Sunday, September 2, 2012

Something for Sunday

I'm always amazed at the ability of the Holy Ghost to teach me, even when I'm busy trying to keep my children from eating crayons, shouting at each other down the pew and wailing for a bottle in the middle of the Sacrament.  These teaching moments are just that--moments--and can be easily missed.  I know that I don't often enough find myself in a place to recognize these teachings, but I'm always so grateful when I do.  Today's little nugget came when one of the young men in our ward shared his testimony through Alma 37:37, which reads:

Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

As he read the scripture, my mind stopped on the phrase, "and he will direct thee for good."  What the Spirit taught me in that moment was that the promise was not that the Lord will show us the right answer--the Lord is not interested in spoon feeding us, nor is there always one right answer--but that he will direct us for good.
We're here on the earth to make our own decisions, and we do so based on our own intelligence, study, and life experiences. Sometimes those decisions are between a good choice and a bad one, and those are the ones the Lord is very interested in directing us in.  The Lord beckons us to counsel with him so that we will continue progressing on the right path. I think that sometimes when we feel our prayers are left unanswered, it's because the decision we're seeking counsel in is between two or more good things, and as much as the Lord loves us, there's no need for him to step in and direct--we're already pointed toward the good, and that is what he is most interested in.  That's not to say that asking the Lord for help in choosing between two good things is frivolous or that it's unnecessary, because we're commanded to counsel with the Lord in all our doings. (I think the reason for that is twofold. One, because we can't always discern between the good and the bad, especially when emotions are involved in decision-making, and two, we need to be in the habit of always seeking the source of all truth.)  But when searching for answers, or for confirmation about a conclusion we've drawn, we must realize that the Lord's silence does not constitute abandonment.  His direction comes when there is the threat of straying from the good.What a beautiful principle!
And what a tender mercy the Lord showed me in the middle of a chaotic meeting, where for a fleeting moment, the heavens opened and the Spirit taught.

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