When Heavenly Father Speaks

Good evening, my wonderful Roses!!

I’ve been thinking a lot these past few weeks about prayer and the many different ways that Heavenly Father answers our requests for his guidance and blessings.  I know I’m not alone in the thought that we all feel there are times in our lives where we feel like God just isn’t listening, or the gates, doors, and windows to Heaven are shut.  I hate that feeling.  It’s like you’re stranded on a deserted island and no one is going to save you.  All of your problems, stress, and worries just weigh down on your shoulders and it’s like an impossible burden that you have to carry because no one will help.

So, what do we do in that situation?  It can be hard going to family, friends, or church leaders to discuss this because we feel as though we’re alone in this.  If Heavenly Father, someone who is supposed to always love and guide us, isn’t there, then how can we trust the people here on earth that we trust?

The truth is, we shouldn’t be looking to others for help.  At least, not at first.

Often times, it’s impossible for their to be open communication between us and Heavenly Father because something is blocking our path.  Usually, that comes in the form of sin, or a transgressions, that has occurred on our part.  We’ve not repented of it, and so it just sits there becoming a huge road block.  So, take care of the road block first.  Confess that sin, no matter how small or how large it is.  Truly repent and resolve to do all within your power to forever turn away from that transgression.  Also, apologize and ask forgiveness for those you may have injured in word or in deed.

Oh, wait.  You’ve done all that?  Well, then I guess we can move to the next part!  And that’s how Heavenly Father actually communicates with us, and answers our prayers.  For this part, I’ll be pulling from a talk by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  I also strongly recommend you go listen to this talk which can be found here.  It’s a truly wonderful talk and gives really good points on prayer.

Heavenly Father answers prayer in many ways, and at times we can get accustomed to one particular way, like a fire in the heart, or emptiness, or actually hearing a voice (which if that’s happened to you, good on you!).  I, personally, believe that how He speaks to his children varies and depends on what each of us need.

Sometimes, God answers a prayer with a resounding “yes.”  It makes me so happy when I know that something I’ve asked for has come to pass.  I also feel really confident in what I’m doing as well.  Like, Heavenly Father has given me the green light, so to speak, and I’m able to make the right choices accordingly.

Sometimes, God answers a prayer with a heartbreaking “no.”  Those can be the hardest for us to deal with, because we’re human and sometimes subject to feelings of entitlement and so forth.  I’m personally struggling with a prayer that was answered with a “no,” at least, I think it was “no.”  Like I said, my impressions from God are so confusing and always have been.  It’s not like I know that He answers my prayers, because He does.  I’m just confused if what I’m feeling is my own doubts, struggles, worries, and human nature, or if it really is the final answer.  We’ll see in a few years.  🙂

The thing about having a prayer answered with “no” is that it’s not because God doesn’t love us.  It’s to prevent error.  You’re not supposed to do this thing, or have that, because God knows all things and sees what would happen if such a thing were to come to pass.  So, it comes down to faith, and trust on our part. Scary thing, isn’t it?

Another way that Heavenly Father answers prayer is by withholding an answer, and that right there is, personally, the scariest thing EVER!!  That’s one of those moments where I’m like “WHAT DID I DO?”  I’m so confused, because I feel like it’s something that I’ve done that has caused another road block in communication.  But the Elder Scott’s talk goes on to say that it’s during those times where we must exercise faith and trust in God.  Make a decision, based on a willingness to act on truth, and an obedience to His commandments, and, if you’ve made the wrong choices, He’ll let you know.

The talk also mentions those times where we come to Heavenly Father where we’re conflicted between two things and we need guidance from Heavenly Father on which one we should pick or do.  This sort of scenario was a huge burden on my heart for almost two months until this talk was brought up during an Institute class.  Both of these things were not bad, in fact it was basically a choice between two very wholesome activities for an upcoming Saturday.  However, doing one over the other would have a lasting effect in the upcoming months.  I asked, for guidance, and received no answer.  That’s because not ever question has a wrong or right answer.  Elder Dallin H. Oaks said that “we have prayed about a decision, for one cause or another, we should make without guidance by revelation…No answer is likely to come to a person who seeks guidance in choosing between two alternatives that are equally acceptable to the Lord.”

It was like BOOM!  I had my answer.  I wasn’t going to receive guidance or an answer, and that was okay.  So, I did what I usually do when I have to make a choice.  I go to my pros and cons chart.  Make a list of all the good and not so good things about each thing and go from there.  I also had to act the faith that if I was doing something Heavenly Father didn’t want me to do, He would let me know.

Like I’ve said, Elder Richard G. Scott’s talk goes on to explain so much more about prayer and communication from Heavenly Father, but I’ve been really focused on these three points for a while now.  I hope that this has been a help to you, reader.  If it hasn’t, then feel free to ask questions and I’ll do my best to answer you.  If it has, I hope that you’ll feel more confident when approaching Heavenly Father in prayer and understand that He does love you, more than any of us can comprehend.

Much love,

Deanna

Advertisements

New Calling – Dee’s Dailies 9/1/2016

Alright, so it finally happened!  I’ve been given a calling at my YSA Branch.  I’ve been asked to be a Sunday School teacher and I have a strong feeling I’ll be spending most of my time in the Gospel Principles class.

There.

Now.

We can enter total freak out mode!

