on this year is Charity. For some this comes so easily and naturally; for others it takes a bit of work. In this last General Conference, Elder M. Russell Ballard told us that the best way to ingrain the love of Christ into our hearts is one simple practice:
"In your morning prayer each new day, ask Heavenly Father to guide you to recognize an opportunity to serve one of His precious children. Then go throughout the day with your heart full of faith and love, looking for someone to help....If you do this, your spiritual sensitivities will be enlarged and you will discover opportunities to serve that you never before realized were possible."
The only way we can truly have charity is to constantly be "giving-minded." One of my New Year's Resolutions is to perform one act of service a day, and in order to reach that I have to constantly be searching for the opportunity. For me, it's more than allowing the car to pull out in front of me or holding the door open for someone at the library.  Those are givens.

Charity turns my mind towards the Savior, who performed the greatest act of love man has ever known:
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)

Because I have been given the Gospel, I, too, must give it. Because we have been given the gift of eternal life, we must share the knowledge of that gift. As members of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, do we fully realize what we have?

 Because I Have Been Given Much
Because I have been given much, I too must give
Because of thy great bounty, Lord, each day I live
I shall divide my gifts from thee with every brother that I see
Who has the need of help from me

Because I have been sheltered, fed by thy good care
I cannot see another's lack and I not share
my glowing fire my loaf of bread, my roof's safe shelter overhead
that he, too, may be comforted

Because I have been blessed by thy great love, dear lord
I'll share thy love again according to thy word
I shall give love to those in need
I'll show that love by word and deed
Thus, shall my thanks be thanks, indeed

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

More, Savior, Like Thee

New Year's!!! My favorite holiday. The excitement of Christmas still lingers as people aren't quite ready to take down trees and lights. And it's a day of new beginnings! Why is goal setting so important? I love to set goals and make plans; to me it is the truest form of repenting because we are making action plans to change and become more like our Savior. It is so important that we are constantly focusing on how we can better ourselves.

I love this song because to me it is a prayer to Heavenly Father asking Him to help us change. You can also look at it as a list of Resolutions. The final "more" sums it up...More, Savior, like thee.

More Holiness Give Me

More holiness give me,
More strivings within,
More patience in suff'ring,
More sorrow for sin,
More faith in my Savior,
More sense of his care,
More joy in his service,
More purpose in prayer.
More gratitude give me,
More trust in the Lord,
More pride in his glory,
More hope in his word,
More tears for his sorrows,
More pain at his grief,
More meekness in trial,
More praise for relief.
More purity give me,
More strength to o'ercome,
More freedom from earth-stains,
More longing for home.
More fit for the kingdom,
More used would I be,
More blessed and holy--
More, Savior, like thee.