Praying to Jesus Christ

In humility, our Savior, Grant thy Spirit here, we pray . . .

by Tom Irvine Email: 
Our formal prayers should always be addressed to God, the Father.  We should close in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  We receive inspiration through the Holy Ghost.
(2 Nephi 32:9, 3 Nephi 18:19, 3 Nephi 20:31)
But there is a misunderstanding among those of us who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that we must never communicate with Jesus Christ under any circumstance. We can pour out our hearts to Jesus Christ in a prayer-like manner!
If we fail to express gratitude to Jesus Christ directly for his great atoning sacrifice, then we are no better than 9 of the 10 lepers who failed to thank Jesus after he had healed them.
Furthermore, some members claim that our focus should largely be on the Father rather than on the Son. Please remember:
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6).
What would God, the Father, say if he spoke to us directly?
This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him (Matthew 17:5).
Stephen pleads to Jesus as he is being stoned.
Acts 7
[55] But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
[56] And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
[57] Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
[58] And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
[59] And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
[60] And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Jesus Christ is our Lord
An angel testified to the shepherds
Luke 2
[11] For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Alma cries to our Lord Jesus Christ during a fierce battle:
Alma 2
[30] And it came to pass that Alma, being a man of God, being exercised with much faith, cried, saying: O Lord, have mercy and spare my life, that I may be an instrument in thy hands to save and preserve this people.
King Lamoni cries to the Lord for mercy.

Alma 18

[41] And he began to cry unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, have mercy; according to thy abundant mercy which thou hast had upon the people of Nephi, have upon me, and my people.
The Lamanite Queen cries to Jesus.

Alma 19

[29] And it came to pass that she [Abish] went and took the queen by the hand, that perhaps she might raise her from the ground; and as soon as she touched her hand she arose and stood upon her feet, and cried with a loud voice, saying: O blessed Jesus, who has saved me from an awful hell! O blessed God, have mercy on this people!
Alma the Younger cries to Jesus Christ in repentance:
Alma 36
[18] Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.
[19] And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
[20] And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught
In one way or another, sooner or later, all mortals will plead, as Alma did at his turning point, "O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me" (Alma 36:18).

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught

When confronting our transgressions and our souls are harrowed up with true pain, may we all echo the repentant Alma and utter his life-changing cry: “O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me.” (Alma 36:18).

Neal A. Maxwell The Children of Christ
Jeffrey R. Holland  Place No More for the Enemy of My Soul
The Nephites Pray Directly to the Resurrected Christ
3 Nephi
[15] And it came to pass that while the angels were ministering unto the disciples, behold, Jesus came and stood in the midst and ministered unto them.
[16] And it came to pass that he spake unto the multitude, and commanded them that they should kneel down again upon the earth, and also that his disciples should kneel down upon the earth.
[17] And it came to pass that when they had all knelt down upon the earth, he commanded his disciples that they should pray.
[18] And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God.
The Brother of Jared prayed directly to Jesus Christ in Ether 3.
Worshipping Jesus Christ
[31] O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul?

2 Nephi 4

[26] And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.
[29] And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out.
2 Nephi 25

Prayer offered at the dedication of the temple at Kirtland, Ohio, March 27, 1836. HC 2: 420–426. According to the Prophet’s written statement, this prayer was given to him by revelation.

[34] O Jehovah, have mercy upon this people, and as all men sin forgive the transgressions of thy people, and let them be blotted out forever.

[41] And whatsoever city thy servants shall enter, and the people of that city receive not the testimony of thy servants, and thy servants warn them to save themselves from this untoward generation, let it be upon that city according to that which thou hast spoken by the mouths of thy prophets.

[42] But deliver thou, O Jehovah, we beseech thee, thy servants from their hands, and cleanse them from their blood.

Jehovah is another name for Jesus Christ.  Reference:  "The Living Christ:  The Testimony of the Apostles." 

The Lord Jesus taught in D&C 25:12:

For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.

Every hymn or primary song is a prayer unto Jesus! The following are examples of hymns addressed directly to Jesus.

Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah
1. Guide us, O thou great Jehovah,
Guide us to the promised land.
We are weak, but thou art able;
Hold us with thy powerful hand.
Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit,
Feed us till the Savior comes, [Alto and Tenor: Savior comes.]
Feed us till the Savior comes.
2. Open, Jesus, Zion's fountains;
Let her richest blessings come.
Let the fiery, cloudy pillar
Guard us to this holy home.
Great Redeemer, Great Redeemer,
Bring, oh, bring the welcome day, [Alto and Tenor: welcome day!]
Bring, oh, bring the welcome day!
3. When the earth begins to tremble,
Bid our fearful thoughts be still;
When thy judgments spread destruction,
Keep us safe on Zion's hill,
Singing praises, Singing praises,
Songs of glory unto thee, [Alto and Tenor: unto thee,]
Songs of glory unto thee.
Text: William Williams, 1717–1791. First verse trans. by Peter Williams, 1722–1796. Included in the first LDS hymnbook, 1835.
Music: John Hughes, 1873–1932
Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me
1. Jesus, Savior, pilot me
Over life's tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treach'rous shoal.
Chart and compass came from thee;
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.
2. As a mother stills her child,
Thou canst hush the ocean wild;
Boist'rous waves obey thy will
When thou say'st to them, Be still!
Wondrous Sov'reign of the sea,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.
3. When at last I near the shore,
And the fearful breakers roar
Twixt me and the peaceful rest,
Then, while leaning on thy breast,
May I hear thee say to me,
Fear not; I will pilot thee.
Text: Edward Hopper, 1818–-1888
Music: John Edgar Gould, 1822–-1875
Master, the Tempest Is Raging
1. Master, the tempest is raging!
The billows are tossing high!
The sky is o'ershadowed with blackness.
No shelter or help is nigh.
Carest thou not that we perish?
How canst thou lie asleep
When each moment so madly is threat’ning
A grave in the angry deep?
The winds and the waves shall obey thy will:
Peace, be still.
Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea
Or demons or men or whatever it be,
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean and earth and skies.
They all shall sweetly obey thy will:
Peace, be still; peace, be still.
They all shall sweetly obey thy will:
Peace, peace, be still.
2. Master, with anguish of spirit
I bow in my grief today.
The depths of my sad heart are troubled.
Oh, waken and save, I pray!
Torrents of sin and of anguish
Sweep o'er my sinking soul,
And I perish! I perish! dear Master.
Oh, hasten and take control!
3. Master, the terror is over.
The elements sweetly rest.
Earth's sun in the calm lake is mirrored,
And heaven's within my breast.
Linger, O blessed Redeemer!
Leave me alone no more,
And with joy I shall make the blest harbor
And rest on the blissful shore.
Text: Mary Ann Baker, ca. 1874
Music: H. R. Palmer, 1834–1907
Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer
1. Precious Savior, dear Redeemer,
Thy sweet message now impart.
May thy Spirit, pure and fervid,
Enter ev'ry timid heart;
Carry there the swift conviction,
Turning back the sinful tide.
Precious Savior, dear Redeemer,
May each soul in thee abide.
2. Precious Savior, dear Redeemer,
We are weak but thou art strong;
In thy infinite compassion,
Stay the tide of sin and wrong.
Keep thy loving arms around us;
Keep us in the narrow way.
Precious Savior, dear Redeemer,
Let us never from thee stray.
3. Precious Savior, dear Redeemer,
Thou wilt bind the broken heart.
Let not sorrow overwhelm us;
Dry the bitter tears that start.
Curb the winds and calm the billows;
Bid the angry tempest cease.
Precious Savior, dear Redeemer,
Grant us everlasting peace.
Text and music: H. R. Palmer, 1834-1907
In humility, our Savior
1. In humility, our Savior,
Grant thy Spirit here, we pray,
As we bless the bread and water
In thy name this holy day.
Let me not forget, O Savior,
Thou didst bleed and die for me
When thy heart was stilled and broken
On the cross at Calvary.
2. Fill our hearts with sweet forgiving;
Teach us tolerance and love.
Let our prayers find access to thee
In thy holy courts above.
Then, when we have proven worthy
Of thy sacrifice divine,
Lord, let us regain they presence;
Let thy glory round us shine.
Lyrics by Mabel Jones Gabbott, Music by Towland H. Prichard

The following hymn teaches that we can "commune" with our Saviour


Abide With Me; 'tis Eventide

1. Abide with me; 'tis eventide.
The day is past and gone;
The shadows of the evening fall;
The night is coming on.
Within my heart a welcome guest,
Within my home abide.