I have NO idea what I’m doing, so I’m just going to throw that out there right now!  I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for almost 7 years ( little over a month til my baptism anniversary!! ) and about 6 1/2 years of that has been spent in Primary.  That’s children.  Ages 3-12.  I’ve been the Pianist, a Teacher, and the Music Leader, thankfully not all at the same time.  I’m also not the most social person when it comes to new people that are around my age.  Seriously, I’ve literally freaked people out when they actually see me in my “natural habitat.”  (i.e. with my best friends or my family)

Anyway, story for another time.

It’s been really pressed upon me during the week to read Exodus 3 and 4.  You know, the part where Moses talks to God and it’s basically a “how in the world could you ask me to be the deliverer?” kind of conversation.  Because quite frankly, I can have a bit of an understanding of how Moses feels.  Let me break it down a bit.

Exodus 3:11 – “And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

Exodus 4:1 – “And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee.

Exodus 4:10 – “And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slowtongue.

Like, those statements are very much some of what I have been feeling.  I mean, I know the lessons I’ll teach aren’t about me, but I fear that my own personal insecurities and self-doubt will be a hindrance to the Spirit’s teachings.  I mean, literally,  Who am I?  I am not fluent in the scriptures and no references like so many can.  Days where I’m in classes like that are the worst for me, by the way.  There are so many other people who are, in my opinion, far better suited to be in a class like this, but at the YSA Branch, there is no Primary.  But, callings are not about where you should be. Heavenly Father I know has a plan for me and I’m supposed to teach for a reason.  Maybe I’ll figure it out before long.

Don’t get me wrong, part of me is SUPER excited to be teaching, and to be learning and to become more knowledgeable in my scriptures, and I do think that this is the perfect way for me to do just that.  I mean, if I’m in Gospel Principles, that means I’m in a class filled with investigators and new converts, which can be some of the most amazing people in the Church.  Period.

But I am very nervous.  I’m eloquent when I have the words in front of me, but to think at the drop of the hat…to dive deep into scriptures and find some hidden meaning…it’s just not how my head works.  I’m a surface learner, and maybe that can be seen as more of a weakness than a strength. But, I think, for now, I’m going to see it as a strength.  It’s served me well in Primary, and I guess it’s just not time for me to do anything about it.

Heavenly Father’s plans for us are truly something wonderful and we learn one step at a time.  Everything is built on top of what we already know.  I’ll start teaching on September 11 so let’s see how this all goes!

Much love,

Deanna

The Hand You’re Dealt

“…by keeping our blessings close and getting rid of the negative, we’ll all be much happier.”

So I’ve always said to myself (and to others) that you must play with the cards you’ve been dealt.  Like if I’ve had a bad few days/weeks/months and people ask how I’m doing and after we’ve talked about, I’ll usually say that I’m just playing with the cards I’ve been dealt.  But there’s so much more to it than that.

If you look at life like a card game, so much is done before you even play the hand that you have.  Let’s say that the Dealer is Heavenly Father.  He deals us our “cards” which can be anything that might happen in our lives…the good and the bad.  Now we have our hand but we get to decide what we keep and what we get rid of. For example, let’s say you’ve been dealt a job opportunity that will help you better yourself and help make sure your family is financially stable.  That’s definitely a “card” you would keep.  Then let’s say you’ve been dealt something that’s not so pleasant.  Perhaps you suddenly get a flat tire on the way to the meeting that would secure that promotion.

Now, you can choose to one of two things with that card.  You can keep it or you can get rid of it.  If you keep it, there are chances that a lot of bitterness, resentment, and a whole lot of negative feelings that will be attached with that card.  You could have four other cards in your hand that are full of positive rewards and filled with Heavenly Father’s blessings.  But that one card that you’ve held on to could completely ruin it because you choose to let it go.  You could also give it back to Heavenly Father for we should cast all of our burdens on the Lord.  Now, He’ll give us another card of His choosing, but it’s our actions and reactions when seeing the cards we’ve been given that help us “play our hand” or “live our lives” in accordance to God’s will.

Only after careful consideration, prayer, study, and keeping to God’s commandments can we then play with the hand we’ve been dealt.  Of course, once a hand (or round) is over, it’s time to turn all of the cards in and start a new round.  On and on the cycle goes.  It’s our choices that can either make or break this “game.”

I was dealt the wonderful card of “divorce” about a year and a half ago.  For a while, I held on to that card very tightly.  I thought I was justified in my feelings of anger and sadness towards the people surrounding that card.  (Now, I never directed any of that towards Heavenly Father because we all know what happens when we blame Him for our misfortunes.  Hint: never goes well.)  Today would have been my five year wedding anniversary.  It took time and healing to give that card back to the Lord and say “I see that this is the card that I’ve been given.  It’s affected my life and I acknowledge it.  It’s time I give it, and all of the feelings associated with it, back to You.”  It was hard and I had to fully come to terms with the reality and be at peace.  But when I did…I felt truly set free.  Today I went out and spent time with people who mattered.  I’m celebrating a new life that I’ve been given.

Over the past few weeks I’ve felt the end of one round and I can see that I’m being dealt new cards for a new phase of life.  Some cards are easy to keep and some cards can be a little too difficult to give back.  None of us are perfect.  We are all human.  But I believe by keeping our blessings close and getting rid of the negative, we’ll all be much happier.

I certainly hope that this post made sense to you.  It at least sounded right in my head.  Like I said,