Ask in faith, with confidence in God

"Sometimes, like a child, we misbehave, act unwisely, and feel we cannot approach our Father with a problem. When communication is strained, how wonderful it is to have a Mediator who works things out when we obey His counsel and repent," said Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve at the October 1989 general conference. "Such is our Elder Brother, the Savior."

Elder Scott said that perhaps Oliver Cowdery's experiences were recorded to give an understanding about how to pray and how to recognize the Lord's answer to prayer. Oliver was told: "That assuredly as the Lord liveth, . . . even so surely shall you receive a knowledge of whatsoever things you shall ask in faith, with an honest heart, believing that you shall receive. . . . I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost." (D&C 8:1-2; italics added.)"When we receive an impression in our heart, we can use our mind either to rationalize it away or to accomplish it. Be careful what you do with an impression from the Lord," Elder Scott counseled.

Oliver Cowdery was further taught: "Remember that without faith you can do nothing; therefore ask in faith. Trifle not with these things; do not ask for that which you ought not. . . . According to your faith shall it be done unto you." (D&C 8:10-11; italics added.)

Elder Scott said that to "ask in faith" means to ask with confidence in God. "Like many of us, Oliver did not recognize the evidence of answers to prayers already given by the Lord. To open his, and our, eyes, this revelation was given through Joseph Smith:

" `Blessed art thou for what thou hast done; for thou hast inquired of me, and behold, as often as thou hast inquired thou hast received instruction of my Spirit. If it had not been so, thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time.

" `Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth.' (D&C 6:14-15; italics added.)

"If you feel that God has not answered your prayers, ponder these scriptures - then carefully look for evidence in your own life of His having already answered you.

"To help each of us recognize answers given, the Lord said: `If you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things.

" `Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter?' (D&C 6:22-23; italics added.)

"The Lord provides further insight by counseling us to study a problem out in our mind and then to ask if it be right: `If it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought.' " (D&C 9:8-9; italics added.)

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