Why Do We Fast?

    “Why Do We Fast?” Friend, July 1975, 5

    Why Do We Fast?

    “1. Jesus taught us to fast. …

    2. Our leaders have instituted fasting in our day.

    3. By fasting we develop a mastery over our appetites. The body is made to serve the will.

    4. Physiologically, it is a good thing to fast. Many scientists are now recommending regular rests for the digestive organs.

    5. Fasting makes possible an elevation of spirit.

    6. Our system of fasting makes it possible to see that no one in the Church wants for food.

    7. Fasting enables us to appreciate the feelings of those who are less fortunate in the world than we are, who are denied the blessings we enjoy.”

    —Elder Adam S. Bennion

    “The word fast is used to signify a self-imposed restraint with respect to the eating of food. … All the principles associated with fasting seem to point to the fact that it produces (1) physical benefits; (2) intellectual activity; and (3) spiritual strength.

    “… most people usually consume more food than the body requires. Overeating clogs the system with waste products. … A short fast is undoubtedly useful as a means of restoring the body to its normal, active state.”

    —President David O. McKay

    “But remember that on this, the Lord’s day, thou shalt offer … thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord.

    “And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, that thy joy may be full.

    “Verily, this is fasting and prayer, or in other words, rejoicing and prayer.”

    —D&C 59:12–14

    “… In the 58th chapter of Isaiah, rich promises are made by the Lord to those who fast and assist the needy. Freedom from frustrations, … and the blessing of peace are promised. Inspiration and spiritual guidance will come with righteousness and closeness to our Heavenly Father. To omit to do this righteous act of fasting would deprive us of these blessings.”

    —President Spencer W. Kimball

    Illustrated by Ralph Barksdale