News Story

National Prayer Breakfast Joins Religious and Political Leaders

Elder Alain Allard, newly called area seventy from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was among the religious leaders who attended the National Prayer Breakfast and Leadership Dinner on 7 and 8 May 2014.

The National Prayer Breakfast has been held annually for 49 years and is offered under the auspices of the Speakers of the Senate and the House of Commons. The event is organized by a group of parliamentarians who meet together weekly for prayer while Parliament is in session.

Elder Allard commended the event for bringing together representatives of faith groups from across Canada to meet with those who represent them in government. “We need to be present at such gatherings,” he said, “to participate with other people of faith to promote understanding and contribute to improving the lives of many [Canadians].” 

Chairman Colin Mayes, member of Parliament for Okanagan–Shuswap, thanked guests for attending and explained that the purpose of the event is to confirm to Canadians that there are members of Parliament and senators of faith representing them in the national capital.  

“I find it very comforting,” said Sandra Pallin, national director of public affairs for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “to hear our politicians and senators petitioning us to pray for them. I am committed to pray more earnestly for them and the important work they do.”

Inspirational speakers addressed more than 800 guests. In his introduction at the leadership dinner, the Honourable Senator Don Plett said, “When we are stripped bare, the only thing we have left is prayer. Thank you for your prayers for our country and for our leaders. … As parliamentarians, it is good to know we are in your prayers. Know you are in ours.”

The National Prayer Breakfast was attended by a delegation from the Knesset in Jerusalem and included scripture readings by representatives of Canada’s national political parties. National Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay drew laughter when she explained her place on the program, since “Jesus had a tax collector on His staff too.” She shared scripture passages along with Joe Comartin, New Democratic Party deputy Speaker, and the Honourable Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party.

Dr. Rod Wilson, president of Regent College in Vancouver (where he is also a professor of counselling and psychology) and recipient of an honorary doctorate of divinity from Trinity Western University, was the keynote speaker. He said that we live in a culture of entitlement and victimization and suggested three phrases that could change the world: “Thank you, I’m sorry and tell me more,” addressed not only to our fellow beings but also to God.

Member of Parliament Barry Devolin gave his appreciation and urged all to pray for wisdom, integrity and compassion. He remarked, “It is good to be reminded that humility is not a flaw.”

The spiritual and physical needs of the world require goodwill and cooperation among different faiths. Each faith makes a valuable contribution to the larger community of believers. In the words of early Church apostle Orson F. Whitney, “God is using more than one people for the accomplishment of his great and marvelous work.” Thus, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do not view fellow believers around the world as adversaries or competitors, but as partners in the many causes for good in the world.

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