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Divine Communication

Revelation and Prophets

Biblical Framework

God communicates to man through revelation. According to his will and purpose, he communicates directly to individuals, or through the scriptures, or through prophets and others he has chosen.
Revelations edify a person or group of people (1 Corinthians 14:26), can come to any individual at any time (1 Corinthians 14:30), and are usually preceded by faith and a strong desire to understand the deep mysteries of God (1 Corinthians 2:9-10, Ephesians 3:3-4).

Prophets are inspired men who reveal God’s will. Prophets warn, teach, testify of Christ, and denounce sin. Sometimes they reveal coming events, particularly events that flow from rebelling against God’s will. When prophets speak, they do so with clarity and boldness.

The Lord speaks to his prophets, his prophets speak to the people, and the people who choose to follow God follow the teachings of the prophets (Haggai 1:12). The Lord does not withhold his guidance from mankind (Amos 3:7). Prophets such as Judas and Silas continued to reveal the will of the Lord after Christ ascended into heaven (Acts 15:32). Paul wrote often of prophets in the present tense, acknowledging prophetic callings in his own time and in times to come (Ephesians 3:5, 1 Corinthians 14:29 and 1 Corinthians 12:28). John made it clear that prophets would be on the earth as the servants of God during the second coming (Revelation 10:7). God will not leave men in darkness; he will always send his prophets (plural) because he desires clarity over confusion and peace over strife among his people (1 Corinthians 14:31-33).

The Gift of Prophesy
Prophecy is a gift of the spirit which can edify many people, thus surpassing in importance all other spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1-6 and 1 Corinthians 12:10). Prophecy benefits the believer (1 Corinthians14:22-24) and is a gift that is to be desired—even coveted (1 Corinthians 14:39). The gift of prophecy is not only given to men, but to women also (1 Corinthians 11:5).

Ambiguity and Interpretation
God gives revelations to man, often through his prophets; however, for these revelations to be useful, they must be heard clearly and interpreted correctly.

The interpretation of revelations, and the application of them, are the works of the men and women who receive them. Sometimes these interpretations are not inspired by the Holy Ghost. Sometimes they are inspired, but it is the Lord’s will that the meaning and application be thoughtfully worked out through prayer and study.

Under these conditions, disputes over meaning and application do arise.

For example, Psalm 69 is a Messianic prophecy that includes images of the crucifixion. Jesus prayed that the Father would forgive those who crucified him; however, Psalm 69:28 says that those responsible would be “blotted out of the book of the living.”

Which is it? “Blotted out of the book of the living” or forgiven? And what does it mean to be “blotted out” of the book of the living?

There are many ways to explain this discrepancy—or live with it—not the least of which might be to argue that Psalm 69 was not about Jesus at all or that the request of Jesus to the Father may not, in the end, be granted.

Another example is Deuteronomy 28:58-61, which speaks of plagues, sickness, and diseases that will come upon those (and their children) who “wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book.” This prophecy could apply to a specific law, the book of Deuteronomy, the Old Testament, or the entire Bible. The terrible things spoken of could apply to the Israelites only, or to all people on the earth, then and now.

Cultural Noise
Revelations can be distorted by compelling aspects of culture, and they can apply in one age but not in another. For example, Paul wrote that women should be silent in church. He said clearly that they should not be permitted to speak (1 Corinthians 14:34-35). Was this written only for women of Paul’s day? Does it have any application today? Was it merely a local administrative ruling based on a local problem? Or was Paul merely incorrect and not speaking as a prophet in this case?

The Problem of Fulfillment
Some prophesies are not fulfilled, at least according to any standard interpretation of the words used to describe them. Others are “fulfilled” only by a tortured interpretation of the words of the prophesy. For example Ezekiel predicted that king Nebuchadnezzar would destroy Tyrus beyond reconstruction and would gain riches from the siege (Ezekiel 26:3-14). While some claim the prophecy was fulfilled, historical evidence suggests that while the king did indeed attack the city, he probably failed in his attempt to destroy it and he did not gain riches in the victory.

