Fasting and Fast Offerings

To fast is to go without food and drink voluntarily for a certain period of time. Fasting combined with sincere prayer can strengthen us spiritually, bring us closer to God, and help us prepare ourselves and others to receive His blessings.

Additional Information

Purposes of Fasting

On one occasion, the Savior cast a devil out from a child and used this experience to teach His disciples about the power of prayer and fasting. His disciples asked Him, “Why could not we cast him out?” Jesus answered: “Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” (See Matthew 17:14-21.)

This account teaches that prayer and fasting can give added strength to those giving and receiving priesthood blessings. The account can also be applied to our personal efforts to live the gospel. If we have a weakness or sin that we have struggled to overcome, we may need to fast and pray in order to receive the help or forgiveness we desire. Like the demon that Christ cast out, our difficulty may be the kind that will go out only through prayer and fasting.

We can fast for many purposes. Fasting is one way of worshiping God and expressing gratitude to Him (see Luke 2:37; Alma 45:1). We can fast as we ask Heavenly Father to bless the sick or afflicted (see Matthew 17:14-21). Fasting may help us and those we love receive personal revelation and become converted to the truth (see Alma 5:46; 6:6). Through fasting we can gain strength to resist temptation (see Isaiah 58:6). We can fast as we strive to humble ourselves before God and exercise faith in Jesus Christ (see Omni 1:26; Helaman 3:35). We may fast to receive guidance in sharing the gospel and magnifying Church callings (see Acts 13:2-3; Alma 17:3, 9; 3 Nephi 27:1-2). Fasting may accompany righteous sorrow or mourning (see Alma 28:4-6; 30:1-2).

View More

Prophetic Teachings

Additional Study Materials