Latter-day Saint Life

My Body Won't Let Me Fast: 5 Ways I Do My Best Anyway


Though fasting is an import part of drawing closer to our Heavenly Father, not every Latter-day Saint is able to do so. But this doesn't mean these members can't enjoy the blessings of drawer closer Heavenly Father in other ways. Read how one LDS woman with terminal cancer finds others ways to draw strength from Heavenly Father when she cannot fast. 

My doctors won’t let me fast. 

Rather, the dozen or so medications they have prescribed to help battle terminal cancer—many that must be taken with food—make it nearly impossible to go without even one meal a day. This is yet another one of cancer’s effects on my daily life, which has forced my family and me to develop our “new church normal.”

Even though I am not physically able to actually go without food and participate in a “proper fast,” I have learned there are several actions I can take to be in the proper spirit of fasting and prayer, even when my physical body prevents me from following a fast to the letter of the law.

1. Pray

Joseph B. Wirthlin said, “fasting almost always is linked with prayer. Without prayer, fasting is not complete fasting; it’s simply going hungry. If we want our fasting to be more than just going without eating, we must lift our hearts, our minds, and our voices in communion with our Heavenly Father. Fasting, coupled with mighty prayer, is powerful. It can fill our minds with the revelations of the Spirit. It can strengthen us against times of temptation.”

I can't even "simply go hungry" on Fast Sunday. How I need prayer even more!  In the spirit of fasting, I strive to start that day with a focused prayer for specific families or people in need, as if I were participating in a true fast. Even though my body won’t allow me to go without food, the prayer can put me in the spirit of the fast.

Lead image from Getty Images
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