Available evidence is seldom subject to only one interpretation, and new evidence can appear, seemingly turning a cherished belief on its head. The point is this: The judgment that a prophesy has or has not been fulfilled is frequently based on faith in the first case or skepticism in the second.

For example, Jesus told his disciples of his second coming in considerable detail (Matthew 24:29-35, Mark 13:24-31 and Luke 21:25-33). Matthew, Mark, and Luke all report that Jesus said “this generation” would not pass away until “these things be fulfilled”

Jesus did not come again in his generation, and he has still not come, more than 2,000 years later. Does this mean his prophesy was not fulfilled? Does it mean he made a mistake? Does it mean the Bible authors or their translators made a mistake? Does it mean that Jesus used the word generation to mean all human life on this planet? The atheist will answer one way. The biblical literalist will answer another. The poet another. The archeologist will search for lost texts. A few will agonize, even fall away, but the faithful will move on, unperturbed.

Prophets Not Infallible
The Lord recognizes human limitations in his children, even in his prophets. Prophets are not infallible. They suffer from the same mortal infirmities as all humans, despite their divine calling. The prophet Elisha in response to the children who mocked him and made fun of his baldness “cursed them in the name of the Lord” and caused two bears to come from the woods and tear the children apart (2 Kings 2:23-24). Seems a bit harsh. Are these the actions of a prophet acting as a prophet, or a prophet acting as a petulant old man?

On the one hand, the Lord promised that a prophet “shall die” if he speaks falsely or with blasphemy (Deuteronomy 18:20-22). On the other hand, the Lord told the people “not to be afraid” of (not to be concerned about) such a prophet (Deuteronomy 18:21-22).

Mormon Doctrinal Clarification

Profile of a Prophet
A prophet is not a prophet because he says he is, but because he has been called of God by priesthood authority. A prophet is also not a perfect human being, and his utterances and writings are prophetic only when he is speaking and acting authoritatively in his assigned role.

A prophet is an inspired teacher, a servant of the Lord chosen by the Lord to declare to the people the knowledge and will of the Lord. “Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…are blessed to be led by living prophets—inspired men called to speak for the Lord, just as Moses, Isaiah, Peter, Paul, Nephi, Mormon, and other prophets of the scriptures (True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference, [Salt Lake City: Intellectual Reserve, 2004], 129). A prophet is an accredited witness, one who is given by God to know and to testify of the truth with authority. A prophet is also a special witness for Christ, testifying of his divinity and teaching his gospel. A prophet teaches truth and interprets the word of God. He calls the unrighteous to repentance. He receives revelations and direction from the Lord for the benefit of the people.

From time to time, a prophet may foretell coming events so that the world may be warned (Gospel Principles [Salt Lake City: Intellectual Reserve, 2009], 39). Several Old Testament prophets predicted the coming of Christ, in some cases many hundreds of years before his birth, and modern prophets have made important predictions. Indeed, it could be said that prophetic warnings frequently contain implicit predictions of the consequences of ignoring those warnings. Nevertheless, teaching and leading rather than predicting are the primary duties of a prophet.

Living Prophets
Prophets have been on the earth from the earliest of days. The profile of a prophet, then and now, varies dramatically in terms of age, level of education, vocation, family upbringing, and other characteristics. Prophets come from all walks of life.

Members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are called and sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators. NOTE: The terms seer and revelator are used to explain or give emphasis to the term prophet. These terms do not denote special powers in addition to those denoted by the term prophet.

The president of the Church and the prophets, seers, and revelators under him give vital contemporary guidance and instruction from the Lord. Their presence and their devoted service are a constant reminder that God lives, and he speaks to his people through his prophets.

While Latter-day Saints greatly revere the prophets of the Old and New Testaments and of the early days of the Restoration, it is the living prophets, particularly the prophet of the Church, who are listened to most carefully and followed most assiduously.

Prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints address the world during semi-annual conferences, regular firesides, weekly appearances across the world, and in a wide variety of official Church publications. All of God’s children, those who are members of the Church and those who are not, are counseled to follow the inspired teachings of these prophets in order to avoid the snares of the world and enjoy the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Prophet of the Church
Although all three members of the First Presidency of the Church and all members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are prophets, seers, and revelators, the terms prophet of the Church and the prophet refer specifically to the one man who is president of the Church.

