There are 3 thoughts on ““If I Pray Not Amiss””.

  1. When suffering, stating that we agreed to suffering is not helpful–in any way. Presumably, we were living in the Celestial Kingdom at the time of our assenting to pain and suffering and, besides, what did we know of these things there anyway? How can you adequately explain pain to someone who cannot feel pain; loneliness to someone who has never alone?

    And what real choice did we have, anyway? It appears that the choices were agree to come to earth and suffer, or be cast off into outer darkness forever. In addition to strengthening us, as mentioned in this article, presumably we are allowed to ask for peace amidst our trials, so praying for that is probably not the sin of praying amiss. And somehow Christ is supposed to be able to bear our burdens so that we “cannot feel them”, as we somehow yoke ourselves to Him, so praying for this is likely not a sin either.

    When someone dies, we feel grief an loss. Most of us, I don’t believe, pray to have the person returned to life so as not to experience loss. I think we pray for understanding, pease, and the ability to persevere. And though we agreed to come to earth and watch our loved ones die, I don’t think that praying for help comfort and understanding during these times should be considered the sin of praying amiss.

    Life is hard, as it is supposed to be. Providing help to one another and encouraging prayer and other coping mechanisms should be supported at all times. Stating that we asked for this mess and whatever happens is what we have already agreed to doesn’t help. At least it doesn’t help me.

  2. Brother Clark, thank you for this enlightening essay. It has helped me gain a perspective about some of my long term requests and I feel like God is telling me to trust Him more about it rather than demand an immediate solution. I find this essay very helpful and insightful.

    In my experience, sometimes when I am praying earnestly for something, I start to pray about something I hadn’t intended to pray for. For example, I was praying for a career matter for several minutes but then found myself praying for one of my daughters. I think that even though I wasn’t supposed to be praying for that career thing, the sincerity of my prayer let me be guided to praying for something more important and appropriate.

    I also wonder what you think of Alma’s exhortation, quoting Zenos, to pray over our flocks and herds? Perhaps we are to ask humbly, not desiring something unreasonable, like a sudden tripling of our sheep. But then again, Jesus prayed and a few loaves of bread became enough for 5000. Perhaps the real key is to be in tune with the Holy Ghost and let Him guide us to know what to ask for. Maybe we should pray for a tripling of our sheep sometimes?

  3. Pingback: “If I Pray Not Amiss” - David L. Clark - The Mormonist

  4. Jael Sara de Casseres was the stepdaughter of my 4th cousin, 3x removed. Her mother died when she was 3. She married at age 30. After two children her husband died. She was 35. She never remarried. She was taken by the Nazi to Auschwitz, where she died in 1943 at the age of 78. Her son was taken to Sobibor, the infamous SS extermination camp, where he died in 1944. How does one reconcile a loving, all powerful God with the Holocaust? So many have asked this question. Agency, is of course, an absolute requirement of our mortal probation. Some may ask why? I think the answer has to do with Theosis. Suffering and death from a mortal perspective are horrors we all naturally want to avoid. I like to think of what Jael must have felt as she pasted beyond the veil, leaving the horror of Auschwitz, felt the love of her God, saw her mother, father, stepmother, siblings, etc. It must be a glorious, joyful reunion, beyond description. On the other hand, the awful realization that a Nazi feels as he finds out that there is indeed a life after death, etc.
    Thank you for a thoughtful paper, on a most important subject that haunts us all.

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