Sunday, August 31, 2008
30 And land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, to go no more out.
--If God had something He wanted to tell His believers today, how would he tell them? There are many believers, in many religions throughout the world. If, for example, He wanted to add a new commandment, or warn us of a present day situation, how would He tell us?
--Which church or organization would He work through? Would He go to the leaders of each separate church? Who within that church would he speak to? For example, the Baptist church in America is quite large and strong. But who would God speak to if He wanted to give a message to the entire "Baptist religion"? Or would he go to the President of the United States. How would God get the message out to the world?
--I asked if God speaks today. My next question is, "When was the last time God spoke to His believers, and what did He say?"
--If God does speak today, then why are there so many different Christian religions with differing beliefs?
I can answer all of these questions with one point of doctrine. God does speak today, as He did in days of old. God gives modern day guidance for modern situations. God does have a pattern for how to communicate with His people. This pattern was set up long ago. In the Old Testament, Amos asks us some rhetorical questions. He asks, "Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey?", and "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" He asks some common sense rhetorical questions, and then he says, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." Amos 3:7 From Adam, to Abraham, to Isaac, to Moses, to Isaiah, and on through time, God has spoken through prophets to lead and direct His people. The Prophet can then communicate God's will to the church. We have a living Prophet today, even Thomas S. Monson. This is the pattern that was set up in olden times, and that we follow today. Like Moses of old, Pres. Monson can receive revelation, and within minutes can communicate that message to the church as a whole. Joseph Smith was also a prophet, as were those who succeeded him in these modern days. Through them, the work of building up the kingdom of God on the earth is going forward like a stone cut out of the mountain without hands that rolls until it fills the earth. As the Prophet Joseph Smith once said, "The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done” (History of the Church, 4:540). We do have a living Prophet today who stands at the head of God's church. He is the watchman on the tower. "7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me." Ezekial 33:7 This is the work of a Prophet. I am thankful that we have a living prophet today.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
"There is a refining process that comes through suffering . . . that we can't experience any other way than by suffering. We draw closer to Him [Jesus Christ] who gave His life that man might be. We feel a kinship that we have never felt before. . . . He suffered more than we can ever imagine. But to the extent that we have suffered, somehow it seems to have the effect of drawing us closer to the divine, helps to purify our souls, and helps to purge out the things that are not pleasing in the sight of the Lord."
Funeral Services for Alfred W. Wesemann, Dec. 8, 1969, Church Archives, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, 7; spelling, punctuation, and capitalization standardized.
Orson F. Whitney, Apostle, 1906–1931
"No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father [in heaven]."
Quoted by Spencer W. Kimball, "Tragedy or Destiny," Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year, Dec. 6, 1955, 6.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
5 Some time in the second year after our removal to Manchester, there was in the place where we lived an unusual excitement on the subject of religion. It commenced with the Methodists, but soon became general among all the sects in that region of country. Indeed, the whole district of country seemed affected by it, and great multitudes united themselves to the different religious parties, which created no small stir and division amongst the people, some crying, “Lo, here!” and others, “Lo, there!” Some were contending for the Methodist faith, some for the Presbyterian, and some for the Baptist.
6 For, notwithstanding the great love which the converts to these different faiths expressed at the time of their conversion, and the great zeal manifested by the respective clergy, who were active in getting up and promoting this extraordinary scene of religious feeling, in order to have everybody converted, as they were pleased to call it, let them join what sect they pleased; yet when the converts began to file off, some to one party and some to another, it was seen that the seemingly good feelings of both the priests and the converts were more pretended than real; for a scene of great confusion and bad feeling ensued—priest contending against priest, and convert against convert; so that all their good feelings one for another, if they ever had any, were entirely lost in a strife of words and a contest about opinions.
7 I was at this time in my fifteenth year. My father’s family was proselyted to the Presbyterian faith, and four of them joined that church, namely, my mother, Lucy; my brothers Hyrum and Samuel Harrison; and my sister Sophronia.
8 During this time of great excitement my mind was called up to serious reflection and great uneasiness; but though my feelings were deep and often poignant, still I kept myself aloof from all these parties, though I attended their several meetings as often as occasion would permit. In process of time my mind became somewhat partial to the Methodist sect, and I felt some desire to be united with them; but so great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was, and so unacquainted with men and things, to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong.
