I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive.
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.
I wonder if Heavenly Father sometimes feels the same way about my life as Billy Collins does about his poetry. Like "come on Haley, you are always trying to beat a confession out of me regarding what comes next. Put down your clubs already,it's exhausting."
This is not to say God is frustrated by our desires for him to answer our prayers. Thats not it at all,I just kind of wonder if he thinks, "Yes I am here to answer your prayers and I am here to direct your paths in the best way possible, but chill out. Do what is right and watch the world unfold."
My D&C teacher last semester shared a few excerpts from a talk Elder Bednar gave at the MTC discussing revelation.
In it he said,
"Somehow someway in the culture of the Church, not in the doctrine, but in the culture of the Church we have come to believe that I must know in the moment that it is a spiritual impression. That I must receive the spiritual impression, so that it will guide me and tell me what to do. And that unless I receive such an impression I cannot go forward because I won't know what to do."
He goes on to say,
"Every once in a while, rarely, you will receive an impression that will guide you and you will know it before the fact. The overwhelming majority of the impressions and revelations you will ever receive will come in the course of you being a good boy or a good girl... and you will become an instrument in the hands of God and he will take you where you need to be so you can do what he wants you to do. Most of the time you will never know it is happening that way."
I asked various people in my life how they feel they receive revelation and how often they feel like they get a "Bells and Whistles," kind of response from the Lord. Every person I asked told me that an experience like this is rare. An immediate direction to do a very specific thing does come, but it is not nearly as prominent as the kinds of answers that are recognized weeks or years down the road.
If praying for revelation is important for us, why is it more often than not we don't necessarily hear the answer right then? Or even recognize an answer at all until we have moved forward and looked back on the experience down the road?
In my preparation for writing this blog post I learned two possible options for this:
1: The purpose of faith is far more important than the purpose of certainty.
Ok well then yeah that makes sense.
All of the time I have spent on my knees pleading with the Lord for specific direction concerning various things in my life gave me experience. The couple of times where I got loud and proud answers in my ears were wonderful, but the times I have spent working and toiling for long periods of time taught me faith.
God wants us to have spiritual stamina, and as we all know stamina in any form comes from repeated periods of hard work.
2: You can do things of your own free will that are spirit led, just because that's who you are.
"How do you tell if it's the holy Ghost or just me? Answer: Quit worrying about it. Quit fussin', quit stewin', quit analyzing, QUIT worrying about it! Press forward with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Be a good boy, be a good girl. Honor your covenants, keep your commandments and I promise you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that your steps will be guided. As you open your mouth it will be filled. You will be in the right place at the right time and in most instances you will have no idea why or how you got there. So quit worrying about it! You got the answer? Good."-Elder Bednar
Because the Lord knows us and knows his plan for us, the way he speaks to us at a given time has wisdom in it. Whether he waits and whispers or cuts us off mid-prayer and jolts us up, it is done in the way we need at the time.
So let's all be good boys and good girls yeah? Let's keep the commandments. Let us go to the temple. Let us say our prayers. Let us read our scriptures. Let us dress modestly. Let us listen to clean music. Let us keep ourselves worthy. Let us serve one another. Let us apply the Atonement every day.
And then let us trust in the Lord.
Whether we are praying about where to go to school, who to marry, what our major should be, or to use paper or plastic; whether his response is vocal or patient, believe he will not let you make a choice that is detrimental to you.
He loves you too much to lead you astray.
Believe every experience you have that comes in consequence to your decisions are the things you need to progress adequately.
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Also my childhood best friend is home and it is wonderful!