Hymn text by Bernard Snow, 1822-1894. View the full text of this hymn.

People pray for a slew of different reasons. We pray to thank God for the blessings He provides us. We pray to thank Him for the lessons we are learning. We pray to express desire to come closer to Him. We pray to receive blessings for ourselves and for others. We pray for comfort. I could continue, but the gist of the matter is this: we pray to talk to God about the things that are important to us.

One of the many points of doctrine that makes the LDS faith so unique is the existence of modern prophets. We believe these inspired leaders give us direct counsel from the Lord regarding His people in the world today. True to the Faith states:

Like the prophets of old, prophets today testify of Jesus Christ and teach His gospel. They make known God’s will and true character. They speak boldly and clearly, denouncing sin and warning of its consequences. At times, they may be inspired to prophesy of future events for our benefit.

┬áDoctrine and Covenants 25:12 states: “The song of the righteous is a prayer unto me.” If the song of the righteous is a prayer, then let’s look at this hymn in that context. The words talk about the prophet’s heart, his health, his words and our ability to be impressed by them. It then turns to recognition that the prophet’s words will spread over the whole earth and expresses a longing to have this happen that we might become one as children of God, united in His church through His words delivered through a living prophet.

It seems only fitting that as we begin conference weekend as an LDS community, we take a moment to recognize the exquisite blessing that resides on earth with us in having a living prophet. And if we pray about things that matter to us, given this knowledge of the blessing the prophet is, praying for him should be at the top of our lists. It isn’t hard to imagine the role of prophet being one that weighs heavily on the ones called to this position. To be asked to lead the people of the world back to a knowledge of God is no small thing.

Let us then, as children of our Heavenly Father, join in a prayer for the prophet, especially during this exciting conference weekend, that he may have the strength and comfort needed to be God’s mouthpiece.

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