“They Did Pray Steadfastly Without Ceasing”

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

When Jesus heard these prayers, He went a little way off, bowed Himself to the earth and said: "Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast given the Holy Ghost unto these whom I have chosen; and it is because of their belief in Me that I have chosen them out of the world. Father, I pray Thee that Thou wilt give the Holy Ghost unto all them that shall believe in their words. Father, Thou hast given them the Holy Ghost because they believe in Me; and Thou seest that they believe in Me because Thou hearest them, and they pray unto Me because I am with them. And now Father, I pray unto Thee for them, and also for all those who shall believe on their words, that they may believe in Me, that I may be in them as Thou, Father, art in Me, that we may be one."

When our Savior had ended this prayer He returned to His Disciples. He found them still praying. Then He blessed them, and smiled upon them. When He smiled, the light of His countenance shone upon them, and in the reflection of His brightness they became as white as the face or the garments of Jesus;-the whiteness of which there was nothing upon this Earth.

Jesus, in joy, once again retired a short distance away to commune with His Father in Heaven. He prayed thus:

"Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast purified those whom I have chosen, because of their faith, and I pray for them who shall believe on their words, that they may be purified in Me, through faith on their words, even as they are purified in Me. Father, I pray not for the world, but for those whom Thou hast given Me out of the world, because of their faith, that they may be purified in Me, that I may be in them as Thou, Father, art in Me, that we may be one, that I may be glorified in them."

It was thus that both the Speaker, the Son of God, Himself, and the audience were prepared for the sermon that was to follow. And so fervent were their supplications that the supplicants became transfigured. (v. 25)

Prayer is an exceedingly important function in the private and public life of man. It is the medium by means of which spiritual light and power are conveyed to him. It is the never-failing radio connection between him and his pristine, glorious, Celestial Home.

Again, we have repeated word for word, Jesus' prayer on this occasion. It is so beautiful that to comment on it would be like painting the lily, or seeking to improve the work of a master: "And it came to pass that He went again a little way off and prayed unto the Father; And tongue cannot speak the words which He prayed, neither can be written by man the words which He prayed. And the multitude did hear and do bear record; and their hearts were open and they did understand in their hearts the words which He prayed. Nevertheless, so great and marvelous were the words which He prayed that they cannot be written, neither can they be uttered by man."

"And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying He came again to His Disciples, and said unto them: So great faith have I never seen among all the Jews; wherefore I could not show unto them so great miracles, because of their unbelief. Verily, I say unto you, there are none of them that have seen so great things as ye have seen; neither have they heard so great things as ye have heard."

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 7