“In attempting to develop a life of prayer, one becomes conscious of the fact that he is two persons, and this is true of all of us. There is our outside self, the person who is seen and watched by others, who lives and speaks and acts in public, the person we reveal to others with varying degrees of frankness or affectation. And there is that other self — the inner self, which is ever partly hidden even from our closest friends, and which we, ourselves, but dimly apprehend.
“It is this self, our better self, that the Master sees and values. To him the door of this interior castle is always open. He sees the real person. He knows that
the fiercest battles are fought in this ‘Sector of the Soul,’ and he whispers hope to all who have not surrendered there….
“It was this understanding of the inner man, which caused him to advise us to go alone into our closets and close the door when we would commune with
the Father. Man, when alone with God, knows there can be no pretense, or make believe. Here at least he is absolutely honest. ‘We feel the thing we ought to be beating beneath the thing we are.’ Realizing that he knows before we tell him, we lay bare our souls to God. It is the antiseptic washing of the wound which makes healing possible, and in religion this is called repentance, and forgiveness. It is a time when our souls are naked and perhaps ashamed, but, when no longer distracted by fear of discovery, we can really concentrate on prayer.
“Rich and radiant living is generated in the hour of quiet meditation, of self-examination, of confession of weaknesses and prayer for forgiveness. This searching of our own souls and admitting what we see, is sometimes painful, but its effects are healing and wholesome. Probing a wound is sometimes more beneficial than applying an ointment.”
Hugh B. Brown, from a radio address, in Messages of Inspiration (Deseret 1957), p. 244