“But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.” 2 NE 32:9
What does it mean to pray first to consecrate thy performance, so it is for the benefit of your soul? What is a performance? (A race, a contest, a display of skill.) Like a violinist preparing to perform in a symphony, or an athlete training rigorously to perform his best. A performance for God is a sign of our faith. It benefits both the doer and those who witness it. Whatever we choose to do or perform will first require a prayer to the Lord. Why is that? What does it mean to consecrate it? It means to make it “holy” and thus evoke the powers of heaven.
Many of us have chosen to make special sacrifices to show the Lord our commitment and love for him. I asked the Lord what he would have me to do so that I could consecrate my performance unto Him. Here was the revelation I received:
“What I require from you is a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Look to me for that which you should do to prepare for the sacred day. Fasting is an effective way to add power to your priesthood. The line of communication between thee and me are thinned, as thy heart becomes more broken and contrite. When you lay the lusts of the flesh upon my altar, your spirit is strengthened and the windows of heaven are opened wide. The first things to offer up should be anything that connects you to Babylon that may have priority in your life; and then the things that your body craves. This can be more than food and drink. Make me your focus and I will come unto thee.” – the Lord
26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.
27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; D&C 58: 26-27
The Lord gives us our own free will to perform righteousness to Him. Some of you have chosen specific fasts that you feel will help you prepare. This fast is personal to each of us; it is a way to consecrate our efforts, to become holy to the Lord.