I needed to communicate. Really, there was no getting around it. And I needed to communicate with my God, who was my New Parent, about my kids, my life, and things I couldn’t talk about with anyone else. I decided to start writing letters to him. I would figuratively send my letter out and then forget to check the mailbox. I would even forget that I even sent the letter…until I ended up in major conflict and wrote another letter much like the first.
Checking the Mailbox
Checking the mailbox is like this game I once played with my primary class. I showed the class a gift-wrapped box and explained that we were going to send a child out of the room and then hide this desirable item. When the child left, we hid the gift and I told the rest of the children that our job was to be her guide to help her find it. I invited her back into the room and instructed her to find the gift. When she got closer to the location we had hidden it, the rest of the class and I tapped our fingers on our chairs. The closer she came, the louder and faster we tapped until she found it.
After I learned that I needed to be searching for a response to my letter, I realized the responses were coming and they always had been. It was just me who didn’t know how to receive them.
As communication improved, my letters and their responses transferred to emails. My ability to identify his response increased in speed.
Finally, communication became very rapid much like text messaging. As I was writing the question in my journal, the answer would begin to come. I didn’t know the answer before I wrote the question. Sometimes these answers would come in the form of songs I had heard, stories I had read, verses of scripture, or the words others had written in books or that I had heard spoken.
More on the Concept of a New Parent
In past posts, I’ve spoken of my need for a New Parent. Because there have been many who have written down or spoken of the parenting structure they have found works the best, I have been able to be specifically retrained. Dr. Glenn I. Latham, Stephen R. Covey, Grant Von Harrison, and Dean Hughes are three of those people who have influenced me like fathers.
There are specific fathers and there are more general fathers. The specific fathers I choose to listen to are those whose words are attended by a specific feeling that I have come to know as my General Father’s signature (John 10:27). In this way, I choose to be parented by my General Father and no one else.
I have noted in my blog post Responsibility and Choice that, “While we want the state of happiness, we don’t want the secrets of obtaining it just handed to us. We want to figure it out on our own. I think we’re okay with clues but we are intelligent beings that love solving a good mystery. We love progressing through a story. We don’t want to hear the ending until the end. And we can’t really feel the joy of the solution unless we’ve had to wait for it, solve it, sacrifice for it.”
I believe that my General Father knows this about me. That’s why he hangs back to a certain degree. He wants me to answer the question myself having studied all the facts. So he interacts with me via clues; the clues in themselves become my facts. When people act as specific parents, their actions and words are like clues. I can sense the figurative taps in my heart or lack of them. The energy I feel there is not under my control except my controlling my thoughts. If I think a thought or consider someone else’s, I can sense his opinion of it. He gives his opinion because of the letter I sent him requesting his response.
So that means if I read a book and a story is told in it that applies to my own situation, I can feel it. If I listen to a song and the words in it strike deep within my heart, I know my General Father is responding to my letter. If I’m reading someone’s ideas on how to be a good parent and I feel a sense of peace or even excitement wash over me, I know I’m being answered.
That feeling cannot be mocked. People have tried but it always comes out flat or sharp. The real feeling is the most powerful, the most beautiful, and the most lasting feeling I have ever experienced. I know it. I love it. I am allegiant to it. He has won me hands down.
We know that drugs and alcohol numb the senses. But I have found that when I turn to substances that are imbalanced to even lesser degrees for my peace and energy, my ability to sense my General Father’s texts decreases. Occasional fasting has enabled me to regain sensitivity for a period of time. Since I desire a more continuous presence, I strive to fast on a more continuous basis from anything that disrupts the level of communication I desire to maintain.
Read: Revelation and Inspiration by Elder Richard G. Scott
Structure: General vs. Specific
Before I started writing my prayers, I could only plead for general help. “Please help me.” I had no idea what I needed. I only knew I didn’t like where I was at and somehow needed things to get better.
I’m sure I heard the directions from many different sources that I needed to get more specific—identify what I needed that would actually help me. But the proton torpedo that finally penetrated my shields and caused a chain reaction of amazing events in my life was Grant Von Harrison’s “Drawing On The Powers Of Heaven” that my mom sent me.
Proton Torpedo #1: Identify my Specific Desires
“When a person chooses not to use his free will in directing his thoughts, he leaves the dimensions of the mind that control his desires wide open to suggestion….So you have the choice of deliberately directing your thinking, or allowing other forces to dictate your desires and attitudes” (pg. 17).
Proton Torpedo #2: Identify the Processes within my control to obtain my Desires and resolve my Conflicts
“The powers of heaven are governed by spiritual laws; their receipt is always predicated upon obedience to law. When you understand and learn to comply with these laws, you will be able to consistently call upon the powers of heaven to assist you in your endeavors. The scriptures tell us very clearly that we must be obedient to specific laws in order to receive blessings from God (D&C 130:20-21).”
Proton Torpedo #3: Communicate my Specific Desires and Commitments to my General Father
“In order to draw on the powers of heaven, you must systematically decide what you want the Lord to help you accomplish. It is impossible to exercise faith in the powers of heaven at your disposal without having a very specific end in mind. The most serious failing on [our part] with respect to faith as a principle of power is [our] failure to make specific decisions regarding things [we] want the Lord to assist [us] with (Mormon 9:21).
A good friend of mine, Camhi Lane, wrote the following about how it does take effort to establish this communication relationship with our General Father:
“Work begs structure. There is a scheduled time and a place for work and there must also be a scheduled time and place for prayer. Try making an appointment with the Lord. Show up to that appointment. Don’t be late. Don’t be underdressed. The Lord will be there on time and ready and so should you. Are you going for a walk with the Lord? Good. Tell Him when and where to meet you. Would you like a standing appointment on Sundays at 8 pm? Great. Be there, and be ready to take notes because if you ask the Lord to show up, He will.”
Just as I need to have a time and place for Kid Report, I also need to have a time and place for my own Report. I’ve needed to take the relationship seriously because I have wanted him to seriously help me. Keeping these appointments is the core level of my commitment.
At the beginning of this journey—developing this communication relationship with my General Father–I really wanted my desires badly. My life, and my situation, had come to the point where I was motivated to do all I could to obtain them. But at the same time, I would not, could not deviate into using greater imbalanced methods to obtain. Sink or swim. The course that I was on needed to be corrected. I made the course corrections—kept my commitments continuously (and usually not perfectly). Snail mail developed into text messaging. Within 6 months, my life changed forever, the boredom I was experiencing leaving me, excitement moving into a predominant position, happiness, and “how-can-it-be-so-beautiful” experiences one after another.
Yes, there are refiner’s fires, hard times, things I would prefer not to have to go through. This is definitely not Candy Land. But overall has been a steady progression towards the best place I have EVER been in.