Our Heavenly Father loves us and wants to bless us. He is eager to help us succeed and prove ourselves during our mortal journey. He desires that we qualify to return to live with Him. He has provided a way—a plan—that we all approved of so enthusiastically that we “shouted for joy” (Job 38:7). Do you remember?
Guided by a Personal Liahona
Heavenly Father has given all faithful, baptized members a gift—a personal Liahona—to guide us over the hills, through the woods, ford the rivers, and scale the mountains of mortality. Of course, I am speaking of the gift of the Holy Ghost.
There are other spiritual gifts available to us, and the Lord has encouraged us, “seek ye earnestly the best gifts” (Doctrine and Covenants 46:8). If we sincerely search, we may find those uniquely suited to help us hone spiritual and temporal skills so that we can be better leaders in our homes, serve our fellowmen in kind and loving ways, and magnify our callings. Helping others with their struggles and challenges also helps us become Christlike.
Developing Personal Gifts
One of the daily practices that has helped me build and maintain a closer, personal relationship with my Heavenly Father has been keeping a journal. I make time in the evening to ponder my day and identify instances of divine direction—impressions. Taking the time to record and reflect on my actions and thoughts has helped me to recognize God’s hand in my life.
Heavenly Father really does know who I am and cares about my trials and struggles. Sometimes it may seem minor. On occasion, I have been prompted not to make a sarcastic comment, sparing hurt feelings or avoiding disagreements. At other times, it may include insights that have helped me complete a task or solve a problem. There have been many. Let me share one.
Developing a “Break With” Gift
I had been wrestling with a serious business problem. My “due diligence” had included discussing the challenge with experts, seeking insights from associates, studying how others had dealt with similar issues, fasting, scripture study, praying, and going to the temple.
Several impressions came into my mind during this process. They helped me create systems that provided relevant, focused, and timely feedback to key people within my organization. Their performance could now be measured and reported, allowing them to manage themselves more cost effectively. It was such a stunning “break with” revelation that it set us on a cooperative path of success that our customers and our own team could hardly believe.
The sweetest moments occurred when I thought back on my day and realized that an act of service or kindness had touched a heart, lightened a load, and sent a message of love and caring.
I really felt like I was there representing the Savior and doing what He would have done. I thought to myself, “the Lord was able to use me to bless another.” And I was humbled.
Christ Calls and Qualifies
As I studied the Doctrine and Covenants 47 “Ideas for Personal Scripture Study” in the May 3-9, 2021 Come, Follow Me lesson, I wrote down some impressions. John Whitmer was reluctant to become the Church Historian and Recorder and wrote, “I would rather not do it but observed that the will of the Lord be done, and if he desires it, I desire that he would manifest it through Joseph the Seer” (“Heading,” Doctrine and Covenants 47).
After I read John Whitmer’s words, I thought about President Thomas S. Monson’s oft repeated assurance, “Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies” (“Duty Calls,” Ensign, May 1996).
I remember once extending a call to a humble brother who replied, “I’m not sure I can do this.”
I replied, “I wasn’t sure either, but I know the Lord inspired us to pick you, so if He believes you can, I have faith that He will help you succeed.” Then I counselled: “Please pray about this calling and get a testimony that it is from your Father in Heaven. You may have some challenges working with these boys, and you might even want to quit. Your testimony will give you the roots to hang on and persist against the winds of adversity when they blow. Your testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel can be no stronger than the testimony you have of the divinity of your own calling.”
That meek individual accepted and served faithfully for many years, blessing his own life and the lives of the young men he led.
Sustained by God’s Laws
I have also felt prompted on occasion to remind people I have called, “Remember, you don’t have the authority to call yourself to this position. It’s from the Lord. You also don’t have the authority to release yourself. He will let us know when it’s time for you to receive a new calling.” And I would add, “If your circumstances like work or family commitments change, and it becomes difficult for you, let your organization president know. Have faith that he/she will prayerfully consider your needs and either help you figure out a way to continue serving or suggest to the bishopric that you be released.”
We are blessed as we recognize the truth and goodness in others, especially those not of our faith. We need to remember that as people are faithful to truths their church teaches, they will be blessed. In Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21 God states: “There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven … And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” When someone is obedient to one of Heavenly Father’s laws, God is obligated to bless that person.
See the World with Christlike Love
Since the restored gospel includes all the laws, commandments, and ordinances necessary for exaltation, we have many more opportunities to obey and receive blessings. We invite people to come and partake of the fullness of the gospel, through our examples of Christlike love and acceptance of others. Edgar A. Guest’s adage, “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day” is true (“Sermons We See,” YourDailyPoem.com).
Let people see the light that shines in our faces as we keep the commandments, repenting quickly when we err, so that the Holy Ghost really will be our constant companion. Responding quickly to promptings brings blessings and improves our “hearing”—our sensitivity to the still, small voice.
I regularly thank the Lord for His patience with me as I learn to keep His commandments and earnestly seek God’s promised best gifts.