Prayer: Approaching the Throne of God

I wanted to know how God spoke to me. But instead, I learned how to speak to him.

"He is listening." -Henry B. Eyring

photo by ben white

When we talk about Joseph Smith’s First Vision, we often marvel at how young Joseph was when God and Jesus Christ appeared to him. On one hand, I do think it’s incredible that a fourteen-year-old could have enough faith and humility to speak with the Savior face-to-face. But on the other hand, I can look back to when I was fourteen and realize that in many ways, I was far more humble and reverent back then than I am as a 20-something-year-old.

When I was a teenager, I made consistent special efforts to come closer to God. But recently, I’ve become more relaxed in my communication with God. I pray late at night, very sleepily. I don’t read my scriptures regularly. And I’ll admit to looking through Pinterest during Church meetings—anyone else know what I’m talking about?

Several weeks ago, I watched the March 2017 Face-to-Face Worldwide Youth Event. In this event, President Henry B. Eyring and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland answered questions from teenagers about personal revelation.

Personal revelation—this was the subject that puzzled me most as a teenager and still puzzles me to this day. How do I know God is speaking to me? What does revelation feel like?

President Eyring answered that question: “I’m absolutely convinced, if we will prepare and really see ourselves as coming to the throne of God, then remarkable things can come.”

He and Elder Holland agreed that prayer should “never [be] casual.” In order for us to communicate with God, it is important to realize that “God is real. He’s on a throne. And when [we] approach in prayer, [we’re] approaching a throne.”

I realized that as I pray, I need to think about who I am speaking with. Of course, I’ll still say many prayers in my heart at school, or in the car, or at work. But a prophet has promised that when I reverently kneel down and visualize myself approaching the throne of God, “remarkable things can come.”

I’ve often questioned, “How do I know God is speaking to me?” But now I realize that knowing how to speak to him and listen to him will lead me to the answer. As Elder Holland says, “Stay on your knees. Stay quiet. Stay in the private setting. Let it happen.”

Discover more about personal revelation in President Eyring and Elder Holland’s March 2017 Face to Face event.


—Sophia Parry, Mormon Insights

feature image by chetan menaria

Find more insights

Watch the new Church video depicting the First Vision.

Read the Mormon Insights article “When Answers to Prayers Don’t Come” by Courtney Johansson to better recognize personal revelation.

Read the Mormon Insights article “Power Up Your Prayers” by Carli Hanson for ideas to make your prayers more meaningful.

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