We believe in “worshiping God according to our own dictates and allowing others to do likewise.” No one can tell us what and how to worship. Even the divinely called and heavenly inspired leaders don’t tell us how to worship, they teach us true principles and let us govern ourselves. But, if we are to do what we came to do, and become who we’ve been created to be, we have to understand the true order of prayer and worship. Here are the eternal principles of true worship:
“If a man worships a cow or a crocodile, he can gain any reward that cows and crocodiles happen to be passing out this season. If he worships the laws of the universe or the forces of nature, no doubt the earth will continue to spin, the sun to shine, and the rains to fall on the just and on the unjust.
But if he worships the true and living God, in spirit and in truth, then God Almighty will pour out his Spirit upon him, and he will have power to raise the dead, move mountains, entertain angels, and walk in celestial streets.
True and perfect worship consists in following in the steps of the Son of God; it consists in keeping the commandments and obeying the will of the Father to that degree that we advance from grace to grace until we are glorified in Christ as he is in his Father. It is far more than prayer and sermon and song. It is living and doing and obeying. It is emulating the life of the great Exemplar.
With this principle before us, here are the scriptural specifics of that divine worship which is pleasing to him whose we are:
- To worship the Lord is to follow after him, to seek his face, to believe his doctrine, and to think his thoughts.
- It is to walk in his paths, to be baptized as Christ was, to preach that gospel of the kingdom which fell from his lips, and to heal the sick and raise the dead as he did.
- To worship the Lord is to put first in our lives the things of his kingdom, to live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God, to center our whole hearts upon Christ and that salvation which comes because of him.
- It is to walk in the light as he is in the light, to do the things that he wants done, to do what he would do under similar circumstances, to be as he is.
- To worship the Lord is to walk in the Spirit, to rise above carnal things, to bridle our passions, and to overcome the world.
- It is to pay our tithes and offerings, to act as wise stewards in caring for those things which have been entrusted to our care, and to use our talents and means for the spreading of truth and the building up of his kingdom.
- To worship the Lord is to be married in the temple, to have children, to teach them the gospel, and to bring them up in light and truth.
- It is to perfect the family unit, to honor our father and our mother; it is for a man to love his wife with all his heart and to cleave unto her and none else.
- To worship the Lord is to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction and to keep ourselves unspotted from the world.
- It is to work on a welfare project, to administer to the sick, to go on a mission, to go home teaching, and to hold family home evening.
- To worship the Lord is to study the gospel, to treasure up light and truth, to ponder in our hearts the things of his kingdom, and to make them part of our lives.
- It is to pray with all the energy of our souls, to preach by the power of the Spirit, to sing songs of praise and thanksgiving.
- To worship is to work, to be actively engaged in a good cause, to be about our Father’s business, to love and serve our fellowmen.
- It is to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to comfort those that mourn, and to hold up the hands that hang down and to strengthen the feeble knees.
- To worship the Lord is to stand valiantly in the cause of truth and righteousness, to let our influence for good be felt in civic, cultural, educational, and governmental fields, and to support those laws and principles which further the Lord’s interests on earth.
- To worship the Lord is to be of good cheer, to be courageous, to be valiant, to have the courage of our God-given convictions, and to keep the faith.
- It is ten thousand times ten thousand things. It is keeping the commandments of God. It is living the whole law of the whole gospel.
- To worship the Lord is to be like Christ until we receive from him the blessed assurance: “Ye shall be even as I am.”
To worship is to “fall seven times, and get up eight.” It is to Keep on Keeping on!
Thus our purpose is to worship the true and living God and to do it by the power of the Spirit and in the way he has ordained. The approved worship of the true God leads to salvation; devotions rendered to false gods and which are not founded on eternal truth carry no such assurance.
There is no salvation in worshiping a false god.
It does not matter one particle how sincerely someone may believe that God is a golden calf, or that he is an immaterial, uncreated power that is in all things; the worship of such a being or concept has no saving power.
Men may believe with all their souls that images or powers or laws are God, but no amount of devotion to these concepts will ever give the power that leads to immortality and eternal life.
A knowledge of the truth is essential to true worship. We must learn that God is our Father; that he is an exalted and perfected personage in whose image we are created; that he sent his Beloved Son into the world to redeem mankind; that salvation is in Christ, who is the revelation of God to the world; and that Christ and his gospel laws are known only by revelation given to those apostles and prophets who represent him on earth.
Source: How to Worship, Bruce R. McConkie