The president of the Church is the presiding high priest: Only he can receive revelations for the Church as a whole, provide binding interpretations of scripture, or change existing doctrines of the Church. Only he holds the “keys to the kingdom” with the power to loose or bind in all temporal and spiritual matters of the Church (Matthew 16:19).

The Lord has established a pattern that the most senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles becomes the prophet of the Church upon the death of the current prophet. This pattern ensures there is continuity in leadership without political maneuvering or elections of any kind. The new prophet, like his predecessor, serves for life.

Some well-known prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints include Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Ezra Taft Benson, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Thomas S. Monson. Thomas S. Monson was the prophet at the time of this writing.

Limitations of Stewardship
Authoritative revelation comes to the seeking individual according to his or her stewardship. A stake president can receive revelation for his stake. A bishop can receive revelation for his ward. Parents can receive revelation for the families they lead. Individuals can receive revelation for themselves.

The Gift of Prophesy
The Lord’s house is a house of order: He does not leave his people to stumble blindly through empty and darkened hallways. He sends prophets to guide and teach. He grants the gift of prophesy and understanding to those who seek him diligently, and he reveals himself to all who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

See chapter 11 in The Biblical Roots of Mormonism for a more comprehensive explanation, scriptural references and commentary on Revelation and Prophets

See the following Sword SeriesTM papers for summaries:


Biblical Teaching

Records Should Be Kept
The holy scriptures are the work of inspired authors who have “written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). Men have been commanded by the Lord (Revelation 1:11) to keep records so that the children of men will have a remembrance (Malachi 3:16) written for the generations to come (Psalm 102:16-18).

Record Keepers
The Lord directed Moses to keep records (Exodus 24:4, Exodus. 34:27, Deuteronomy 31:9). Samuel, Isaiah, John, and the apostles and elders all kept scriptural records (1 Samuel 10:25, Isaiah 8:1-2 and 30:8, John 21:24, and Acts 15:23, respectively). Jeremiah directed Baruch quite specifically in the keeping of records (Jeremiah 36:4).

The Stick of Judah
The Lord told Ezekiel to write upon “one stick” the record of the tribe of Judah (the Jews in the Middle East). The “Stick of Judah” is a figurative reference to the Bible (Ezekiel 37:15-16).
The Bible is fundamentally a record of the twelve tribes of Israel, but most specifically the tribe of Judah. Jesus was from the tribe of Judah (Hebrews 7:14).

The Stick of Ephraim
Ezekiel also prophesied of the coming forth of the “Stick of Ephraim”, believed by Latter-day Saints to be the Book of Mormon (Ezekiel 37:16).

Ephraim was a son of Joseph of the tribe of Israel. Ephraim and Joseph were promised great blessings by Jacob, Joseph’s father, who was also called Israel (Genesis 48:17-19, Genesis 49:22-16). Jeremiah also wrote of blessings that would come to Joseph and his entire family (Jeremiah 31:9, 20).

Like the Bible (Judges 20:21, 25, and 46 and many others), the Book of Mormon gives an account of many wars. However, the wars chronicled in the Book of Mormon took place on the American continent Isaiah prophesied that a voice would speak from the dust and would have “a familiar spirit” (Isaiah 29:4) and that the Lord would proceed to do a “marvelous work and a wonder” among the people that would confound the wise and prudent and help the deaf hear and the blind see (Isaiah 29:14, 18). David wrote that “truth shall spring out of the earth” (Psalm 85:11). Isaiah wrote of the words of a sealed book (Isaiah 29:11).

Many believe these prophecies refer to the Book of Mormon and the manner in which it came forth.

