Salt Lake City Eleventh Ward Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association
Salt Lake City, Utah Territory
February 1, 1882
Prayer is the key that will unlock the statehouse of knowledge.16
It is the foundation rock of every Christian’s life; and we can safely say that there is no one that can attain to a position of usefulness in the kingdom of God without knowledge.
We learn that our Savior, whom we should all choose as our pattern, prayed often, and in the gospel according to St. Luke, chapter 22, verses 39 and 40, after he had administered the last supper to his apostles, we read: “And he came out and went, as was his wont, to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples also followed him; and when he was at the place he said unto them, ‘Pray, that ye enter not into temptation.’”17
We learn from these few words spoken by our Savior that prayer is also a safeguard that will withhold us in the hour of temptation from doing evil.
Through prayer, our faith is strengthened and our powers of comprehension are quickened, and we receive power to discern good from evil.
Through prayer, we are led to search for truth, and learn to love and keep the laws of righteousness, laid down in his church and kingdom, through which we may be brought back into the holy and divine presence of our God.
Through prayer, the windows of heaven unclose, and blessings are showered down upon our heads and upon those we love and pray for.18
Through prayer, the darkness that had hovered over this earth for ages burst, and the light of everlasting truth shone forth; for it was while Joseph Smith, then but a boy, was praying to God to know which of all the different doctrines that he had heard preached was true, that truth was revealed, that those who lived in the days of Joseph, the Prophet, should know the truth, and for generations to come.
If you will read the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and other good books, you will learn that all good and great people were those who prayed to God, for it is the only way to become good and great. And, my young friends, it is well for you to remember, while traveling on this journey of life, that there is no prison so dark, no pit so deep, no expanse so broad, that the Spirit of God cannot enter; and when all other privileges are denied us, we can pray, and God will hear us.19 No one can take this from us. But remember it is a most precious gift, it is something that must be cultivated; and when the still, small voice whispers, “Go and pray,” you must obey; for if you do not, the Spirit will be grieved, and the voice in time becomes silent.
Should you at any time find yourself overwhelmed with disappointment and sorrow, remember that although your prayers may be like the wailings of the most feeble infant, God, being more loving than the most tender mother, will hear and answer you.20 But we cannot say that he will always answer according to the desires of your mind; but in his great wisdom he sees and knows what is for your best good and will answer according to his wisdom.
To the young we will say, be prayerful; ask God to inspire your hearts with noble aspirations and to help you become good and great in his church and kingdom. And when you are done with this life, may you find that spirit of peace which was with our Lord when he appeared to his disciples, after the resurrection, when he spoke those sweet words, “Peace be unto you.”21
May God give you his Spirit, that you may seek unto him, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, amen.