These past 5 years have been a huge jump in learning for me. I’ve learned how better to study scriptures. I’ve learned how better to seek and receive revelation and inspiration from God. I’ve learned that God doesn’t speak to all of us the same way (I knew that before but it has been impressed upon me more deeply). I’ve learned how much God trusts us to take care of each other.
The trust part is a marvel to me because we mess it up so badly so often. But I wonder if he is in Heaven watching us and biting his nails and feeling like I did each time I sent my kids off to do something more responsible on their own like drive a car alone or go to the grocery store with my debit card. Even so, He continually gives us things to do. Like raise kids and take care of each other. Things that can have long lasting effects on those we are trusted to care for.
Anyway, I’m getting off track.
As we have been studying the Doctrine and Covenants this year I have been amazed at the things that the people in the early church were willing to do and to sacrifice for this new church. I have been amazed at their faith and their strength. But today i had a new thought.
Those people were following a young-ish man. He was receiving revelation and then passing it along to them. He would stand up in church and name a bunch of people and tell them they were called to leave their families and go on missions and they did it. He would say that they needed to leave their homes and move hundreds of miles and they did it.
What if I got a call from a leader in the church who said Beth, it’s time to move. You don’t have a lot of time. Just do it. Would I? I like to think I would. Would my husband go too? and what would I do if he said he didn’t want to? I know there were lots many people in the early church whose spouses didn’t join the church.
This feels a little rambly, I know. I am kind of working out my thoughts as I write.
The thing is, these people had access to the Holy Ghost. They had access to personal revelation. I don;t think they were blindly following a man that they had just met. I think they were going home and praying to know if it was really God’s will and He was telling them yes.
And here’s another thing I learned this year. The more I am in conversation with God through prayer and scripture study and even through service, the easier it is to hear His voice. I think He is always trying to talk to us and help us, we just can’t hear Him sometimes. And actually President Spencer W Kimball backs me up on that:
President Spencer W. Kimball said: “I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures the distance narrows and the spirituality returns”
Now, just one more thing. I am in no way saying that I get an immediate answer to every single question I ask. Actually some of my questions have taken years to get answers to but for things that are time sensitive I do get answers when I need them. When I don’t feel like I get an answer I always go back to what I already know and stay on that path. I think that may be what some of those early saints also did. They had gotten sure confirmation that the Book of Mormon was true scripture. They had gotten personal assurance from God that Joseph was a prophet. And then they felt confident in following him because they already knew those things.
When I was meeting with the missionaries at the age of 17 I had a real and strong confirmation that this was the church I should join. I was doing it alone. No one else in my family was going to do it. Later I knew with surety that the Book of Mormon was the word of God. Later I felt a strong witness that the President of the Church was a prophet. Now 37 years later I still feel these confirmations. When President Nelson was called to be the prophet I felt that confirming feeling from the Spirit.
So, what’s my point? You can find out for yourself. You do not have to only put your trust in a person and do what they ask just because of their position. God wants you to find out for yourself and he will surely help you to know what is the right thing.