Prayer is one of the biggest blessings here on Earth. Prayers can help you gain a testimony just as Joseph Smith did!
When Joseph was 14, he wanted to know which church to join. He came across James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.” Joseph walked to the woods near his home. He said a prayer to know which church was true, and Heavenly Father and Jesus descended from Heaven saying, “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”
Three years later, Joseph prayed to God asking for forgiveness for his sins. During his prayer, the Angel Moroni appeared to him and told him about the golden plates.
Six years passed. Joseph received the plates and started translating them. In May 1829, Oliver Cowdrey and Joseph Smith prayed to be baptized for the remission of sins because that was what the plates said to do. While they prayed, John the Baptist came to them and ordained them with the Aaronic Priesthood.
The first temple (in Kirtland) was dedicated spring 1836. Later, Joseph Smith prayed for approval for the building as Jesus’ temple. Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph, approved the building, and gave him the Priesthood Keys.
There is a pattern. Do you see it? Prayer, The First Vision, Prayer, Moroni’s appearance, Prayer, The Restoration of The Priesthood, Prayer, Joseph getting the Priesthood Keys. Prayer came before all of the top four important events of the Restoration.
Elder Hales talked about this pattern in one of his conference talks; I can’t remember which.
We too can gain a testimony when we pray.
Once I read a story in the Friend about a boy at the pool. He put a diving toy in the water. It sank. He said a prayer so it would float. It still sank. He had soup for dinner that night. He prayed so he could have ice cream instead. He still had the soup. His mom put him to bed at seven. He prayed to stay up until midnight. He still went to bed at seven. The next day, he broke his arm. He said a prayer so he would be fine, and he was!
He told his Mom about the other prayers. She said that Heavenly Father only wanted the best for him. The toy was made to sink. The boy did not need it to float. If he had ice cream, he would not get stronger. If he stayed up until 12am, he would be cranky the next day. But he needed his arm to get better!
When we pray, the answer will not always be yes. The boy knows Heavenly Father heard him because his arm got better. Heavenly Father wants the best for us.
I believe everything I said today is true and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.