We humans have been on a wild ride recently. With the virus in many countries and the implications which follow, there have been feelings of uncertainty and worry. While we may not know the end from the beginning, the Lord does. He tells us that if we are prepared, we shall not fear. Even if we are prepared, I think there is a little bit of worry only because we don’t know what to expect. These events could result in lost employment, late bills, lack of food or childcare and a host of other issues. All these things would be very good reasons to plead with the Lord for help in a fast.
President Nelson invited us to fast as a global community of believers on March 29th and then in General Conference, he asked us to join together again on Good Friday, to fast as a world for this situation to be remedied, people to be blessed and economies to be strengthened. I cannot imagine in the least what kind of power this call to action can bring.
Any amount of fasting will bring blessings; to they who go without food and water, a greater increase of the Holy Ghost and then with the offerings paid, those who stand in need of temporal help. Both receive blessings. When we have a deep struggle that tears at our soul, I do not believe we should expect to fast once and have everything be righted. Some struggles of a lifetime might need fasting over a lifetime. There are numerous afflictions that will require patience and dedication to a solution that with fasting over a period of time, can strengthen the petitioners until deliverance.
The Lord said, “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” (Isa. 58:6) He gives us the solution to overcoming our challenges whether immediately or over time.
Every fast, however large or small the sacrifice, merits blessings of increased power or strength and closeness to the Savior. Elder Robert K. Dellenbach said, “Obeying the law of the fast is another form of sacrifice. The Lord asks us to set aside one Sunday a month to fast for two meals. We are invited to contribute the money saved on the cost of those two meals to the Church so it can assist those in need. Fasting and contributing a generous offering have a refining effect upon the soul. President Spencer W. Kimball stated, “Upon practicing the law of the fast, one finds a personal well-spring of power to overcome self-indulgence and selfishness.”1
I was impressed by the many declarations of faith and hope as we united with our brothers and sisters of all faiths in the worldwide fasts which President Nelson called for. I look forward to seeing even more miracles occur as we continue to unite in prayer and fasting.
1. “Sacrifice Brings Forth the Blessings of Heaven”, Elder Robert K. Dellenbach, October 2002 General Conference