Hey there Gramps,
I have long wondered why in the Book of Mormon when the resurrected Lord appeared to the Nephites that they prayed to him (3 Ne 19:18). The scripture says they prayed to him because he was with them. This seems to contradict other scriptures that instruct us to pray to the Father in the name of Christ. Also Bruce R. McConkie in his talk on the 7 deadly heresies said that it was sin to pray to Jesus, that we must pray to the Father in the name of Christ. This is not a question upon which my testimony hinges, however I am interested in hearing your input.
Why can’t you just accept what the scriptures say on this subject, and let it go at that? Indeed we should pray to the Father in the name of His Son, but if His Son were with us, I imagine that we certainly would address ourselves to Him. If you would read on a bit beyond verse 18 in 3 Nephi, it would be obvious that the Savior accepted the prayers that the people were offering to Him. In verses 20-21 the Savior Himself, in prayer to the Father, said
Father, I thank thee that thou hast given the Holy Ghost unto these whom I have chosen; and it is because of their belief in me that I have chosen them out of the world.
Father, I pray thee that thou wilt give the Holy Ghost unto all them that shall believe in their words.
It could not have been improper for the congregation to pray to Jesus if they were praying under the influence of the Holy Ghost.
Again, in verses 22-23—
Father, thou hast given them the Holy Ghost because they believe in me; and thou seest that they believe in me because thou hearest them, and they pray unto me; and they pray unto me because I am with them.
And now Father, I pray unto thee for them, and also for all those who shall believe on their words, that they may believe in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one.
As they prayed to the Savior He in turn prayed for them. Had they been doing wrong, He would have chastised them. In verse 24 we read that they prayed that which was given them by the Spirit–
And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus prayed unto the Father, he came unto his disciples, and behold, they did still continue, without ceasing, to pray unto him; and they did not multiply many words, for it was given unto them what they should pray, and they were filled with desire.
And in verse 25 we read that His countenance did smile upon them, and their countenances became as white as the countenance and the garments of Jesus.
And it came to pass that Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto him; and his countenance did smile upon them, and the light of his countenance did shine upon them, and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus; and behold the whiteness thereof did exceed all the whiteness, yea, even there could be nothing upon earth so white as the whiteness thereof.
How could you consider that this wonderful, transcendental spiritual experience could be censured by anyone?