By Study and Also By Faith

An LDS (Mormon) blog representing a search for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Why Fast?

Why should we fast? What is its purpose? I've linked to a couple of articles below and suggested some other places to read about fasting, but first a few comments of my own.

We usually think of fasting in connection with prayer. Fasting can help us focus our attention on spiritual things and set our physical self aside briefly. We develop some self discipline by going without food, and we learn a little about sacrifice as we do without for a short time in order to have some money to donate to those who often go without. It is a way of helping others as we help ourselves.

I have not been getting all I should out of fasting. All too often I fast without giving it much thought, or I don't fast at all (although I still donate a fast offering). This is not a proper fast, nor is it doing me much good. I believe I am missing out on some real spiritual blessings by not fasting as I should and using it as a tool for drawing closer to the Lord and for increasing my spiritual growth. I am trying to read up on fasting and give it some serious thought in preparation for making my fasting more meaningful.

The Law of the Fast" is an article by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin in the May 2001 Ensign. It talks about all the reasons to fast and how it helps others as well as ourselves. In the November 2004 Ensign, Elder Carl B. Pratt of the Seventy has an article entitled "The Blessings of a Proper Fast." In it, he discusses the proper way to keep a fast and the blessings it brings. There are other articles in the church magazines that discuss fasting. You can find them by going to the church website ( and clicking on Gospel Library. Perform a search on the word "fasting" in the Ensign (or other magazines or manuals, as you choose) and you can learn a lot.

In the Bible Dictionary, you can look up "Fasts" and in the Topical Guide, you can look up "Fast, Fasting." In the online
Guide to the Scriptures, you can also look up "Fast, Fasting." These will guide you to scriptures about fasting.

Do any of you have any suggestions or comments for improving fasting, why it is important, or any other thoughts or insights you have that might help me and those who read my blog?

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Anonymous Pop said...


I guess it's kind of a " no brainer," but often the big thing is to just do it. You have pointed out many resources regarding a proper fast, but they serve no purpose if we do not put them to work. I recently fasted along with prayer regarding something that you are aware of and it brought blessings to multiple people. The big thing whether it be fasting, prayer, Family History, Home/Visiting Teaching and so forth is that we have to get ourselves to do it.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

Pop, that is very true. Often, we learn as we go, but we have to be going first in order to learn. The situation you referred to is one thing that has brought fasting to my mind so strongly of late.


5:51 PM  

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