I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow him in faith. I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor his name. I'll do what is right; I'll follow his light. His truth I will proclaim.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

Monday, September 8, 2008


Right now in my life I am going through some trials. Not a lot. Just some. And I think one reason is to help me to improve my prayers and make them more meaningful. Prayer is such a vast topic, for it is one of the parts to communicating with our Father in Heaven. When there is a need, or we have a desire, or we want to express gratitude, or we want to help others, or...so much more. When we need answers. When we need comfort. When we just need guidance. When we need inspiration. It is a powerful part of our lives and we do not get far (if any distance) without it.

So much is going on with me working through what I am now, and I feel daily growth from it. It is amazing. Today I was thinking about another time in my life when prayer played such a vital role in the direction of my life. I thought I would share just a little of that. It was during the 7-8 months that I often refer to as "My Mission Decision." I was ending my spring term at BYU. I had just the summer term and fall semester left before graduating. At the beginning of the fall semester, I was to turn 21--the age when sisters are now allowed to serve missions. Mission papers can go in 3 months before the birthday, and that is when My Mission Decision began.

It was an on-going part of my life during those months and is still a question I periodically pray over. But there were 3 very significant times when I broached the question to Heavenly Father and to which I received 3 answers. All 3 answers were the same: I was not to serve a mission. Growing up in a very mission-minded home and having planned all my life to serve one, this was and still is a very painful answer. But I have come to learn, see, and know various reasons as to why it is not a blessing in my life at this time. Another thing I learned was that though the 3 answers were the same, they came about for different reasons.

The first time was that it was a matter of what I wanted. In all honesty, I did not want to serve. By which, I mean, that I had for years hoped to finish school before serving a mission--knowing that I would turn 21 close to my graduation. I was plowing through the then-hated schooling and felt that if I took a break, I would not have the heart, desire, or will to go back. Some asked "What is one semester?" But I knew me. And Heavenly Father knew me better. And He let my first decision be all mine. That was also a time in life when I felt "a stupor of thought" most prevalently. I wrestled with decisions for 2 weeks, and was never at peace. When I finally shamefully admitted (I was, after all, from the mission-minded family) that at that time I did not want to serve, I felt instant peace. Just like the kind we read about in Church History and the scriptures. It was amazing. And something I had to hold close to as many people doubted and questioned and accused me for my decision. I felt very alone at this time, and had to trust in my relationship with my Heavenly Father and in the personal revelation He had given me. Especially when my own parents seemed "against" me.

The second time came again right after I graduated. Christmas break at home. I had just completed one of the most trying periods of my life--in all respects. The one thing (for once!) that had not affected me that semester was my (non-)dating life. But classes, church calling, roommates...there is a reason I suddenly came down with a severe case of the flu, and caught a cold a few days later before fully recovering. That cold lasted for over a month. I was a miserable wretch. That mission decision was almost a "forced" one, as again it was people in my life pressuring me to do something, especially as I was now "done with school." That had been the initial obstacle I had presented for the last 5 months, since no one would just trust me and my answer from Heavenly Father.

The answer this time came so quickly--an immediate no. As I headed back to Utah for 5 more weeks before fully moving home, I knew it was because Heavenly Father didn't want me on a mission. What kind of a servant would I be when I was so down-trodden and beaten by everything? I was in a huge hole. I had work ahead of me to get out. I would have been useless to Heavenly Father if I had left at that time. Such a revelation hurt and made me work even harder at getting out of where I had gotten, and ensuring ever since that I do what I can to never fall into such a pit again. I've stumbled since, and encountered intense darkness, too. But nothing quite like that time. I believe that ever since I struggled out of that hole, that there has been nothing wrong with me personally to prevent me from serving Heavenly Father to my fullest and ablest self, and be as profitable as He would help me be.

So, what happened the third time? This was probably the one that hurt the most and was many, many months before I had a reason. I was very willing and very ready to serve. I was even filling out the papers. And because of the previous months during this time of life, I knew more than anything else that I was receiving a no answer. It made no sense to me. And this one was even harder to hold on to as the accusations and doubtings were more acute. It was another 8 months before certain events occurred in my life and I knew that my answer had been no this time because Heavenly Father had something else in mind for me.

We don't always learn the reasons for why we receive answers. I am grateful that I was blessed to learn them. They still sustain me when I receive the judgmental looks and remarks about not having served, yet. Now as I go through trying to make important, life-changing decisions again, it is helping me to remember that at that time in my life, the answers were made based on:

1.) What I wanted
2.) What Heavenly Father wanted/needed
3.) What Heavenly Father had in mind for me

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