Sunday, June 23, 2013


Recently I had a non-member friend of mine tell me of an issue he was dealing with and his decision to fast. At first I was shocked, and then immediately ashamed for being shocked. Why shouldn't he be able to fast and receive the benefits? God's love and blessings are not limited to the members of the church. I assured him that there was real power in fasting, if done properly, and encouraged him to go ahead with it.

We talked a bit about the proper way to fast. He ultimately disagreed with me about the details and decided to take a different approach to his fast. His difference of opinion on the proper way to fast led me to wonder what I could find in the Bible on the subject. I did find some passages that spoke of not eating or drinking, but they also involved fasting for three or more days. Although there is some instruction on the proper attitude one must have while fasting, I couldn't find anything that really taught the proper mechanics of the fast. This is one great example of how different Christian denominations have interpreted the Bible without the benefit of divine guidance and ongoing revelation.

I suppose the most important thing is that the person fasting does it with faith to the best of his ability and understanding. I am grateful that we have modern revelation to address this and other questions regarding the correct application of gospel principles.

I regret that I didn't join him in his fast. I didn't really think about it at the time. Since then I have learned a lot about the power of group fasting. Members of our little church group often invite the rest to join in a fast they are having for one reason or another. The spirit we feel as a group during times like these is really powerful. I remember in years past when my ward would hold a group fast. It seems to me that this powerful tool available to us is used far too infrequently. I guess our pride probably prevents us from inviting others to fast with us for all except the most serious of needs. It's sad because it shouldn't be that way. I think if we want to be true members of Zion, we need to do a better job of both being willing to bear another's burdens as well as allowing the load of our own burdens to be shared with those we love.

It's a learning and growing process to be sure. I know I have a lot of room to improve in this area myself.

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