Bible Linked to the Book of Mormon
Ezekiel foretells of the Stick of Judah (the Bible) and the Stick of Ephraim (the Book of Mormon) coming together to become “one stick” or “one in thine hand” (Ezekiel 37:15-20). The joining of these two records to validate one another accomplishes the Lord’s law of two witnesses (Matthew 18:16 and 2 Corinthians 13:1)—the Bible witnessing for the Book of Mormon and the Book of Mormon witnessing for the Bible. Many Latter-day Saint scholars and prophets believe that the combination of the Bible and the Book of Mormon constitutes fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophesy.

New Scripture
Many non-Mormon scholars argue that the Book of Revelation forbids the addition of any scripture to the Bible (Revelation 22:18).

This argument is weakened by the likelihood, supported by most biblical scholars, that John wrote the Book of Revelation before he wrote his gospel, thus violating his own rule if he intended this rule to apply to the Bible as a whole. It is also weakened, if not eliminated, by the fact the Bible of today did not exist during the lifetime of John.

It is noteworthy also that the Book of Deuteronomy contains multiple prohibitions against adding to the words and commandments therein (Deuteronomy 4:2 and Deuteronomy 12:32). All of this strongly suggests that these prohibitions apply to the particular book or chapter in which the prohibitions appear, not to the entire canon.

Open Canon
The Lord revealed to Daniel that “knowledge shall be increased” in the last days (Daniel 12:4). Paul testified of an open canon by referring to “all scripture” at a time when the only scriptures in existence were those contained in the Old Testament. He referred to scripture as that which is “given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16).

Scripture Study
The Lord commanded Israel to keep his words in their heart and to teach them to their children day and night (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). Joshua told Israel to meditate on the commandments of God with the same frequency (Joshua 1:8), and Isaiah told the children of God to seek and read (Isaiah 34:16). Jesus admonished the disciples to “search the scriptures” (John 5:39). Paul wrote that the people of Berea were “noble” and “searched the scriptures daily” (Acts 17:10-11).

Mormon Doctrinal Clarification

Eighth Article of Faith
The eighth article of faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints states: “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.”

The Bible
From earliest times, the Lord has commanded his prophets to keep records, both historical and spiritual. Often, but not always, these records have become scripture. The Bible is an example of such scripture. The Bible records the lives of people living in the Middle East. It is a collection of separate writings authored by separate individuals, and precise authorship in some cases is debated to this day.

The Bible is not a single book with multiple co-authors. In some cases there is evidence of collaboration; in many cases there is no such evidence. Furthermore, the collection of writings that came to be called the Bible was not compiled by the authors or by contemporary editors. Rather, it was compiled by various ecclesiastical authorities over a period of hundreds of years after the writings were made.

Inspired prophets and apostles wrote most of the works that were eventually selected to form the Bible. Their writings went through an unknown—and perhaps unknowable—number of cycles of translation, transcription, and compilation before being bound into what is known today as the Bible. Numerous scholars and organizations participated in this translating, transcribing, and compiling. They worked from the “original” Greek and Hebrew in documents that may themselves have been through many cycles of transcription, if not revision. Finally, the Bible was split off into many versions, each translated into many languages. The work of revision and clarification goes on unceasingly to this day.

Books Rejected
In the process of compiling the Bible, scholars and clerics rejected many books, including the book of Jubilees, the epistle of Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas, Paul's Epistle to the Laodiceans, writings attributed to Clement (believed to be a co-worker with Peter), and some writings of Peter.

There have been many reasons offered for these and other rejections. Prominent among these was the suspicion of forgery or findings by clerics of the time that the writings were inconsistent with other more cherished writings or with well accepted church doctrines or widely held beliefs.

For example, the Roman Catholic version of the Bible includes the Apocrypha, seven books in the Catholic version of the Old Testament that are not found in non-Catholic versions, including the King James Version. These seven books were adopted at the Council of Trent in 1546 and remain part of the Catholic version of the Old Testament to this day. Thus, if you are a Catholic holding a non-Catholic Bible, something has been taken away. On the other hand, if you are a non-Catholic holding a Catholic Bible, something has been added.

The Bible Story
The Bible as we know it today begins with the creation and ends shortly after the ascension of Christ. The 39 books of the Old Testament foretell of the coming of the Savior, while the 27 books of the New Testament provide a record of the life of the Savior, with an emphasis on his public ministry.

