“A Prayer Unto the Father”

Brant Gardner

The sequence of events tells us that Jesus is demonstrating this necessity. (See commentary accompanying verses 21–22 for becoming childlike.) The children have symbolically entered the kingdom of God, becoming true Israel. Therefore, the Savior’s prayer concerns the entire house of Israel rather than the gathered children. This prayer will spiritually impress the listeners (v. 17) before Jesus turns his attention specifically to the children (vv. 23–24). Symbolically, these children become a visual guarantee of the promise to all.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 5