So, during this last conference I had an interesting experience. I hadn’t felt solid strength in conference for some time, ESP not like in the pre-mission college institute days. But for some reason I decided to prepare for this conference by reviewing the last one. I put out the challenge to the Walk the Talk group and got some takers. So, each day for the last 3 weeks or so I spent reading a conference talk or two, quietly each morning in my back yard with my bare feet finding solace intertwined with the long blades of grass.
It happened slowly, almost like watching my plants grow back there. But compounded over time, it WAS noticeable…I was starting to “feel” again. I was spending time in prayer asking that my eyes would see what I wasn’t seeing on my own. I was indeed seeking for answers. Answers that I needed to help me find peace that I kept grasping for, but seemed to disappear just as smoke would when trying to hold it.
It was in this simple morning ritual that I started again to feel impressions or guidances, simple, but sure direction for myself. Some things I felt impressed to do were to remove all my books from my room, reduce the time I spent working so I could have more balance and connect with friends in meaningful and guided ways.
This little effort created in me a thirst and excitement to participate in conference this time around, similar to how I used to be. And during conference I had moment after moment where I would hear a phrase resonate clearly with something I had already been moved upon to think about, write or do during my backyard study. It felt clearly like a validation from heaven. In those many moments during conference I knew that I was being led. And not all things that I felt to do during my backyard sessions were explicitly written in the words I was studying.
Such an amazing place to be, a fragile one, one that must be protected if it’s important to me. But in the end all the thanks and praise must go to the God that gave us all life and who didn’t leave us without direction here on earth. “When our sacred doctrine & beliefs are challenged,” said Bishop Edgely, as mine has been recently, “this is our opportunity to become acquainted with God in a most private and intimate manner.”1
Similarly, Brad Wilcox says on a talk tape, “We don’t have to seek out others who are struggling so we feel justified. And we certainly don’t have to hate those that don’t struggle so that we can feel better. And we don’t have to surrender to addictions and hate ourselves, as easy as that is to do. Instead, we simply have to let faith be an anchor to our souls.”
I’m not sure why those quotes came to mind, I guess it’s just that it is so easy to give in to the voices that say what we’ve known to be true isn’t. And while it is so hard to see sometimes, the help we seek is always right there, waiting for us to seek. I KNOW all it takes is a little alone time with God to reestablish again the foundations of our faith and that our faith is what anchors & grounds us. That idea I really tried to express in basic terms in my post The Essence of Prayer.
Thanks to all my friends who give my life meaning. Thanks to family who has given me much joy and opportunity to grow. And thanks to God for his patience with my wandering and for always being there to embrace me when I return to him.
- http://new.lds.org/general-conference/sessions?lang=eng&bcpid=610705729001&bctid=623525042001 [↩]