Ask For What You Need

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Orson F. Whitney

I found myself in an overworked, run-down condition, manifesting a decided lack of physical and mental vigor.  One morning I was endeavoring to write the usual editorial, but could make no headway, and wore out the whole day in a vain attempt to produce something worth reading.  At last I threw down my pen and burst into tears of vexation.

Just then the Good Spirit whispered:  "Why don't you pray?"

As if a voice had addressed me audibly, I answered,  "I do pray."  I was praying five times a day -- secret prayers, morning, noon and night; and vocal prayers, with the rest of the household, at breakfast and dinner time.  "I do pray -- why can't I get some help," I asked almost petulantly, for I was heartsick and half-discouraged.

"Pray now," said the Spirit, "and ask for what you want."

I saw the point.  It was a special, not a general prayer, that was needed.  I knelt and sobbed out a few simple words.  I did not pray for the return of the Ten Tribes nor for the building of the New Jerusalem.  I asked the Lord in the name of Jesus Christ to help me write that article.  I then arose, seated myself, and began to write.  My mind was now perfectly clear, and my pen fairly flew over the paper.  All I needed came as fast as I could set it down -- every thought, every word in place.  In a short time the article was completed to my entire satisfaction. 

(Orson F. Whitney, _Through Memory's Halls_, p. 78)


Orson F. Whitney was born in Salt Lake City on July 1, 1855. He was ordained an apostle in 1906 and died in 1931 at age 75.  Elder Whitney was serving as the editor of the Millennial Star in Liverpool when the following experience occurred