9 My mind at times was greatly excited, the cry and tumult were so great and incessant. The Presbyterians were most decided against the Baptists and Methodists, and used all the powers of both reason and sophistry to prove their errors, or, at least, to make the people think they were in error. On the other hand, the Baptists and Methodists in their turn were equally zealous in endeavoring to establish their own tenets and disprove all others.
10 In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?
11 While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
12 Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know; for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible.
13 At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination to “ask of God,” concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture.
14 So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.
15 After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.
16 But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
17 It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
18 My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.
19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”
20 He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. When I came to myself again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven. When the light had departed, I had no strength; but soon recovering in some degree, I went home. And as I leaned up to the fireplace, mother inquired what the matter was. I replied, “Never mind, all is well—I am well enough off.” I then said to my mother, “I have learned for myself that Presbyterianism is not true.” It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me? Why the opposition and persecution that arose against me, almost in my infancy?
21 Some few days after I had this vision, I happened to be in company with one of the Methodist preachers, who was very active in the before mentioned religious excitement; and, conversing with him on the subject of religion, I took occasion to give him an account of the vision which I had had. I was greatly surprised at his behavior; he treated my communication not only lightly, but with great contempt, saying it was all of the devil, that there were no such things as visions or revelations in these days; that all such things had ceased with the apostles, and that there would never be any more of them.
22 I soon found, however, that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; and though I was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this was common among all the sects—all united to persecute me.
23 It caused me serious reflection then, and often has since, how very strange it was that an obscure boy, of a little over fourteen years of age, and one, too, who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a scanty maintenance by his daily labor, should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, and in a manner to create in them a spirit of the most bitter persecution and reviling. But strange or not, so it was, and it was often the cause of great sorrow to myself.
24 However, it was nevertheless a fact that I had beheld a vision. I have thought since, that I felt much like Paul, when he made his defense before King Agrippa, and related the account of the vision he had when he saw a light, and heard a voice; but still there were but few who believed him; some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad; and he was ridiculed and reviled. But all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. He had seen a vision, he knew he had, and all the persecution under heaven could not make it otherwise; and though they should persecute him unto death, yet he knew, and would know to his latest breath, that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking unto him, and all the world could not make him think or believe otherwise.
25 So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.
26 I had now got my mind satisfied so far as the sectarian world was concerned—that it was not my duty to join with any of them, but to continue as I was until further directed. I had found the testimony of James to be true—that a man who lacked wisdom might ask of God, and obtain, and not be upbraided.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
People are often curious about what we do inside temples. There are several purposes for the temple. In the temple we can:
--Learn sacred, eternal truths.
--Receive important ordinances. One of these ordinances binds husband and wife, as well as their children together as an eternal family unit. (as opposed to earthly marriages which declare "Until death do you part".)
--Perform ordinances for those who have died without having the ordinances performed.
In 1 Peter 4:6 we read: "For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." When a person dies, they go to the spirit world. While there, they have the opportunity to hear the gospel. 1 Peter 3:18,19 "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;"
One of these temple ordinances is that of Baptism for the dead. 1 Cor. 15:29 teaches us: "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?" This was an ordinance practiced in times of old. This ordinance has been restored today and is once again practiced in holy temples.
Through the Priesthood power, sacred ordinances help us to progress and gain spiritual blessings that help us in this life, as well as in the life to come. The temple can give us a place of refuge from the evils of the world. It is also a place to contemplate the eternal plan and our place in that plan. All worthy members are invited and encouraged to attend the temple as often as possible to recieve their own ordinances, as well as to perform those same ordinances for their ancestors who died without that opportunity. Through this holy service, not only are our ancestors blessed, but we are blessed as we have the opportunity to contemplate the meaning of the ordinances and their place in the plan of salvation.
Let me finish the words to an LDS hymn, How Beautiful Thy Temples Lord by Frank I. Kooyman:
How beautiful Thy temples Lord! Each one a sacred shrine,
Where faithul Saints, with one accord, Engage in work divine.
