Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fasting and Prayer

The scriptures are full of miracles. I love reading in the Gospels how Christ healed the sick, caused the lame to walk, and the blind to see. Even more miraculous was when he raised Lazarus from the dead. I love in Acts when Peter and the Apostles baptized thousands on the day of the Pentecost. I love reading the stories in the Book of Mormon how Alma the Younger baptized thousands of saints in the surrounding Nephite cities. Even more miraculous was when the Sons of Mosiah baptized thousands of Lamanite converts. These people had been immersed in sin and without God for centuries, yet through the faith of these men the hearts of the Lamanites were changed. I admit that in the past I have wondered where these miracles are today.

All these miracles were wrought by faith (Ether 12, Hebrew 11). Moroni taught us that "the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust." However he extends this promise, "Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth (Mormon 9:20-21)" These miracles do happen today. They can happen in our communities and in our families. God is no respector of persons. He works according to the faith of his children.

Our friends can become converted to the gospel. Our communities can embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ. We must act in faith.

There is a story in the Gospel of Mark about a man who was possessed with a devil. The disciples of Jesus tried to cast him out, but they could not. Christ upon seeing this rebukes the evil spirit and commands it to leave. Afterwards his disciples approached him and asked: "Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. (Mark 9:28-29)" I know that one way miracles are wrought is just as Christ taught: by much prayer and fasting. This was how the Sons of Mosiah were able to have so much success amongst the Lamanites. (Alma 17:3)

I know that as we join in fasting and prayer for those we love God will provide a way for them to accept the fullness of the Gospel as Restored in these latter days. We must exercise our faith and go and do all we can. Then we must patiently await for the promises of the Lord to be fulfilled. Expect miracles.

Our message is for everyone.

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