Sunday, July 15, 2012

Devotional Sundays: Praying to Know

We got a question from one of our facebook fans this week who asked, " How can I know that the LDS Church is true?"  I decided, seeing that I missed my day to write this week, to write a special blog post to respond to our reader.  Thinking about my blog post today I've come to understand some wonderful things about revelation.

It really isn't all that complicated.

At some point, we have to come to know if the church is true.  In primary, we give the following answers to every question: pray, read your scriptures, go to church, and keep the commandments.  The great thing about these primary answers is that they're true.  If we really want to know if the LDS church is true, we'll pray about it.

The knowledge of the validity of the LDS church cannot be gained simply by researching, investigating, and reflecting.  These are all essential to gaining our knowledge but are nothing without the power of prayer.  Furthermore, prayer without our actions will be meaningless.

On my mission I taught a lot of people that invited us into our home but would never keep their commitments on prayer or attending church.  They would pray at lessons but wouldn't come to church, read, or keep their appointments.  How could they expect to receive an answer to their prayers without living a life to have revelation?

There were other investigators I met on my mission that would keep all of their commitments but never pray.  They are already living their life to receive revelation but do not seek it.  Sometimes they are afraid of more responsibilities or deeper commitments that they don't feel ready to face.  Fear will keep them from fully embracing the gospel and taking the risk and praying to know.

If we really want to know if the LDS church is true we will act on the answer we receive from our prayers.  That can mean some really drastic changes in lifestyles and some difficult sacrifices we have to make.  We won't get an answer to our prayers without acting on what it is we learn.

My mission wasn't a story filled mission.  I certainly had many wonderful experiences and learned so much about the gospel.  I was averagely successful in inviting people to be baptized.  Many of the converts I helped bring to the gospel are now less active though it is wonderful to hear from them.  Despite all this the biggest success from my mission, something I'm so thankful and proud of, is just in one convert:  myself.

I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church of my savior Jesus Christ on the earth.  I didn't see an angel.  I didn't take 8 years of intense college study.  I didn't take investigative trips to upstate New York, Israel, and the south Americas.  I know the church is true because I prayed about it.  The answer I received through the divine influence of the holy ghost confirmed to me what I believed.  Then I took two years where I biked in cold rain, had hundreds of doors slammed in my face, and was insulted regularly.

I wouldn't trade those two years for anything else in my life.  The blessings and knowledge of the restored gospel is worth any pain or discomfort I experienced then or now.  Truth is hard but it's worth it.  I know that if you want to know if the church is true, and if you're willing to act on it, you will receive your answer through the power of prayer.

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday.  I hope these words help you find the answers you're looking for.  I know that although it is hard to sometimes live the gospel that it is worth it.  Life is meant to be enjoyed not just endure.  In the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.


  1. Is the power of prayer testable? Can test be made to test prayer as a request for knowledge? Could we construct a test with 14 boxes, 13 of them contain a paper with a math problem saying 1+1=7 and 1 contains the Book of Mormon. You have 100 Latter Day Saints pray to know if what is contained in the box is true. Do we see a statistically significant result in favor of the BOM? Why or why not?

    What about intercessory prayer and priesthood blessings? Why don't we see active latter day saints surviving illness any differently than other people?

    1. I think you misunderstand the purpose and design of prayer. It's not mean to give us what we want, but to understand the will of God and bring ourselves in line with his will. If God needed us to know the truthfulness of something. He expects us to study it out in our minds, come to a decision of it's truthfulness, then ask in him prayer if this things are not true.