O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, 'tis eventide.
O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, 'tis eventide.

2. Abide with me; 'tis eventide.
Thy walk today with me
Has made my heart within me burn,
As I communed with thee.
Thy earnest words have filled my soul
And kept me near thy side.

3. Abide with me; 'tis eventide,
And lone will be the night
If I cannot commune with thee
Nor find in thee my light.
The darkness of the world, I fear,
Would in my home abide.

Text: M. Lowrie Hofford, 1825-1888
Music: Harrison Millard, 1830-1895

To have a daily, personal relationship with the Master, we must be His disciples. “For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?” 
Elder James E. Faust: A Personal Relationship with the Savior

Do Modern Prophets Teach that We Worship Jesus Christ?

President Gordon B. Hinckley testified:

I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the eternal, living God. I believe in him as the Firstborn of the Father and as the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh. I believe in him as an individual, separate and distinct from his Father.

I believe that he was born of Mary and that Heavenly Father was his father. I believe that in his mortal life he was the one perfect man to walk the earth. I believe that through his atoning sacrifice, the offering of his life on Calvary’s Hill, he paid for our sins if we will forsake evil and follow him. I believe that through his atonement, without any price on our part, each of us is offered the gift of resurrection from the dead. None so great has ever walked the earth.

He is the Savior and the Redeemer of the world. I believe in him. I love him.  I worship him as I worship his Father. I thank him and kneel before his wounded feet and hands and side, amazed at the love he offers me.

The Godhead

President Hinckley also taught:

"I worship the God of heaven who is my Eternal Father. I worship the Lord Jesus Christ who is my Savior and my Redeemer."

Reference:  Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley (1997), 509

President Hinckley spoke in the October 1999 General Conference about new temples.

Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of nonmembers have attended the open houses associated with these new temples. They have done so with reverence and respect. In many cases, the temples are, without question, the finest buildings in the cities in which they are located. People marvel at their beauty. But among many things, they are most impressed with pictures of the Savior they see in these holy houses. They will no longer regard us as a non-Christian people. They must know that the central figure in all of our worship is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Reference:  Welcome to Conference

President Hinckley dedicates the Conference Center:

Today we shall dedicate it as a house in which to worship God the Eternal Father and His Only Begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

This Great Millennial Year

President Spencer W. Kimball proclaimed in the April 1979 General Conference:

"I invite the honest in heart everywhere to join with us in worshiping our divine Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. "

Reference:  Fortify Your Homes Against Evil

President Kimball wrote in 1978:

The Lord has said, “I am the Almighty.” “I am Jesus Christ.” “I am Jehovah.” He is the one we worship. We sing about him in nearly every song. We pray about him in all our prayers. We talk about him in all our meetings. We love him, and we adore him. And we promise and rededicate ourselves over and over and over that we will from this moment forth live nea rer to him and to his promises and to the blessings which he has given us. I say this to you with all of our affection and love.

Reference:  The Privilege of Holding the Priesthood

Elder Dallin H. Oaks began a talk with this greeting:

My dear brothers and sisters, I rejoice with you in the privilege of coming together on this beautiful Sabbath day to worship our Father in Heaven and his Son Jesus Christ and to be instructed by their servants.

The Light and Life of this World


Other church leaders and authors have expressed similar teachings in official LDS Church publications.

Anselm Spring wrote:

It is amazing to think that the influence of a single being can be present everywhere. Yet when we worship Christ, we recognize that in all of his creations he is present, that all forms of life are sacred and should be treated with great reverence. Is it strange to think that a meadow can bear testimony? This meadow bears a testimony to me. Through my simple walks here, I have learned to know the Master Creator and to rejoice in what he shares so freely with me.

Reference: The Meadow

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