News Story

A Message of Faith, Service and Love Expressed at National Prayer Breakfast

Representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attended Canada’s 52nd Annual National Prayer Breakfast held in Ottawa on May 18, 2017. Elder Alain Allard, Area Seventy with responsibility for public affairs in Canada, and local Church leaders joined with over 1,000 participants at the yearly gathering of government, church and other leaders in Canada.

The National Prayer Breakfast and the associated Leadership Dinner, which takes place the evening before the breakfast, are Christ-centred events that arise out of weekly prayer meetings held by a small group of parliamentarians in Ottawa. The organizers state the purpose of such meetings are “to invite leaders to meet in the spirit of Jesus Christ in order to pray together,” to entrust them “with the application of what it means to live out God’s grace as leaders” and to help develop friendships and mutual support as fellow Christians regardless of partisan differences.

Mormon leaders have attended these events for years, renewing relationships with government and faith leaders from across the country. Several Church leaders also participate as volunteers, helping the event organizers with various duties.

Elder Allard commented, “The National Prayer Breakfast invites leaders to meet and pray together in the spirit of Jesus Christ. What a choice experience to participate with other religious, social and political leaders by praying together and looking for common ground from which to bless the lives of many individuals and families.”

Edward Aguiar, director of the Canada Toronto Area Co-ordinating Public Affairs Council of the Church, said, “There are many good people and organizations involved in many wonderful things. Attending the National Prayer Breakfast has helped me meet people with whom we can work on common projects.”

Presentations at the breakfast included Bible readings shared by representatives of each of Canada’s leading political parties, followed by a keynote speech and a prayer for Canada and the nations of the world. This year — the 150th anniversary of Canada — the keynote speaker was the Governor General, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston (the formal representative of the Queen in Canada), who addressed three interrelated topics: faith, service and love. He stated, “Service is love made real.”

The Honourable Jane Philpott, minister of health, requested Canadians pray for their parliamentarians, specifically that they may have “grace, wisdom and courage.”

The inspired prayer was offered by the Honourable Russell Brown, a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have always encouraged Church members to pray for their government leaders. By attending and participating in these events, Church members pray not only for their government leaders but also with them and demonstrate a desire to support and sustain their efforts to lead Canada in accordance with the principles of love, hope and faith, which are central to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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