How beautiful some aid to give To dear ones we call dead
But who indeed as spirits live; They've only gone ahead.
How beautiful Thy message Lord, The Gospel pure and true,
In these our days to earth restored And taught to men anew.
How beautiful its faith and hope; All mankind it would save,
Including in its aim and scope The souls beyond the grave.
How beautiful Thy promise Lord, That we may grow in truth,
And live, exalted by the word, In endless, glorious youth.
With loved ones sealed in holiness By sacred temple rites.
Worlds without end we may progress From heights to greater heights.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I was reminded today of the meaning of the words "In God we trust" that are printed on our coins and money. Some think that these words should be taken off, that having them a part of government is not keeping church and state separate. But as I thought of this today, I thought of the incidious nature of money. What money, particulary excess of it, does to us is make us feel that we don't need God. When we begin to prosper, it is the nature of all men that we begin to feel that we are independent from God, and can make our own way alone. The Book of Mormon teaches, "O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm." 2 Nephi 4:34
What a great reminder for us, when we begin to prosper and accumulate wealth, to be able to look at our money and read the words, "In God We Trust", and remember that money will not bring us the security we need. Let us pray that those who do not put their trust in God will not take this reminder off of our currency.
Friday, August 15, 2008
This is another famous Pioneer song from our heritage. The words are:
Come, come, ye saints, no toil nor labor fear;
But with joy, wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.
’Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive;
Do this, and joy your hearts will swell
All is well! All is well!
Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
’Tis not so, all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward,
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take;
Our God will never us forsake,
And soon we’ll have this tale to tell,
All is well! All is well!
We’ll find the place which God for us prepared,
In His house full of light,
Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid;
There the saints will shine bright.
We’ll make the air with music ring,
Shout praises to our God and King;
Above the rest these words we’ll tell,
All is well! All is well!
And should we die before our journey’s through,
Happy day! All is well!
We then are free from toil and sorrow, too;
With the just we shall dwell!
But if our lives are spared again
To see the saints their rest obtain,
O how we’ll make this chorus swell,
All is well! All is well!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
There was a boy by the name of Steve who was attending Seminary in Utah. In this Seminary, classes are held during school hours. Brother Christianson taught Seminary at this particular school. He had an open-door policy and would take in any student that had been thrown out of another class as long as they would abide by his rules. Steve had been kicked out of his sixth period and no other teacher wanted him, so he went into Brother Christianson's Seminary class.
Steve was told that he could not be late, so he arrived just seconds before the bell rang and he would sit in the very back of the room. He would also be the first to leave after the class was over.
One day, Brother Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. After class, Bro. Christianson pulled Steve aside and said, "You think you're pretty tough, don't you?"
Steve's answer was, "Yeah, I do."
Then Brother Christianson asked, "How many push-ups can you do?"
Steve said, "I do about 200 every night."
"200? That's pretty good, Steve," Brother Christianson said. "Do you
think you could do 300?"
Steve replied, "I don't know... I've never done 300 at a time."
"Do you think you could?" Again asked Brother Christianson.
"Well, I can try," said Steve.
"Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I need you to do 300 in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it," Brother Christianson said. Steve said, "Well... I think I can... yeah, I can do it." Brother Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on Friday."
Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, Brother Christianson pulled out a big box of donuts. Now these weren't the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited-it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend.
Bro. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want a donut?"
Cynthia said, "Yes."
Bro. Christianson then turned to Stev e and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?"
Steve said, "Sure," and jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Bro. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia's desk.
Bro. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe do
you want a donut?"
Joe said, "Yes." Bro. Christianson asked, "Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?" Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut.
And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten pushups for every person before they got their donut. And down the second aisle, till Bro. Christianson came to Scott.
Scott was captain of the football team and center of the basketball team. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship. Then Bro. Christianson asked, "Scott do you want a donut?"
Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do my own pushups?"
Bro. Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them."
Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then."
Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten pushups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't want?"
Steve started to do ten pushups. Scott said, "HEY! I said I didn't want one!"
Bro. Christianson said, "Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it." And he put a donut on Scott's desk.
Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow. Bro. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry.
Bro. Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut?"
Jenny said, "No."
