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Prayer and scripture study can strengthen faith

Like many of you, I took advantage of warmer temperatures last week to enjoy a long walk on the High Bridge Trail.

It had been a while. I wondered if I would see damage from recent storms. In reality, the trail appeared as beautiful as always. It was essentially unchanged, though I had been away for a time.

My mind turned to the topic of faith during the pandemic. Unfortunately, I hear of individuals who are hesitant about returning to worship services. I fear that for some, church closures disrupted the habit of worshipping with fellow believers, and now skipping services even when available has become the new normal.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is eternal and everlasting. Regardless of whether we have stepped away for a time, Jesus promises, “I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him.” (Revelation 3:20).

Do you feel that the pandemic has created distance between yourself and God? Three keys will close that gap and tear down barriers between you and heaven.

First, we can speak to God through earnest, humble prayer, and He will answer.

Elder M. Russell Ballard, an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, recently taught, “I urge you to redouble your commitment to prayer. I urge you to pray in your closets, in your daily walk, in your homes, in your congregations and always in your hearts.”

Prayer must be followed by resolute action. Elder Ballard said, “Praying for justice, peace, the poor and the sick is often not enough. After we kneel in prayer, we need to get up from our knees and do what we can to help–to help both ourselves and others.”

Second, God often answers our prayers through the holy scriptures. Through countless generations, He has taught His children through prophets how they can find peace in this world and eternal life in the world to come.

No wonder Jesus taught, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39)

If it has been a while since you opened your scriptures, resolve to begin feasting on the words of Christ today.

Finally, your faith will be strengthened as you gather and worship with fellow believers, whether in a parking lot, online or some other way.

The Sandy River Branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers two sacrament meeting worship services each Sunday, at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., at the chapel located at 400 6th St. in Burkeville. Masks and social distancing are required. All are welcome.

To discuss your faith and learn more about Jesus Christ, visit http://www. ComeUntoChrist.org.

May we each answer the invitation of our Savior, Jesus Christ: “Come unto me…and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28-30).

DR. BRENT ROBERTS is the Elders Quorum President in the Sandy River Branch, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and also Dean of Greenwood Library at Longwood University. He can be reached at brentsroberts@hotmail.com