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Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Trivial Pursuit?

I've always been taught that I should involve God in everything I do. To quote from the New Era, "The Lord wants us to pray about whatever concerns us. Nothing is unimportant or trivial if it is a concern in our lives." Is it true?

As I was getting ready for church today, I decided that I wanted to wear a certain sweater. I had a problem though. I have only one tie that matches this sweater and I couldn't find it anywhere. Now I've been taught all my life that if I've lost something I should pray and Heavenly Father will help me find it. In fact I've probably heard hundreds of stories during my Mormon existence testifying of experiences like this, from primary to sacrament meetings. I've done it myself. I've prayed about lost items and they have subsequently been found. So I'm getting ready to ask Heavenly Father to help me find my tie, when for no reason a thought popped into my head. I thought about all the people who were probably praying at that very moment, many of them that needed Heavenly Fathers help much more than I did. About 16 thousand children die every day from starvation. That's one child every five seconds. In the five minutes or so that Heavenly Father might have helped me find my tie, 60 children would die because they were hungry.
I felt pretty selfish and stupid. What a trivial thing. A tie. Children are starving and I'm worried about a tie. I just couldn't justify asking Heavenly Father to help me find my tie. I told Heavenly Father to help his children, I didn't need that tie.
I wore a different outfit.
Should I have prayed about my tie? Was I showing a lack of faith? I mean, He is all powerful. I'm sure he can help more than one person at the same time. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

You did lack faith. Heavenly Father is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. If you don't have the faith that Heavenly Father can help you with something as simple as finding your tie, then do you really have the faith that you can be raised from the dead and live again? God does hear and answer prayers, no matter how trivial. If it matters to you, then it matters to your Father. Test your faith and seek to strengthen you testimony about prayer. The only way that can be accomplished is to pray.

Dallas said...

I have been working on a little analogy to demonstrate how I believe prayer works. I think it really helps us understand prayer when we get busy at work. For instance imagine the CEO of a HUGE company sitting at his computer checking e-mails. This CEO is a Micro-Manager so every little decision, has to come through him for acceptance. Because this corporation is huge all the CEO does is reply and send e-mails all day long. Than we have another corporation, just as big with just as many decisions to be made, but this CEO has committees set up to handle different areas. So as an e-mail is received the CEO can assign the task to a specific team to handle this problem. Each team would be trained and highly efficient at handling each decision. I want to emphasize that it can be said that each CEO hears and replies to every e-mail. Which company would be better in the long run. I think everyone can see where I am going with this. The CEO represents Heavenly Father while our e-mails represent our prayers.

Our Heavenly Father is busy, but through his delegation prayers will be answered. This is how I believe your tie/starving children thing would play out. It is probably a large organization that is working on comforting the starving children. While I think the situation of the lost tie might be given to a new intern, who struggles at his main job, filling the coffee pot. If the intern doesn’t help you find the tie, no big loss.

As far as the organization of the teams go for answering prayers, I think this is part of the “welding link” D&C 128:18 that goes on with work for the dead. When we do work for the dead we are creating a welding link between us and our “Heavenly Fathers” (i.e. Grandparents) Who would be better motivated to help someone in a time of need than a sealed relative who has passed from this life to the next?

Moral of the story, get your Genealogy done, it might just be the answer to your prayers.

Anonymous said...

You asked for our opinions, right? I think you should have prayed about the tie. Did not praying help the starving children? No. Plus, I fervently believe that He cares about each and every one of us, and although our needs are different (food vs. right tie), it's all important to Him.

Robby C said...


"God does hear and answer prayers, no matter how trivial. If it matters to you, then it matters to your Father."

It matters to me what I eat for breakfast, but I'm pretty sure God doesn't care.

"If you don't have the faith that Heavenly Father can help you with something as simple as finding your tie, then do you really have the faith that you can be raised from the dead and live again?"

This isn't the point. I'm quite certain God could help me find my tie. I am also quite certain that I can be raised from the dead and live again. The point is, should I be asking God to help me find my tie. That is the part that I just can't justify. Not when children are starving. How can I be so selfish. Others have also said that this is a lack of faith on my part. That is why I wrote the post. But I just don't get it. How can people justify asking for trivial things when there are people in much greater need? I just don't get that. And I really don't see how it shows a lack of faith.


"Did not praying help the starving children? No."

What an odd thing to say.

I asked Heavenly Father to help the starving children instead of me. I have faith he did, even if it was just one. Don't you?