7 Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
8 For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.
(3 Nephi 14:7-8, Matthew 7:7-8)
When the Savior visited the Nephites and the Lamanites, He wanted them to know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers. In the passage above, He urges them to ask, seek, and knock, with the assurance that God will fulfill their requests. In subsequent verses, He compares our Heavenly Father with an earthly father who is eager to give good gifts to his children.
A few chapters later, He further clarifies the promise: “And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you” (3 Nephi 18:20). Mormon and Moroni both later quote this passage as evidence that God continues to work miracles in our day (Moroni in Mormon 9:21, Mormon in Moroni 7:26).
In a subsequent visit, the Savior reaffirmed this promise to His disciples:
And verily I say unto you, whatsoever things ye shall ask the Father in my name shall be given unto you.
Therefore, ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for he that asketh, receiveth; and unto him that knocketh, it shall be opened (3 Nephi 27:28-29).
It’s a remarkable promise, both because of its expansive scope and because of how little it requires of us. The Savior didn’t say we had to earn the blessings or even to prove that we deserve them. The verbs He uses–ask, seek, and knock–all imply a relatively small effort on our part and a substantial reward for that effort.
As President Russell M. Nelson has taught, the ability to receive answers to prayers is of supernal value:
Even more amazing than modern technology is our opportunity to access information directly from heaven, without hardware, software, or monthly service fees. It is one of the most marvelous gifts the Lord has offered to mortals. It is His generous invitation to “ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
This timeless offer to provide personal revelation is extended to all of His children. It almost sounds too good to be true. But it is true! I have received and responded to that heavenly help. And I have learned that I always need to be ready to receive it (“Ask, Seek, Knock,” General Conference, October 2009).
If this is true, then why don’t we take advantage of this promise more often?
- Perhaps we don’t fully trust the promise.
- Perhaps we want relief on our timetable instead of allowing God to answer our prayers in His time and in His way.
- Perhaps we’re so busy trying to solve our problems on our own that we fail to step back, look up, and seek the help we need.
Today, I will ask God for specific blessings. I will seek answers to the questions I’m struggling with. I will knock, believing that my Heavenly Father is willing to open the door, send answers, and give me the blessings I need. I will remember that He loves all of His children and will answer them when they call.