In a lot of areas of our lives recently, change has been thrust upon us and whilst we have not all been in the same boat, we have all been in the same storm-tossed waters. I at times have struggled to know exactly how to proceed, move forward, be productive, and adapt to the changes that have come in my life.
Perhaps you, like me have had opportunities in recent months to seek guidance & understanding from the Lord on different matters to navigate situations and circumstances that have been unfamiliar and unique. Perhaps you have also felt that this time has been an opportunity for refinement and sanctification, a time to become closer to our Father in Heaven, a better disciple of Christ. Consistent messages from President Nelson, the brethren of the Twelve, and organisational Presidents have encouraged us to “Hear Him” 1 to help us navigate this time. One of the most important skills we can learn & refine in this life is how we hear the voice and promptings of the Lord. Hearing, hearkening, and acting upon those promptings will provide us with the opportunity to be refined and sanctified.
In my experience I have seen that the Lord has been very willing to share his will and guidance when it comes to building his kingdom. President Nelson shared the same sentiment encouraging us to seek revelation2. I have found that revelation flows easier and quicker when I have been praying about and seeking guidance in relation to serving others, either in callings or thinking of someone else, than for my own will and circumstances.
Elder Dieter F Uchtdorf whilst serving in the 1st Presidency taught:
“Often, the answer to our prayer does not come while we’re on our knees but while we’re on our feet serving the Lord and serving those around us. Selfless acts of service and consecration refine our spirits, remove the scales from our spiritual eyes, and open the windows of heaven. By becoming the answer to someone’s prayer, we often find the answer to our own.” 3
The sanctifying power of the spirit is available to us as we seek to know how we can more effectively minister to those around us, be their family, friends, neighbours, our communities, or those in our care of stewardship through our callings. As we become more sensitive to the needs of others we become more sensitive to the Spirit this in turn helps us to answer the plea of the Hymn to be “more saviour like thee” 4. It has been my experience when we approach the Lord with a prayer regarding how we can be of assistance or blessing to another, he will readily answer that prayer. They can also come a time when the prompting to act comes without the specific preceding prayer, the simple faith to then go and do good is rewarded for both. Sister Sylvia Allred former counsellor on the General Relief Society Presidency described it so:
“The pure love of Christ is expressed as we give selfless service, helping one another is a sanctifying experience which exalts the receiver and humbles the giver.” 5
President Thomas S Monson, once said the opportunities to give of ourselves are limitless, but they are also perishable6, my prayer is that we can become trusted by the Holy Ghost to heed promptings to act and become the answer to someone else’s prayer which in turn provides a sanctifying growing experience for us.
1 See Hear Him messages on www.ChurchofJesusChrist.org/hearhim
2 Revelation to the Church, Revelation for our Lives, Russell M Nelson, April 2018 General Conference
3 Waiting on the Road to Damascus Dieter F Uchtdorf, April 2011 General Conference
4 More Holiness give me – Hymn 131 English Hymnal
5 The essence of discipleship – Silvia H. Allred, April 2011 General Conference.
6 1st Presidency Christmas Devotional – December 2008