Monday, April 13, 2009

The Lord Speaks

As expected, here is my semi-annual General Conference report of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This conference was as great as every other conference I've listened to. Elder Holland's talk was beautiful and the General Priesthood session was filled with great council. I wanted to write about Elder Hales' talk though, if only because it was the first one I have re-read since conference ended, and because it was very wise council for our times. (Elder Robert D. Hales, Becoming Provident Providers: Temporally and Spiritually, General Conference April 2009)

My wife and I had been exploring a job opportunity that had some great upsides, but just as many downsides. It seemed like there was no clear answer - at least to me, because I really wanted to accept it. After Elder Hales' talk, I knew that we needed to sit down and read it together and that the answer to our situation would be apparent.

We finally made the time to do so, and within the first couple of paragraphs I had my answer. We finished reading the talk and we both knew what we should do. I had the impression that if I took this job, we'd be so caught up in trying to make ends meet that the good habits we are trying to establish would begin to slip. I knew that we needed to be better prepared spiritually and temporally before we took such a step.

The impression was so real that I thought I had read those words in the talk itself. After I told my wife my thoughts, I tried to find the section of the talk I thought it came from. I could not find those words. I was a little surprised by this and was so sure that I had read something about losing spiritual strength by incurring debt that I read the talk again. After a little searching, I finally found the sentence that must have triggered the thought. Speaking of debt and addiction, Elder Hales said, "All of these excesses affect us individually and undermine our family relationships."

After I read that sentence it was like someone said to me, "If you take this job, you will not be the husband and father you need to be." Although those words were not in Elder Hales' talk, I know where they came from: the Lord speaks to us when we open our hearts to the prompting of the Holy Ghost and are willing to submit our will to His.

When we sit down to study, pray, or listen to a church talk or lesson with the intent and expectation to learn and hear the Lord's voice, and obey it, He will always speak to us (in His own time and way of course). I just read this quote from President Hinckley that affirms this conviction; "Call upon the Lord. He has extended the invitation, and He will answer” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [1997], 469).

I know that to be true. The Lord lives and He speaks to us. We just have to wait patiently and listen. I am anxious to go through the other talks and hear what the Lord wants me to know and do.


Sally said...

Very awesome experience. There is nothing like recognizing the Lord's voice in our lives. I am sad that you aren't coming to Utah but I know if it's meant to be it will work out. Conference was so great! I always feel sad when it's over.

Autumn said...

I am so grateful for a husband who listens to promptings that lead and guide our family. I know we will be blessed because of your willingness to lead us the way Heavenly Father wants you to. I love you.