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Praying To Hm?


inquiringmind

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I only pray to HM (never to HF, except in public) and haven't felt like I was sinning yet. Nobody has taken my temple recommend away for it yet.

Yes, almost exactly like that, cinepro.

As I descended further and further down, it got worse for me. Then one day it dawned on me: This was all made up by Joseph Smith. You can imagine the relief and comfort that gave me. The world is a much happier place for me now. It's like living in a fog of depression and then suddenly being freed to walk on a beach in the warm sun

Might want to setup an appointment with your Bishop.

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inquiringmind:

Practically speaking a member can pray to anyone they want in the privacy of their own home. But to do so publicly, and teach others to do the same is considered a sin in the church, and may subject them to Church discipline.

We are instructed to only pray to The Father.

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Is it a sin for an LDS member to pray to HM?

Is it a "sin"? Are you worried about this? Either for yourself or some Latter-day Saint who is doing it?

I don't think there are any penalties, per se, prescribed for it, but if I were a bishop and someone told me in a temple recommend interview that they did this, I don't think I would be signing their recommend. Not as a punishment, but as convincing evidence of a serious misunderstanding of basic Gospel principles. I don't think there is any reason to pray to her, either. Is there any evidence from the scriptures that Heavenly Mother has any responsibility to respond to prayers? Nope. Heck, there isn't even any scriptural evidence that there is such a thing as Heavenly Mother, Eliza Snow's poem/hymn notwithstanding.

This being the case, then it would seem to be a pretty pointless activity to pray to her.

And besides, if Heavenly Father says "No, you may not do that," then it would be highly disrupting to good order in the household for Heavenly Mother to countermand Him. Or do you allow your children to appeal to the other household authority when seeking permission to do things? I'm sure you don't. And I'm pretty certain that's the way it is in the Elohim household as well.

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The Book of Mormon tells us to pray to Jesus just like Abraham Issac and Jacob, Daniel, David and the rest of the Old Testament Prophets.

3 Nephi 19:

18And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus,calling him their Lord and their God

22Father, thou hast given them the Holy Ghost because they believein ame; and thou seest that they believe in me because thouhearest them, and they pray unto me; and they pray unto me because I am with them.

30And when Jesus had spoken these words he came again unto hisdisciples; and behold they did pray steadfastly, without ceasing, unto him; andhe did smile upon them again; and behold they were white, even as Jesus.

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The Book of Mormon tells us to pray to Jesus just like Abraham Issac and Jacob, Daniel, David and the rest of the Old Testament Prophets.

3 Nephi 19:

18And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus,calling him their Lord and their God

22Father, thou hast given them the Holy Ghost because they believein ame; and thou seest that they believe in me because thouhearest them, and they pray unto me; and they pray unto me because I am with them.

30And when Jesus had spoken these words he came again unto hisdisciples; and behold they did pray steadfastly, without ceasing, unto him; andhe did smile upon them again; and behold they were white, even as Jesus.

Praying directly to Jesus is acceptable only under certain conditions. Christ explained that they did this "because I am with them" (verse 22).

Joseph Smith did so when he dedicated the Kirtland temple in D&C 109, while his dedicatory prayer is initially addressed to the Father, he directed some remarks to Jehovah in an appeal for mercy, and because it was to be his house (DC 109:5).

Jesus is the mediator between God and man, there is no other mediator, not the Virgin Mary, not the Holy Ghost, not Heavenly Mother, etc. You want something from God, you must go through Jesus Christ. If there be a Heavenly Mother as logic dictates, just as there are no separate agendas, no conflicts within the Godhead that would requires you pray each member separately, there is no reason to think its necessary to do so with Heavenly Mother, as she would be one with the Father, making it basically the same-difference.

As for your highlighting that they were as white as Jesus; if you found it troubling, you are perhaps missing context of verse 25 "they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus". I would contend they were being transfigured, like Moses and how they said his face shined. I'm not a supporter of the old fashioned belief in miraculous skin pigmentation shifting.

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The Book of Mormon tells us to pray to Jesus just like Abraham Issac and Jacob, Daniel, David and the rest of the Old Testament Prophets.

3 Nephi 19:

18And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus,calling him their Lord and their God

22Father, thou hast given them the Holy Ghost because they believein ame; and thou seest that they believe in me because thouhearest them, and they pray unto me; and they pray unto me because I am with them.

30And when Jesus had spoken these words he came again unto hisdisciples; and behold they did pray steadfastly, without ceasing, unto him; andhe did smile upon them again; and behold they were white, even as Jesus.

The Book of Mormon doesn't tell us to pray to Jesus, actually. It's in the very verses you quote above: "...they pray unto me because I am with them." If Jesus was standing in front of you and you were having a conversation with him, well, then you'd be praying to him, by definition.

