How to Worship

In an 1833 revelation to Joseph Smith, the Lord said:

I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness.

Doctrine and Covenants 93:19, italics added

Worship is an expression of reverence toward God. It is often associated with specific times and places. When Alma organized the church at the waters of Mormon, they set aside one day in every week to gather and “worship the Lord their God” (Mosiah 18:25). After they settled in the land of Zarahemla, they began to build “sanctuaries to worship God” (Alma 15:17; see also 3 Nephi 18:32, Moroni 7:1.)

But Alma’s son was horrified when he saw a group of people who worshipped only in a specific time and place. After praying in their house of worship, “they returned to their homes, never speaking of their God again until they had assembled themselves together again” (Alma 31:23). He asked the people in that city two questions:

  • “Do ye suppose that ye cannot worship God save it be in your synagogues only?”
  • “Do ye suppose that ye must not worship God only once in a week?”

(Alma 32:10-11)

Then he taught them that they should pray to God always and everywhere, that their worship ought to be the natural expression of the genuine feelings of their hearts. (See Alma 33:2-11, 34:38.)

When the Savior visited the inhabitants of the American continent following His death and resurrection, their response was spontaneous: “They did cry out with one accord, saying: Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God! And they did fall down at the feet of Jesus, and did worship him” (3 Nephi 11:16-17).

We worship God as we pray, attend church meetings, and participate in ordinances like the sacrament.

And President Henry B. Eyring taught that we also worship God by serving His children:

You might well be wondering what you could do to live and worship on this Sabbath day to demonstrate your gratitude and to strengthen yourself and others for trials that lie ahead.

You could begin today with a private and family prayer of thanks for all God has done for you. You could pray to know what the Lord would have you do to serve Him and others. Particularly, you could pray to have the Holy Ghost tell you of someone who is lonely or in need to whom the Lord would have you go.

I can promise you your prayers will be answered, and as you act on the answers you will receive, you will find joy in the Sabbath, and your heart will overflow with thankfulness.

Gratitude on the Sabbath Day,” General Conference, October 2016

Today, I will strive to grow closer to God through appropriate worship. As I participate in church meetings, gospel study and personal and family prayer, I will seek the guidance of His Spirit to know how I can best show my love for Him and my desire to become more like Him.

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