For church I went with the girls that I am over to the “Priest/Laurel Banquet” where we had a catered dinner and a speaker come and speak to us. It was a great event. It was at the new location of Union Grill in Ogden. I was sitting there listening to the speaker and could feel the sweet presence of the Holy Ghost. In that moment there was nothing shared that was some spiritual awakening to me, but just truth about God and communicating with him through prayer. I thought of the blessing to feel that spirit by being in the right places.
All of us were dressed in Sunday best. I thought about this fact as well. There are a lot of churches that choose to wear casual clothing to church. Tonight, as the speaker spoke, it reminded me as to why I like to wear my Sunday best each Sunday to church, or going in to the temple, which is the House of God. The speaker talked about President Eyring, a leader in the Church, describing moments where he goes into a private room and kneels on the floor and prepares himself to speak to his Heavenly Father. He prepares himself spiritually to speak to the creator of all mankind and creator of the Heavens and the Earth. This is one reason I feel it is important to dress up for spiritual occasions like going to church. As I prepare myself, I try to dress and think in a way to show God my respect towards him. In return, I feel I am more spiritually prepared to receive guidance in my life. I find when i am spiritually prepared for church and ready to partake of the sacrament, my relationship with God is strengthened and additional peace is brought in to my life.
Kneeling to our Father in prayer also shows humility. Thinking back to President Eyring’s example reminds me of an experience he shared of his father when he was dying of cancer.
President Eyring said, “When the pain became intense, we found him in the morning on his knees by the bed. He had been too weak to get back into bed. He told us he had been praying to ask his Heavenly Father why he had to suffer so much when he had always tried to be good. He said a kindly answer came: ‘God needs brave sons.’ And so he soldiered on to the end, trusting that God loved him, listened to him, and would lift him up. He was blessed to have known early and to never forget that a loving God is as close as a prayer.” (Full talk here)
When I read this story for the first time, it encouraged me to take the time to kneel in prayer. If a dying man of cancer can take the time to kneel to our Heavenly Father, than I definitely can as well.
Our relationship with God is so important. We can strengthen this relationship through many ways, but one of these ways is through sincere prayer. I’ll never forget in a particular area on my mission, seeking so desperately for peace and comfort each night. I remember after my companion and I had made arrangements for our next day through planning, I would go to our bedroom, kneel down at the side of my bed and pour my heart out to my Heavenly Father. It was as if a huge blanket of comfort wrapped over me. I could feel my Savior’s love and His direct guidance in my life. I can’t say I feel that indescribable feeling every single time I say a prayer, but I do know that He listens to me because I feel the Holy Ghost witness it to me as I pray.
Another essential part about prayer that was mentioned tonight was on the subject of repentance. He mentioned briefly something Elder Maxwell stated in a talk when he was alive. I found the direct quote since I liked it so much. Elder Maxwell, referring to repentance said, “…personal sacrifice never was placing an animal on the altar. Instead, it is a willingness to put the animal in us upon the altar and letting it be consumed! Such is the ‘sacrifice unto the Lord … of a broken heart and a contrite spirit'” (You can read his talk here). Recognizing–which is often one of the most difficult steps–what animals are inside of us and giving them up will help sanctify us through Christ. Christ can help us bring those animals inside of us to the altar so that we can become more clean again.
I am grateful for the reminder tonight to be more sincere and meaningful in prayers to my Heavenly Father.