Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Moroni 10:4 -- On Asking God

"And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost."
Moroni 10:4

This verse strikes me today because it seems so obvious, and I wonder why we don't see it most of the time.  The answer to all of our question, all of the time, is "Ask God."

The very act of asking teaches us.  As we articulate our desire, sometimes we understand ourselves better, and sometimes God answers us right in that moment, giving us an idea about what we can try, or (if we are open to it), helps us to understand where our thinking may have been wrong on a certain subject.

Now, of course, prayer doesn't mean that we will get our answers immediately, or even that we won't have to work for them.  When the Brother of Jared prayed about the barges, God solved one of his problems, and asked him to think about the other and come up with an idea himself (Ether 2:18-25).  Sometimes that is what we need to do as well, but still: the first step is to ask.  Then patience and faith and hard work often kick in.  We can't give the Lord deadlines or demand that he prove himself.  That comes *after* faith.  We have to learn before we can understand.

God might not respond to us when we know the answer already, but were begging for an exception.  And the answer could be no.  God isn't going to enable us in our bad habits.  But prayer can help us there too.  If we continue in prayer about any topic, God will teach us more about it, and help us understand the answers that we receive. He'll help us find peace and a new direction if we have to give something up, and restore us to wholeness, even when we feel like we can never be whole again. The more we go to him in prayer, the more he will draw closer to us, and the more we'll be able to feel his guidance and presence in our lives.

God knows the answers to our questions.  Today, and always, let's go to him for them.  Let's also study and learn and be open and receptive to what he says, but above all, let's be willing to ask. The faith and humility required for prayer is the first step along a path that leads to everything good and true.

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