“They Did Pray Unto Jesus”

Church Educational System

There is no place in scripture where we are taught to pray to Jesus. In this unique instance, however, the disciples offered prayers to the Son instead of the Father. Elder Bruce R. McConkie suggested a reason this may have occurred: “There was a special reason why this was done in this instance and on a onetime basis. Jesus had already taught them to pray in his name to the Father, which they first did. … Jesus was present before them as the symbol of the Father. Seeing him, it was as though they saw the Father; praying to him, it was as though they prayed to the Father. It was a special and unique situation” (The Promised Messiah: The First Coming of Christ [1978], 560–61). It should also be noted that the Savior specifically stated that the people were praying to Him on this occasion because, as He said, “I am with them” (3 Nephi 19:22). Furthermore, on this occasion “they did not multiply many words, for it was given unto them what they should pray” (3 Nephi 19:24).

Book of Mormon Student Manual (2009 Edition)