I am doing a magazine spread for the Ensign. My audience is for anyone reading who may have need for encouragement during a time, or who may struggle with hearing the voice of the Lord. I wrote about an experience that I had several years ago, that I think about when I begin doubting myself. I have a quote from Elder Rasband that I will be using as a subsection as well.
Story: Drawing Upon a Special Experience
Despite being a member of the Church for more than a decade, at times I still struggle with understanding personal revelation and promptings. During these times, I like to think about an experience that helps me to feel confident that I can hear the voice of the Lord.
Several years ago I attended a fireside at my bishop’s home. Ward members were gathered outside on a warm evening, enjoying snacks and listening to the wisdom of our bishop and his wife. I honestly can’t remember all that was said. However, I will never forget the moment our bishop asked us to think of someone that we admire—someone that we look up to and want to be like.
Immediately into my mind came the image of an amazing sister from my ward. She was a true spiritual giant, and her devotion to building the kingdom of God on earth and her sweet, quiet demeanor were inspiring to me.
While I greatly admired this woman, the interesting thing was that I didn’t think of her. Her image simply came into my mind. Additionally, the thought came into my mind that I should write her a letter and tell her how amazing she is.
Instinctually, I reined myself in. Whoa! I thought. Don’t be weird. She’ll think you’re dumb. She knows how awesome she is; she doesn’t need you to tell her.
Later at home, I told my husband about receiving the image and the thought. I told him I thought it was a prompting, but I was beginning to have doubts. What if it all just came from inside me and I wrote her this letter and I looked like a total idiot?
My husband pointed out that this woman really was so awesome that she would not think I was an idiot. He also paraphrased Moroni 7:13 which says: “But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore everything that enviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve Him, is inspired by God.”
With this comfort, I chose to step into the darkness of the fear of potential social embarrassment. I wrote this sweet sister a brief letter. I spoke of my admiration for her as a mother and as a leader within the Church. I told her of my appreciation of her example and my desire to cultivate the attributes she possessed. Gathering my courage, I mailed it.
A week or two later I was in the foyer at church and was approached by this sister’s husband. He thanked me for the letter I sent to his wife, and told me that she really needed to hear those things. He said he’d been trying to reassure her in her feelings of inadequacy, but was unsuccessful because, of course, that’s just what husbands are supposed to do. With a hug, he told me that my letter was exactly what she needed to hear.
I was so grateful for this confirmation that I had indeed received and acted upon a prompting from the Lord. I had never had an experience like this before. I had always found myself questioning and wondering, was that really from the Lord, or was that just me?
I felt so blessed by this experience, which helped me to better identify what spiritual promptings feel like. I poured out my heart in gratitude to the Lord, for allowing me to be an instrument in His hands to help uplift this sister, and also for confirming to me that it was indeed a prompting from Him.
During my times of self-doubt, I draw upon this special experience and remember that I can hear His voice.
From Elder Rasband: “Our personal journey through life provides us with many special experiences that become building blocks of faith and testimony. These experiences come to us in vastly different ways and at unpredictable times. They can be powerful spiritual events or small enlightening moments…In these days of worldly intrusions into our lives, when trials and difficulties may seem to engulf us, let us remember our own special spiritual experiences. These building blocks of faith will bring us conviction and reassurance of a caring, loving Father in Heaven, of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
Links to Images: