In the past few posts, I’ve been telling the story about how the Savior has been changing me from someone who had the habit of Turning and Reviling Again to someone who Stands Steadfast in Him. While my entire life has been a training period to develop this skill, the level of training began to increase in 2005. That was when I finally had had enough of the way I had been living. It was when I stopped putting my trust in man and in the arm of the flesh and started putting it more in God.
“O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.” ~2 Nephi 4:34
In the beginning of 2005 I began to write my prayers down and take my communication with Heavenly Father much more serious. I felt prompted to read a book called Drawing on the Powers of Heaven by Grant Von Harrison, which my mom had given me a few years earlier. Thanks to my mom and this author, I learned how to see my life as one goal achievement process after another. I learned how to use my prayers to work with God on each one of them. My daily prayers were official meetings with Him to which I needed to come prepared. These meetings took place in my prayer journal. I wrote my goals down and made them the topic of each of my prayers. I believed these goals were in sync with the things he wanted me to work towards. Here’s the list I wrote down in May of 2005:
- Health: Get Well
- Weight loss
- Mother: be a better mother, patient, loving, steady, wise spiritual instincts in every situation
- Writer/Teacher: finish my book, teach others what I’ve learned about nutrition and balance
- Marriage: Fall in love with my husband again
Then I wrote down all the things I promised to do on a daily basis that I knew Heavenly Father wanted me to do. These were things I had personal control over.
- Read scriptures (personal, w/husband, w/family)
- Read parenting book
- Pray (personal, w/husband, w/family)
- No yelling at kids or husband
- If I’m upset, leave the room
- Attend all meetings
- Act upon every spiritual prompting
- Make schedule, stick with it or revise in commitment meetings
- Sleep for 7-9 hours
These things became my commitments–my promises to God. His promise to me was to help me obtain my goals.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” ~Matthew 7:7
“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, blessed art thou for what thou hast done; for thou hast inquired of me, and behold, as often as thou hast inquired thou hast received instruction of my Spirit. If it had not been so, thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time.” ~D&C 6:14
Each day I would report on the commitments I kept. I would then write about the conflicts that came up in trying to keep them. I had questions about these conflicts so I wrote them down. In response, a scripture would come to my mind. Sometimes it was a song I knew or a story I had previously read. I realized he was answering me! And the method by which he was answering me was bringing things that I had read, heard, or seen in the past into my mind. So it was a good thing I had spent years reading the scriptures. He had a large volume of stories and key verses to choose from.
Whenever we repeat any process we become more efficient at it. It becomes an ability. A strength. So, in the beginning of writing down my prayers, it took a little longer to receive the answers. And when they did come, it took me some time before I recognized them for what they were. More often than not he answered them through other people, their writings, teachings, conversations, and creations. As I continued this process, my faith increased incrementally. I was able to receive his answers much more quickly. In addition to the scriptures, songs, and stories, I started hearing answers straight in my thoughts–in an original idea or impression. I wrote them all down. So now he usually communicates what he’s thinking through pure meaning almost like our minds are one. Then, when I write down what he ‘thought to me’ I use my own words to describe it.
“When it is for the Lord’s purposes, He can bring anything to our remembrance. That should not weaken our determination to record impressions of the Spirit. Inspiration carefully recorded shows God that His communications are sacred to us. Recording will also enhance our ability to recall revelation.” ~Elder Richard G. Scott
I began each prayer with, “Dear Heavenly Father…” and then continued with the rest of the prayer. In time I became more organized. We had an agenda for each meeting and it was important for me to stick to it as much as possible.
I formed a new relationship with God, a closer one. It was more personal than it had been before. It was like he was committing to accept me into his family as one of his children. He would play the father role to me and I would play the child role even though I was almost 36 years old and married with 4 kids.
He is there for all of us no matter how old we are. He is our Redeemer. That means that he can make us whole even if other relationships have left us feeling alone, unable, and worthless. He will be our Father, our Friend, our Family.
“And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters;” ~Mosiah 27:25
Read more on this topic:
I Learned to Communicate with God
When You Say Nothing At All by Alison Krauss
Born Again by Newsboys