But outside of his physical presence you pray to the Father in Jesus's name.

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According to Margaret Barker, a Methodist preacher, formerly of University of Cambridge, and in July 2008 was awarded a DD (Doctor of Divinity, the highest doctorate granted by universities upon a religious scholar) by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

King Josiah is mostly responsible for this abhorrence of Asherah. According to the Old Testament account in 2 Kings 23 he removed her from the temple and his kingdom. Why? An old law book had been discovered in the temple, and this had prompted the king to bring the religion of his kingdom into line with the requirements of that book. The law book is easily recognizable as Deuteronomy, and so King Josiah’s purge is usually known as the Deuteronomic reform.

The writing and rewriting of Deuteronomic laws and admonitions was going on under-ground throughout the reign of Manasseh (687-642 B.C.). Deuteronomic traditions were driven underground and fostered there until they broke to the surface in 622 B.C. So, understand that Deuteronomy was both new and old and the same time.

In Deuteronomy there was only one temple. So he destroyed all the other temples. There were no mention of angels or any others. So he took out all the images of the heavenly hosts out of the temple. One of the major items removed from the temple was the Asherah which was dragged out and burned. Why? Later Jewish texts (m.‘Aboda Zarah 3) described the Asherah as a stylized tree, and Deuteronomy had forbidden any such tree or any pillar beside an altar for the Lord (Deuteronomy 16.21).

When Moses was told to make the seven branched lamp, for the tabernacle, the menorah, he was told to make it like an almond tree (Exodus 25.31-39), and so it was probably the original menorah that Josiah removed and destroyed. Mean while, Isaiah, it would seem, favoured the older ways. He spoke of the great tree which had been felled but preserved the holy seed in its stump (Isaiah 6.13), and he compared the Servant of the Lord to a branch of the menorah, damaged but still able to give light (Isaiah 42.3).

Almost everything that Josiah swept away can be matched in the religion of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They had built shrines all over the land, wherever the Lord had appeared to them, and they had offered sacrifices under great trees (Genesis 12.6-7).

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Well, there is 2 Kings 23:25. But just because the Book of Deuteronomy was heavily revised at the time of King Josiah under a strong religious agenda, as evidence that the religion of Jerusalem before Josiah’s changes and many of the practices forbidden by Deuteronomy are permitted elsewhere in the Old Testament, doesn't mean we need to dismiss the tradition that it was originally written by Moses, and that there are many great and important lessons to be learned from it. Jesus quoting a true principle found in it doesn't redeem all of it.

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I only pray to HM (never to HF, except in public) and haven't felt like I was sinning yet. Nobody has taken my temple recommend away for it yet.

This would be more consistent with Catholicism -- though the Catholic understanding of a Mother in Heaven differs extremely from the LDS concept -- but even there praying primarily to Mary would be heretical. Such prayers, and prayers to saints, are more literal applications of the word "pray".

Praying to anyone but the Father is thoroughly inconsistent with LDS doctrine. However, I think most LDS members at some time "pray" in a more literal sense of the word simply meaning ask, to people they have known who have died ("Grandpa, what would you do?"). This seems completely consistent with doing work for the dead, and stories of people meeting past loved ones in the Temple.

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Is it a sin for an LDS member to pray to HM?

Why would you think that it was? One of the saintliest and smartest active LDS men I know prays to Her. I believe that this man may become a General Authority at some point.

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Is it a sin for an LDS member to pray to HM?

Why would you think that it was a sin by LDS standards? Though it doesn't prove anything, one of the saintliest and smartest active LDS men that I know, and a rather prominent one at that, prays to Her. I believe that this man may become a General Authority at some point. As long as private worship remains worship, where's the problem?

Personally, I find forming a relationship with a single Deity a sufficient challenge and praying to a feminine Deity of whom I know next to nothing is too much for me.

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Why would you think that it was a sin by LDS standards? Though it doesn't prove anything, one of the saintliest and smartest active LDS men that I know, and a rather prominent one at that, prays to Her. I believe that this man may become a General Authority at some point. As long as private worship remains worship, where's the problem?

Personally, I find forming a relationship with a single Deity a sufficient challenge and praying to a feminine Deity of whom I know next to nothing is too much for me.

Would be since she doesn't exist

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I met a woman in the Temple (when I was a worker there) who confided in me that she, sometimes, prayed to Heavenly Mother. She felt there were just some things that she (HM) would understand, from a female perspective, better than Heavenly Father.

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I met a woman in the Temple (when I was a worker there) who confided in me that she, sometimes, prayed to Heavenly Mother. She felt there were just some things that she (HM) would understand, from a female perspective, better than Heavenly Father.

