The desire to become close to our Father in Heaven is a natural feeling that is born within us. Sadly, we become busy and don’t take the time to do the things that bring us closer to Him. It is not that difficult to do if we take time to do only two things. Daily scripture reading is the first step. The scriptures will help us make decisions in our lives and answer our questions. They can comfort you in time of distress or sorrow.
William Lyon Phelps, American scholar and educator who taught at Yale University, said, “I thoroughly believe in a University education…but I believe a knowledge of the Bible without a college course is more valuable than a college course without the Bible. Everyone who has a thorough knowledge of the Bible may truly be called educated.”
John Ruskin, an English writer and art critic, said, “All that I have ever taught of art, everything that I have written, whatever greatness there has been in any thought of mine, whatever I have done in my life, has simply been due to the fact that, when I was a child, my mother daily read with me a part of the Bible, and daily made me learn a part of it by heart.”
In order to develop your spirituality, you must study the scriptures and become familiar with them. When you have difficulties, the Lord will help you find the answers to your questions in the scriptures.
One day I was reading my scriptures and these words impressed me: “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on… Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow… for your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” (Matt. 6: 25 – 33, 3 Nephi 13: 25 – 33)
The following week, my husband came home from work and said, “I have bad news. The company is closing down and I will be without a job in two months.”
This announcement would have normally hit me hard, but this scripture instantly came back to me and comforted me. I looked at my husband and knew he was feeling depressed. He hated to tell me this news. I knew he wanted to comfort me but I was able to comfort him instead. Never had a scripture comforted me like this one had and I knew our Heavenly Father would help us. The scriptures are a comfort, but we must study them so we will know our Father’s will for us.
I’ve had my trials in life, just like everyone. But when those trials come, I turn to the scriptures. Alma said, “For I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions.” (Alma 36:3) The Lord said, “If thou art called to pass through tribulation, know thou that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.” (D&C 122: 5, 7)
Spencer W. Kimball explains why it is important to read the scriptures. He said, “I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures, the distance narrows and the spirituality returns.” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, Edward L. Kimball, 1982, 135)
Prayer is the second part of spirituality. How many times have we prayed and thanked the Lord for our blessings and not asked for one thing? This is a time when we’re just thanking him for what we have in life. It is such a rewarding experience, to pray just because you wanted to be close to your Father in Heaven and feel his loving spirit.
When I was a teenager, I found a poem that touched my heart. It described how grateful we should be. I would like to share it with you.
I tried—I tried so very hard to pray,
To thank God for this lovely, lovely day;
But, as I knelt, so many blessings grew,
It seemed as though my heart would burst in two
with thankfulness—so many blessings there
to crowd into just one small “thank you” prayer;
But as my lips groped haltingly to find
the words to speak my humble grateful mind,
I heard God’s gentle whisper, kneeling there,
“Arise my child, Thy heart has said Thy prayer.”
Prayer comes straight from the heart. We must pray for help and understanding when we have problems and ask for guidance in our everyday life. This was exactly what George Washington did. He had a problem, so he knelt in humble prayer, pleading with God, asking for help just before the great battle at the Delaware. After rising from his knees, he sat at his desk and finally came up with a plan.
His officers thought he was crazy to go against the fearsome Hessians. They were German mercenaries, skilled fighters paid by the British to cut down the patriots. The Continental Army was outnumbered. Washington’s men were farmers and merchants, who wanted to fight for their liberty. Many were sick and too weak to fight. The men who could fight were poorly clothed and their feet were wrapped with cloth to protect them from the freezing weather.
The crossing of the Delaware in a blizzard was absurd and the officers tried to talk him out of it. But Washington had prayed about it and he knew this was an answer to his prayer.
When the patriots arrived in the town of Trenton in the morning of December 26th, 1776, it was a never-forgotten battle of victory that completely turned the war around. It was a surprise attack, and not one patriot was killed in that battle.
George Washington said, “It is the duty of nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”
Do we have enough faith that we will receive an answer to our prayers? I feel that Children tend to have stronger faith than adults. They know their prayers will be answered without a doubt. One day my little daughter came running to me with excitement in her eyes. She was holding a Barbie shoe as she said, “Look, Mommy! I found it and Heavenly Father helped me. He answered my prayers.”
My sweet Angela told me how she had lost her Barbie shoe and was heart-broken over it. With great faith, she knelt beside her bed and asked Heavenly Father to help her find it. Why can’t we have this kind of faith? The prayer of a child is a wonderful thing, even if it’s only about a little Barbie shoe.
Our Father in Heaven loves us and wants to help us. As long as we have faith, He will answer our prayers—perhaps not as soon as we wanted or in the way we wanted, but He will answer them. The Lord said, “Come now, and let us reason together.” (Isaiah 1:18)
Developing your spirituality just takes a few minutes every day. Take time to thank the Lord for all your many blessings. It’s as simple as that. I promise that you will be happier and more content with your life if you do this.