Compilation and Canonization
The integrated Bible as we know it today was compiled by committee at the (Catholic) Council of Carthage in AD 397; however, it was not until the Council of Trent in 1546 that the Roman Catholic Church formally acknowledged the doctrinal authority of the Bible and canonized it as sacred scripture.

King James Version—Latter-day Saint Edition
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints uses the King James Version of the Bible—without content editing or revision of any kind.

On October 15, 1982, the Layman’s National Bible Committee presented an award to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for outstanding service to the Bible cause through the publication of a new edition of the King James Version. This edition featured interpretive chapter headings, a simplified footnote system, and the linking of references to all other Latter-day Saint scriptures—thereby greatly enhancing Bible study. President Gordon B. Hinckley accepted the award and explained that the extraordinary efforts of the Church on the Bible project were to “help the people become better Bible scholars” leading to “a personal witness that Jesus is the Christ” (Robert J. Matthews, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, July 1985, 17-19).

Mormons revere the Bible as they do the Book of Mormon. Both are essential parts of the Christian canon.

Book of Mormon
The coming forth of the Book of Mormon was the fulfillment of the blessings promised Joseph and Ephraim. The Book of Mormon compliments the Bible in providing a record of a people living in the Americas between 2,200 B.C. and A.D. 400. The Book of Mormon testifies of the Bible and the Bible testifies of the Book of Mormon. The subtitle of the Book of Mormon states that it is “Another Testament of Jesus Christ,” providing in particular a record of the visit of Jesus to the inhabitants of the Americas shortly after his Resurrection. Like the Bible, The Book of Mormon is a compilation of separate writings by separate inspired individuals. These writings were abridged and etched onto gold plates to insure their preservation. The prophet Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon into English from the original reformed Egyptian text on these gold plates. Following the successful translation of the Book of Mormon the plates were taken in the same way they were delivered—through the angel Moroni. The Book of Mormon was later translated from English into many different languages.

Doctrine and Covenants
The Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) is a collection of revelations given to modern day prophets, including Joseph Smith. It was compiled from 1823 to 1978. The purpose of the Doctrine and Covenants is to prepare the inhabitants of the earth for the second coming of Jesus Christ by providing direction and guidance. The Doctrine and Covenants includes details for the organization and operation of the Church and the offices of the priesthood and associated ecclesiastical and spiritual functions.

Pearl of Great Price
The Pearl of Great Price contains three different works: the Book of Moses, the Book of Abraham, and a collection of inspired writings by the prophet Joseph Smith. The Book of Moses is a work revealed to Joseph Smith pertaining to visions and writings of Moses. It focuses on the creation of the earth. The Book of Abraham is a translation from a papyrus scroll originating from the Egyptian catacombs and translated by Joseph Smith. It contains insights and information on the creation, the priesthood, the gospel, and the nature of God. The writings of Joseph Smith include a portion of Joseph Smith’s inspired translation of the Bible, a brief history of the Church, and the Articles of Faith.

Continuing Revelation: The Open Canon
The words of the living prophets, when spoken or written within the purview of their prophetic calling, are considered scripture. Such words can come to Latter-day Saints (and all mankind) through Church publications, conferences, and other forms of inspired instruction. While the inspired words of prophets, ancient and modern, are considered scripture, they are not part of the canon unless and until they are ratified by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Latter-day Saints believe that God can choose to speak to his prophets today just as he did in biblical times and that there can be additions to canonical scripture. Thus, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is said to have an open canon.

Carefully Examining the Scriptures
To the casual eye or the error-seeking mind, there are plenty of troublesome issues raised in the scriptures. Variations in account, teaching, and translation can be confusing. Diligence and a holistic approach are necessary when examining the scriptures.

