Acts 7:59; “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
3 Nephi 19:18, 24; “And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God. 24 And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus prayed unto the Father, he came unto his disciples, and behold, they did still continue, without ceasing, to pray unto him; and they did not multiply many words, for it was given unto them what they should pray, and they were filled with desire.”
Throughout the almost two centuries of existence, the Mormon Church has back peddled itself into land of confusion. Their official canon above tells us the Nephites prayed to Jesus, so you’d think it’d be okay for Mormons to do so, right?
Yeah, well, not so fast. Not only did Bruce McConkie tell the Saints they shouldn’t be praying to the Church’s namesake in 1982, we’ve discovered a number of other times they’ve contradicted themselves on this issue. The following examples speaks volumes to the ambiguity there is on this one subject:
In Moroni 10:4 we see the following –
‘And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ…’ [emp. mine]
And then in the Pearl of Great Price…
Moses 5:8; ‘Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.’ [emp. mine]
McConkie explained the requirements needed when praying directly to Christ in his book Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 2:78;
‘To whom did Stephen pray? Sectarian commentators say he prayed to Jesus and not to the Father, and they accordingly claim this instance as justification for the apostate practice of addressing prayers to the Son. From the day of Adam, through all ages, however, the true order of prayer has been to “call upon God in the name of the Son.” (Moses 5:8.) The only scriptural instances in which prayers were addressed directly to the Son were when—and because!—that Holy Being, as a resurrected personage, was standing before the petitioners. (3 Ne. 19:18-36.)”
This is yet another tool Satan uses to take people away from God. He’ll go to any measure or extreme in his attempt to block the Mormon people from having a relationship with Him.
In light of those things, we have a question –
As a Mormon, what is meant by Jesus’ instruction to us when He said the following?
John 14:14 ‘Ask me anything in my name…’ [emp. mine]
What did Luke mean by telling us the apostles prayed directly to Jesus when choosing another apostle after Judas Iscariot hanged himself?
Acts 1:24-25 ‘And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, 25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.’
We also see where John tells us to have confidence when approaching Jesus, and ask Him anything –
1 John 5:14-15 ‘And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.’
Again, we’re directed to pray to Jesus, and this time when asking for salvation –
Romans 10:9 ‘That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.’
As you can see, there are many, many times the Bible tells us to pray directly to Jesus. Another scripture that comes to mind is when Paul asked Jesus to remove the thorn from his side. How many of us have prayed this one? I know I have!
2 Corinthians 12:8 ‘For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.’
And finally beloved, we shouldn’t dismiss what John said while exiled in Patmos –
Revelation 22:20 ‘…Come, Lord Jesus’.
With all these exhortations, (and they’re just a small sampling of what the NT text contains), how could we dismiss what Jesus and the apostles told us?
How could someone call themselves ‘Christian’, and not pray to Jesus?