No doubt she felt that way, but I believe this to be a highly misguided feeling. What made her think that when she was praying to HF that HM wasn't listening, too?

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No doubt she felt that way, but I believe this to be a highly misguided feeling. What made her think that when she was praying to HF that HM wasn't listening, too?

I don't know. I didn't even think to ask her that. I guess we don't usually think of someone listening in on our private prayers.

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Here, guys, is what Gordon B. Hinckley said upon the issue:

And now, speaking of prayer, I touch on another matter. Last April, I spoke to the regional representatives of the Church, as I have done for a number of years on each occasion when they have come for general conference. These are training meetings where the regional representatives get information that they may carry with them across the Church. There is nothing secret or hidden about what is done there.

However, recently I heard that someone had secured a copy of my talk, looking upon that as a singular accomplishment, as if it had been given in a secret and sinister manner, designed to keep it from the world. This is nonsense.

I am therefore on this occasion going to take the liberty of rereading that portion of the talk which pertains to a matter over which some few women of the Church appear to be greatly exercised. I give it to all, in this forum, because of the activities of a few who evidently are seeking to lead others in the paths which they are following. I speak of those who advocate the offering of prayers to our Mother in Heaven. I quote from that earlier address:

“This [practice] began in private prayer and is beginning to spread to prayers offered in some of our meetings.

“It was Eliza R. Snow who wrote the words: ‘Truth is reason; truth eternal / Tells me I’ve a mother there.’ (Hymns, 1985, no. 292.)

“It has been said that the Prophet Joseph Smith made no correction to what Sister Snow had written. Therefore, we have a Mother in Heaven. Therefore, [some assume] that we may appropriately pray to her.

“Logic and reason would certainly suggest that if we have a Father in Heaven, we have a Mother in Heaven. That doctrine rests well with me.

“However, in light of the instruction we have received from the Lord Himself, I regard it as inappropriate for anyone in the Church to pray to our Mother in Heaven.

“The Lord Jesus Christ set the pattern for our prayers. In the Sermon on the Mount, He declared:

‘After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.’ (Matt. 6:9; italics added here and in following references.)

“When the resurrected Lord appeared to the Nephites and taught them, He said: ‘After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.’ (3 Ne. 13:9.)

“While He was among them, He further taught them by example and precept concerning this practice. The record states that ‘He himself also knelt upon the earth; and behold he prayed unto the Father, and the things which he prayed cannot be written, and the multitude did bear record who heard him.’ (3 Ne. 17:15.)

“Furthermore, He said: ‘Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed.’ (3 Ne. 18:21.)

“On another occasion, ‘Jesus departed out of the midst of them, and went a little way off from them and bowed himself to the earth, and he said:

“‘Father, I thank thee that thou hast given the Holy Ghost unto these whom I have chosen; and it is because of their belief in me that I have chosen them out of the world.

“‘Father, I pray thee that thou wilt give the Holy Ghost unto all them that shall believe in their words.’ (3 Ne. 19:19–21.)

“And so I might continue with other specific instances from the scripture. Search as I have, I find nowhere in the standard works an account where Jesus prayed other than to His Father in Heaven or where He instructed the people to pray other than to His Father in Heaven.

“I have looked in vain for any instance where any President of the Church, from Joseph Smith to Ezra Taft Benson, has offered a prayer to ‘our Mother in Heaven.’

“I suppose those … who use this expression and who try to further its use are well-meaning, but they are misguided. The fact that we do not pray to our Mother in Heaven in no way belittles or denigrates her.”

That is the end of the quotation from the talk I gave earlier, to which I may add that none of us can add to or diminish the glory of her of whom we have no revealed knowledge.

-----

Source: http://lds.org/gener...of-god?lang=eng

She is a sacred thing, but one we are not supposed to pray too, I think. So Gordon B. Hinckley said, in a kind voice, that he did, that he did. It would be wise to trust him. =)

Soft Wishes,

TAO

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Yes, I knew (as LDS) we were only supposed to pray to Heavenly Father.

Thanks for the quote from President Hinckley, TAO. I hadn't, actually, seen that one.

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I don't know. I didn't even think to ask her that. I guess we don't usually think of someone listening in on our private prayers.

Really? For a start, God is listening. And not only when we pray.

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I met a woman in the Temple (when I was a worker there) who confided in me that she, sometimes, prayed to Heavenly Mother. She felt there were just some things that she (HM) would understand, from a female perspective, better than Heavenly Father.

This is a personal issue of the individual and has nothing to do with God and his ability to hear or respond to prayers. More importantly, this type of action shows a misunderstanding of who God is and how little faith one possesses. It demonstrates that the individual has taken God and put him totally into an anthropomorphic position i.e. Woman creates god to meet their own objectives. Sadly, I would call this error.

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