Joseph Smith’s Shortest and Longest Prayers

Joseph Smith’s Shortest Prayer

“There were times when the cupboard was bare [in the Smith home]. One day they had nothing to eat but a little corn meal. They made out of it a johnnycake, as it was called, and the Prophet offered the blessing as follows:

 “‘Lord, we thank thee for this johnnycake and ask thee to send us something better. Amen.’”

This was Joseph Smith’s shortest recorded prayer.

“Before the [Smith] meal was over a knock came at the door, and there stood a man with a ham and some flour. The Prophet jumped to his feet and said to Emma, ‘I knew the Lord would answer my prayer.’”

Joseph Smith’s Longest Public Prayer

Mary Rollins met with the saints at the Joseph Smith home. After Joseph announced that the Savior had been in their midst, Joseph led the group in a kneeling prayer.

Mary Rollins recorded that Joseph’s prayer was so long, that several of the people rose, rubbed their knees, rested and then knelt back down to endure to the end. “Such a prayer, I have never heard before or since. I felt he was talking to the Lord, and the power rested upon us all.”

This was Joseph Smith’s longest recorded public prayer.

(Sources: Truman G. Madsen, “Joseph Smith Lecture 2: Joseph’s Personality and Character, BYU Devotional, Aug. 22, 1978; Recollection of John Lyman Smith in JI (March 15, 1892): 172; Truman G. Madsen, Joseph Smith Lecture 5, Aug 24, 1978 BYU Devotional; See Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner Papers; YWJ 16 (December 1905): 556–57; Andrus, They Knew, pp. 23–24.)

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