Do Mormons fast? That’s a great question. The answer is yes, Mormons do fast at least once every month.
From a literal sense, fasting is going without food or drink. When Mormons fast, it’s typically for a period of 24 hours.
But fasting is more than going without sustenance. Religiously speaking, fasting is a great spiritual opportunity.
Fasting is an opportunity to commune with the Lord and should be coupled with prayer. For example, one could fast and pray for a special blessing, or to give thanks.
Fast and Testimony Meeting
Mormons can fast at anytime but are asked to fast at least once per month. Typically, on the first Sunday of each month, a Mormon congregation will come together in fasting and prayer and hold a service called a fast and testimony meeting.
Rather than a typical Sunday service where there is formal teaching and preaching, members of the congregation stand up at the pulpit (of their own free will) to share their testimonies of Jesus and the gospel.
I think it’s a very special time for the whole congregation. It’s a time to share thoughts and feelings with each other, to draw closer together, and to strengthen one another in Christ.
Coupled with fasting and prayer is the fast offering. A fast offering consists of at least the cost of the meals you went without during your fast, but it can be more. This money is then given to the church to help the poor and needy.
Fasting in the Scriptures
Fasting is a principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. People in Biblical times fasted.
When Moses was went up the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments, he fasted.
And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
Jesus also fasted for 40 days before he began his ministry (see Matthew 4:2).
In The Book of Mormon, a prophet named Alma came to a knowledge of Jesus through fasting and prayer.
Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things [of God] of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit…
Have you fasted before? I’d love to hear of your experiences.