Variations in Account
For example, 1 Kings Chapter 1 describes how Adonijah attempts to usurp the throne from Solomon and how Solomon works with Nathan to secure the throne. This is interesting in light of the fact that 1 Chronicles Chapter 29 details the same events without saying anything about the struggle with Adonijah. Similarly, 1 Kings Chapter 11 details how Solomon turned to the worshipping of Idols, while 2 Chronicles Chapter 9 provides a record of the same time period without any mention of Solomon worshipping idols. In Matthew 5:3, Jesus tells his disciples, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” while in Luke 6:20 he says, “…Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.” Close, but literally different.

Variations in Teaching
Two different scriptures can provide different teachings on the same doctrine when examined in isolation. For example, John 1:7 states: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (emphasis added). Matthew 12:32 states: “And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come” (emphasis added). John wrote that all sin can be forgiven through Christ, while Matthew wrote that there is at least one sin that cannot be forgiven.

Deuteronomy 24:1 states: “When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.” On the same subject, Matthew 5:31-32 states: “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” Quite different.

Variations in Translation
Dozens of English translations of the Bible have been created over the last several centuries. An estimated 16 English translations are still in widespread circulation. These include the English Standard Version, Good News Bible, Holman Christian Standard Bible, J B Phillips New Testament, King James Version, The Living Bible, The Message, New American Bible, New American Standard Bible, New International Version, (New) Jerusalem Bible, New King James Bible, New Living Translation, (New) Revised Standard Version, Today’s English Version, and Today’s New International Version. Other translations are in progress.

This proliferation of translations both helps and hurts human understanding of God’s message to mankind. The various translations can be seen as useful commentary and in that way add to understanding, or they can be seen as rooms in a biblical Tower of Babel, creating confusion if not profound misunderstanding.

The multiple translations of John 3:16 are interesting, for example: The King James Version (KJV) records this: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The New International Version (NIV) records this: “For God so loved the world, that He gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The difference between “begotten” and “one and only” is significant, and it is easy to suspect revisionism at work in the later translation.

Another example is 2 Chronicles 26:5: The KJV records this: “And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.” The NIV records this: “He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.” Was the “he” in these passages “instructed” by Zechariah or did he merely live in the “days” of Zechariah? If he was instructed, did Zechariah teach him to “fear” God or to understand the visions of God?

In addition to transcription and translation issues, there are issues of interpretation. Sincere scholars and clerics study painstakingly and write prolifically on matters of interpretation. They often reach far different conclusions from the same evidence. This also occurs in science, history, philosophy, and other disciplines as well. Scholarship in any discipline proceeds by fits and starts.

Personal and Family Scripture Study
Church members are exhorted to study the scriptures every day, as individuals and as families. In doing so Church members are told they can avoid evil and grow closer to God—especially when they read the scriptures in conjunction with pondering, praying, and asking God for further understanding through the Holy Ghost.

See chapter 9 in The Biblical Roots of Mormonism for a more comprehensive explanation, scriptural references and commentary on the Scriptures

See the Sword SeriesTM paper The Scriptures for a summary


Biblical Framework

The Bible says to pray always, in all places and times, but particularly when alone (Matthew 6:5-6). Direct prayer to God the Father, praising him, petitioning him, and asking that his will be done (Matthew 6:9-13). Pray spontaneously, without vain repetition (Matthew 6:7). Pray with faith and confidence, knowing that God will grant to his children all that they need (James 1:5-6).

Mormon Doctrinal Clarification

Prayer is “ . . . sincere, heartfelt talk with our Heavenly Father” (Gospel Principles [Salt Lake City: Intellectual Reserve, 2009], 35), and it is one of the greatest blessings human beings enjoy during mortality. Prayer has been taught and practiced since the beginning of time, affects all manner of thoughts and actions, and will bring men and women close to God. Latter-day Saints accept the commandment to “pray always.”

Latter-day Saints are instructed to pray “with a sincere heart, with real intent.” Formal prayers are directed to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ and always contain expressions of gratitude. Latter-day Saints are counseled to pray at least morning and night and before meals and to have a prayer in their hearts at all times. Families pray together. All Church meetings and events begin and end with prayers.

See chapter15 in The Biblical Roots of Mormonism for a more comprehensive explanation, scriptural references and commentary on Prayer

See the following Sword SeriesTM papers for summaries:

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