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ANDREANA - I love the lord and i'm not ashamed to pray to him or bless my food in public. Is there anything you can think of or do you know of any talks given by the leaders of our church in which they are telling us not to bless our food in public?

JOEL - Not much has been said about this; it is up to the individual involved and the circumstances as to the appropriateness of praying in a public restaurant. Elder Bruce R. McConkie said:

"Individuals or groups of Latter-day Saints when eating in public places, if conditions are sufficiently quiet and reverential, may with propriety offer a blessing on the food. If circumstances are such that it does not seem appropriate so to do, however, the food is eaten with a thankful heart, and it is considered that the private prayers of the individuals concerned have already asked for all of the blessings needed for that particular day." (Mormon Doctrine)


"The practice of the Church in our day is to have family prayer twice daily, plus our daily personal prayers, plus a blessing on our food at mealtimes (except in those public or other circumstances where it would be ostentatious or inappropriate to do so)." (Bruce R. McConkie, in "Prayer", p. 12)

We need to remember what Jesus said about some who pray in public:
"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. " (Matt 6:5-6)

Even though in your heart your attitude is that you are not ashamed to show your love and gratitude to the Lord in public, others might not perceive it that way. They might think that you are just showing off or being overly pious. That's the negative side of it. On the positive side it might be a good example to others reminding them that they should also pray.

In my opinion there's nothing wrong with saying your own personal silent prayer if you can do it without bringing attention to yourself (i.e. not folding arms, bowing head, closing eyes) or making others around you feel uncomfortable. One can always offer a prayer in the heart without others knowing it is happening. God will still hear it.
I think all one can do, be ye General Authority or regular member, is to express your own opinion about this; and now you have heard mine.

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