Saturday, January 2, 2016

Today's Favorite Verse: Alma 6:6

Today's Favorite Verse: Alma 6:6
"Nevertheless the children of God were commanded that they should gather themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God."

As I read this chapter I reflected on how the order of the church in their time is just like the order of the church today. Their headquarters was in Zarahemla, today its Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the laying on of hands by authority to ordain priest and elders to preside and watch over the church. Those that repent are baptized, those that will not repent are removed from the records of the church. The word of God was preached to all, and no one was deprived the privilege of assembling together to hear it.

The verse I selected to ponder over was on fasting and prayer. The first Sunday of every month has been set aside for fast and testimony meeting. Each person may be fasting for a different purpose and we will start our fast with prayer. We give up two meals and donate that money to the church to support the poor and the needy. Even the poorest among us can do that so no one is denied this blessing. Then we gather together to partake of the sacrament. Instead of assigned speakers from the congregation it is opened to all to come and share their testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are strengthened by the faith and experiences of each other. Before we break our fast we end it with prayer.  I love this sacred time of the month.

This verse mentions how we fast and pray for the welfare of the souls that know not God. My ward just completed a very special fast in December. We held a ward fast for the whole month to soften and prepare the hearts of the inactive and non-members in our ward boundaries. This would prepare both them and us to help bring them back into the fold. Each family selected a day to fast, so we all took turns to continue the fast throughout the month. Our family selected Christmas Day and it was most spiritual and peaceful Christmas I ever had.

Another thing we have just started, began also in December. For Stake Conference Elder Enrique R. Falabella of the Seventy presided. In speaking to the leaders of the stake he had asked each of them to stop and unite in pray at 6:00 pm each day. To help soften the hearts of those in need of the gospel within our stake, and that we would be prepared to find them. Our Stake President in turn asked all of us to join in prayer at that time also. So every evening I will stop what I am doing and join in prayer with others in my stake. I maybe alone in my room but I can feel the power of thousands praying to the Father at this same sacred time. It is an amazing experience. I don't think just our stake is doing this. I do know that promptings and ideas are coming to me on how I can personally help gather His sheep. I do believe in the power of fasting and prayer. It has strengthened my faith in Christ.

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