Then Bro. Christi anson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten pushups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't want?" Steve did ten, Jenny got a donut.
By now, the students were beginning to say "No" and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve was also having to really put forth a lot of effort to get these pushups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.
Bro. Christianson asked Robert to watch Steve to make sure he did ten pushups in a set because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work for all of those uneaten donuts. So Robert began to watch Steve closely.
Bro. Christianson started down the fourth row. During his class, however, some students had wandered in and sat along the heaters along the sides of the room. When Bro. Christianson realized this; he did a quick count and saw 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it. Bro. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.
Steve asked Bro. Christianson, "Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?"
Bro. Christianson thought for a moment, "Well, they're your pushups. You can do them any way that you want." And Bro. Christianson went on.
A few moments later, Jason came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled, "NO! Don't come in! Stay out!" Jason didn't know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, "No, let him come."
Bro. Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten pushups for him."
Steve said, "Yes, let him come in."
Bro. Christianson said, "Okay, I'll let you get Jason's out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?"
"Steve, will you do ten pushups so that Jason can have a donut?" Steve did ten pushups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down.
Bro. Christianson finished the fourth row, then started on those seated on the heaters. Steve's arms were now shaking with each pushup in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. Sweat was dropping off of his face and, by this time, there was not a dry eye in the room.
The very last two girls in the room were cheerleaders and very popular. Bro. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, "Linda, do you want a doughnut?
Linda said, very sadly, "No, thank you."
Bro. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten pushups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?"
Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow pushups for Linda. Then Bro. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. "Susan, do you want a donut?"
Susan, with tears flowing down her face, asked, "Bro. Christianson , can I help him?"
Bro. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, he has to do it alone, Steve, would you do ten pushups so Susan can have a donut?"
As Steve very slowly finished his last pushup, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 pushups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.
Brother Christianson turned to the room and said. "And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, plead to the Father, "Into thy hands I commend my spirit." With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, he collapsed on the cross and died. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten."
When everyone in the classroom heard what the teacher meant by it and realized everything. Steve smiled on the ground where he laid in his own sweat and began to cry.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
One thing that sets our church apart from other Christian religions is our use of temples. We can read in the Bible about some temples, including Solomon's temple, Zarrubbabel's temple, Herod's temple, and the portable tabernacle that served the children of Israel as a temple. Today, the restored church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints once again performs sacred ordinances such as those performed in temples in ancient times.
Temples are a place of worship similar to a chapel, but require a certain level of faithfulness to be able to enter. The opportunity to enter the temple is extended to all, but they must first meet the requirements of worthiness. In the temple, sacred ordinances are performed, and solemn covenants are made with God. Because of the sacred nature of the temple, and because one must attain a certain level of understanding to comprehend the meaning of the temple, those who enter do not speak of their experience when they are outside the temple. Those of us who attend the temple hold our experience in reverence because we do not want others to demean those experiences in any way, or misinterpret due to lack of understanding.
When in the temple, we dress in modest white clothing. Not only does this equalize us as brothers and sisters, but it symbolizes the purity that we all should have when entering the temple. The temple is a place to escape the cares and sinful nature of the outside world. Just as Moses climbed Mt. Sinai to find a place to be alone to commune with God, so too, the temple for us is a place where we can escape the worldly influences that weigh us down, and commune with God.
In part 2, I will discuss in further detail the purpose of temples. If you have a question that I am able to answer, please leave a comment and I will do my best. :)
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Prayer is the Soul's Sincere Desire
by James Montgomery 1771-1854
Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed,
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.
Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of an eye
When none but God is near.
Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try;
Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach
The Majesty on high.
Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,
The Christian's native air,
His watchword at the gates of death;
He enters heaven with prayer.
Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice,
Returning from his ways,
While angels in their songs rejoice
And cry, "Behold, he prays!"
The Saints in prayer appear as one
In word and deed and mind,
while with the Father and the Son
Their fellowship they find.
Nor prayer is made on earth alone:
the Holy Spirit pleads,
And Jesus at the Father's throne
For sinners intercedes.
O thou by whom we come to God,
The life, the Truth, the Way!
The path of prayer thyself hast trod;
Lord, teach us how to pray.