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President M. Russell Ballard: ‘Watch Ye Therefore, and Pray Always’

Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles


President M. Russell Ballard: ‘Watch Ye Therefore, and Pray Always’

Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Notable quotes:

“I assure each one of you that the Lord knows you, that He is aware of your concern and anguish, and that He loves you — intimately, personally, deeply and forever.”

“We stand today at a major crossroads in history, and the nations of the earth are in desperate need of divine inspiration and guidance.”

“Pray for your family. Pray for the leaders of nations. Pray for the courageous people who are on the front lines in the current battles against social, environmental, political and biological plagues that impact all people throughout the world, the rich and the poor, the young and the old.”

Summary points:

  • Follow the Lord’s direction to pray always to “escape” the contentions of the day.
  • Pray for the nations of the earth and their leaders to find divine inspiration and guidance.
  • God hears and answers prayers in His own way and in His own time.

Talk summary:

Near the close of His mortal ministry, Jesus Christ taught his disciples to “Watch ye therefore, and pray always” to be counted as worthy to “escape all these things” that would cause commotion.

“Certainly, we live in a time during which things are in commotion. Many people fear the future, and many hearts have turned away from their faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ.”

News reports are filled with accounts of violence, moral denigration and a deadly global pandemic. Lives are being disrupted and many feel isolated and alone.

“I think often of those of you who are suffering, worried, afraid or feeling alone. I assure each one of you that the Lord knows you, that He is aware of your concern and anguish, and that He loves you — intimately and personally, deeply and forever.

Video: President Ballard pleads with people everywhere to pray for the United States

“Each night when I pray, I ask the Lord to bless all who are burdened with grief, pain, loneliness and sadness. I know that other Church leaders echo that same prayer. Our hearts, individually and collectively, go out to you and our prayers go to God on your behalf.”

Prayers are needed today for the nations of the earth.

“No matter how you pray or to whom you pray, please exercise your faith — whatever your faith may  be — and pray for your country and for your national leaders. … This is not about politics or policy. This is about peace and the healing that can come to individual souls as well as to the souls of countries.”

The Savior taught His followers to not limit who they pray for.

“Sincerely praying for those who may be considered our enemies demonstrates our belief that God can change our hearts and the hearts of others. Such prayers should strengthen our resolve to make whatever changes are necessary in our own lives, families and communities.”

At this time of commotion, redouble one’s commitment to prayer. 

In the news:

About the speaker:

  • President M. Russell Ballard has been a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since 1985 and was set apart as Acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Jan. 14, 2018.
  • President Ballard’s great-great-grandfather is Hyrum Smith, a brother of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
  • President Ballard and his wife, Sister Barbara Ballard, are the parents of five daughters and two sons. Sister Ballard died on Oct. 1, 2018.
  • President Ballard served as mission president in Toronto, Ontario, from 1974-1977.

Recently on Social:

  • In an Aug. 9 Instagram post, President M. Russell Ballard taught that revelation comes during still and quiet moments.

  • Two days before Pioneer Day, President Ballard spoke about how the day is one which celebrates the live and ministry of Jesus Christ, in a video posted on Facebook on July 22.

  • In a video posted on Facebook on July 19, President Ballard spoke about a defining moment while serving as a young missionary in England that helped him understand the Lord’s voice in his life.

  • President Ballard wrote about the importance of prayer during the COVID-19 pandemic, in an Instagram post on April 22.

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