Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith
Prophet, Seer and Revelator

Monday, May 30, 2011

Family Prayer

I do not know any other way for the Latter-day Saints than for every breath to be . . . a prayer for God to guide and direct his people.

Brigham believed prayer would lead to inspiration from God to bless the Saints in their daily lives. Communication with Heavenly Father was important to Brigham all his life – even as a child at his mother’s knee.

At seven o’clock each evening in the Lion House (Brigham’s other home next to the Beehive House), Brigham lit a candle in a brass candlestick, and walked to the sitting room to tell everyone it was time for prayer. He then went down the hall to the parlor where the family would gather. He set the candle down, and the bright flame gave the room a golden glow. The glass cupboard in the parlor held the prayer bell, which he took out and rang three times. The smooth tones of the bell echoed throughout the house, calling everyone. The patter of children’s small feet, skipping and prancing down the hall could be heard, followed by the more dignified footsteps of their mothers. Soon everyone was quiet and seated in the parlor. Brigham sat on the west side of the room. Joseph Young and Lorenzo Young, Brigham’s brothers, often came for prayer. They were seated near Brigham in a place of honor. Each family had a designated spot around the room with the children gathering near their mothers.

Brigham discussed the topics of the day and read the scriptures. He taught his family: “Do you read them [the scriptures] as though you stood in the place of the men who wrote them?” “Be as familiar with the spirit and meaning of the written word of God as you are with your daily walk.”

The family sang a hymn, bringing peace and contentment to the room. Then everyone knelt as Brigham offered a prayer. One of his daughters remembered him saying “Bless the church and Thy people, the sick and the afflicted and comfort the hearts that mourn.”6 What a privilege for the Saints to have Brigham pray for them.

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