“Draw Near unto Me,” Ensign, Nov. 1985, 90
“And a little child shall lead them.” (2 Ne. 21:6.) Can you imagine the joy our Heavenly Father must feel when we come to him with the tender faith of a little child and accept the love he has for each of us? He wants us to come to him and has promised that he will be there to welcome us. In the Doctrine and Covenants he has said, “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you.” (D&C 88:63.) This is our invitation from our Father in Heaven to share in the wondrous blessings he has in store for us. He then gives explicit directions on how we can find him: “Seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (D&C 88:63; italics added.) Seek, Ask, Knock.
With this scriptural instruction, he has outlined the steps we should follow to draw near unto him. We seek him by studying the scriptures and listening to his prophets, through which we learn about him and his eternal plan for us. We ask through prayer and receive the guidance of his Spirit. And as we knock, the way is opened for us to gain eternal life and return to the Lord’s presence through obedience to his commandments.
Of prayer we may sometimes wonder, “Can our Heavenly Father really hear us? And does he answer prayer?” Many years ago, I learned these few lines:
If radio’s slim fingers can pluck a melody from night and toss it across a continent or sea,
If petalled white notes of a violin are thrown across a mountain or a city’s din,
If songs like crimson roses are drawn from thin blue air,
Then why?—why do mortals wonder if God can hear prayer?
(Ethel Romig Fuller, “Proof,” Masterpieces of Religious Verse, ed. John Dalton Morrison, New York: Harper and Brothers, 1948, p. 407.)
The Savior has promised us, “Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you.” (D&C 88:64.)
From scripture study we receive further direction concerning the way to draw close to the Lord: “Sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.” (D&C 88:68; italics added.) Sanctify means to make sacred or holy—to make free from sin, to purify. This we do to be in tune with his Spirit.
We are given a guide that regularly reminds us of ways we can remain free from sin and have his Spirit with us. We hear it each time we partake of the sacrament. Listen carefully to the words: “O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them.” (Moro. 4:3; also D&C 20:77; italics added.)
Verse 1 of section 93 of the Doctrine and Covenants is a summation of our opportunities: “Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am.” [D&C 93:1] (Italics added.) This is the promise the Lord gives each of you wonderful sisters—as a child, as a youth, as a woman—to draw you heavenward.
Seek. Ask. Knock.
Seek through the scriptures.
Ask through prayer.
Knock through obedience.
May we attach our efforts to his power. He lives today. We can have his Spirit to be with us.
In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.