Over the past few years, we have begun to see many of the prophetic signs given by prophets of old concerning earthquakes in diverse places come to pass, and our hearts and souls have been poured out in support through prayer, and the rapid response of both rescue workers- and other great people across the world of all faiths.
We see fulfillment of these prophetic disasters, and become quite perplexed, and suffer from the pains of knowing that good men, women and children have died or are suffering.
I know not all of us are able to do much outside of prayer (For various financially rooted hardships) but I wish to emphasize the power of prayer. Prayer is our means of communication with the Lord, and is also a commandment given of the Lord; It is no commandment to bind us down, or take away from free time, no it is all the more opposite of that. In praying, we receive blessings that simply don't come any other way. Even though our appeals to our Father in Heaven are already known before our knees hit the ground, know that He rejoices when we lift our hearts and souls up asking for his help. He acts on fulfillment of promises he makes, of that we can be absolutely certain. Remember, in all things the Lord keeps his end of the agreement!
When addressing how he keeps his end of the agreement, the Lord said, " I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." (D & C 82:10)
In a great scriptural example of the power of prayer, we see what can happen when we do not follow the admonition to pray always. Allow me to address a story from the Book of Ether. I have mentioned this story a few times in blogs, and in classes taught, but for the purpose of placing emphasis on them, allow me yet again to remind everyone.
Many of us are very familiar with the great story of the Jaredites, both from their humble beginnings, and their horrible tragic end. This is a story that has been known since King Limhi was brought, with his people, to join the Nephites while they were under the reign of the final King of the Nephites, Mosiah. Mosiah was the seer of which Ammon said could translate the 24 plates found by the people of King Zeniff (Who was the Father of King Noah, who was the Father of King Limhi) as they sent out parties in an attempt to find the land of Zarahemla, but found only the land of Desolation.
In this great account, we see the faith of both the brother of Jared, and Jared himself, as they began to appeal to the Lord for help and direction in the face of many others who sought to build the infamous tower of Babel. The curse of the Lord came upon the people, to scatter them all- and to confound their language. Where does it begin? Lets start in Ether, Chapter 1 Verse 34. (The portions highlighting where prayer played a role, are emphasized in bold, italicized, underlined print.)
"And the brother of Jared being a large and mighty man, and a man highly favored of the Lord, Jared, his brother, said unto him: Cry unto the Lord, that he will not confound us that we may not understand our words." (Ether 1: 34)
"And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord, and the Lord had compassion upon Jared; therefore he did not confound the language of Jared; and Jared and his brother were not confounded." (Ether 1:35)
"Then Jared said unto his brother: Cry again unto the Lord, and it may be that he will turn away his anger from them who are our friends, that he confound not their language." (Ether 1: 36)
"And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord, and the Lord had compassion upon their friends and their families also, that they were not confounded." (Ether 1: 37)
"And it came to pass that Jared spake again unto his brother, saying: Go and inquire of the Lord whether he will drive us out of the land, and if he will drive us out of the land, cry unto him whither we shall go. And who knoweth but the Lord will carry us forth into a land which is choice above all the earth? And if it so be, let us be faithful unto the Lord, that we may receive it for our inheritance." (Ether 1: 38)
So what happened? It then reads,
"And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord according to that which had been spoken by the mouth of Jared." (Ether 1: 39)
And what was the end result? The record says,
"And it came to pass that the Lord did hear the brother of Jared, and had compassion upon him..." (Ether 1: 40)
It should be mentioned that not every person who prays unto the Lord will receive a response anything like unto this, but what should be understood about all our prayers is the bold, italicized and underlined portion of the last verse mentioned above (Verse 40) that, "the Lord did hear" his prayer. So let us diligently pray unto the Lord for the relief of these good people in Japan, both member and non-member alike.
We need not be utterly discouraged by disaster, and to know why I say that, seek out the 24th chapter of Matthew. The Apostles had many questions for the Lord, but the answer he gave following their appeal for enlightenment; "And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24: 3)
The Master then said:
Let us all see to it that we are not troubled, and trust and believe that the Lord has everything under control. Let us keep faith and hope, and never fail to remember that the Lord is mindful of everyone, just as we all should be. We are commanded to love our neighbor, and in praying for our dear brethren across the world, surely the Lord will hear us. Of that we can be sure, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Below is the recent press release from the church about the disaster in Japan.
12 March 2011 — Salt Lake City
Church leaders confirmed this morning that all missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving in Japan are safe and accounted for. The Church had been working diligently to make contact with missionaries in Sendai despite difficulty with communication systems and traveling in and around the city. Families and friends of the missionaries in the Sendai area had been anxiously awaiting word that their loved ones were safe. The Church released a statement yesterday saying, "our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan following the recent devastating earthquake and tsunami."
The Church is assessing the needs of its members and others in the communities impacted by the earthquake. Hundreds of individuals have been confirmed dead and tens of thousands have been displaced. Hundreds of homes and buildings have been destroyed and strong aftershocks continue to shake the area. The 8.9 magnitude quake was the strongest quake on record in Japan.
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