If With All Your Hearts

God will answer your prayers. Jesus promised that in the Sermon on the Mount: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7, 3 Nephi 14:7).

Moses taught the same principle to the children of Israel. After prophesying that they would one day turn away from God and be conquered and scattered, he reassured them that, even in the worst of circumstances, they would reach out to Him and find Him. But Moses added an important qualifier to this promise:

If from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

Deuteronomy 4:29, italics added

Many years later, as the kingdom of Judah was being conquered by the Babylonians, the prophet Jeremiah reiterated Moses’ promise, and even provided a specific time frame:

Thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:10-13

The Book of Mormon opens with a prophet reaching out to God in this way. Nephi writes that his father “prayed unto the Lord, yea, even with all his heart, in behalf of his people” (1 Nephi 1:5). Nephi later testified:

He that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come.

1 Nephi 10:19

In the oratorio Elijah, by Felix Mendelssohn, the prophet Obadiah implores the people to heed the words of Elijah, who has sealed the heavens. He quotes the promises made by Moses and Jeremiah above, and he provides an example of a person earnestly seeking God, by quoting the following scripture:

Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!

Job 23:3

I first became acquainted with this piece as a child. The last part of the aria is included in the Church’s Children’s Songbook. I was thrilled as an adult to experience the entire aria, which conveys so beautifully the sentiment of these scriptures. Here is a performance by Andrew Haji, a Canadian tenor:

Today, I will seek God with all of my heart. I will remember that He is available to His children who earnestly and sincerely want to be near Him.

2 thoughts on “If With All Your Hearts

Add yours

  1. Dear Brother Anderson

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts each day. They are very much appreciated. Others have thanked me for alerting them to you blog

    Best regards

    Brother Edward Pittman Mclean, Va Ward.


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