problems

Impromptu company is often the best. No fanfare expected. An unembellished meal  complimented with good company can turn out to be the highlight of the week. Yesterday Elder Nathan Sparks and Elder Kyler Webster joined us for supper.

Whenever LDS missionaries come to visit they share a message. Tickled with their unique presentation, I decided to share it with you! An accomplished photographer, I’m not, however we thought it’d be fun to include photos. This object lesson was re-enacted just for you!

Elder Webster and Elder Sparks

 

 

Elder Sparks got this block of wood from his bag, set it on the table and asked my husband and me to place all 9 nails on top of the one nail.

 

 

 

None of the nails were allowed to touch the block of wood. I wouldn’t even attempt it for more than a split second.

Each of us figured only one nail would fit on top of it.

It certainly seemed an impossible task. (Apparently, when they present this challenge, some people will work on it for at least 15 minutes!) I said, “It can’t be done!”

 

 

“You don’t have enough faith!”Elder Sparks teased.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In less than a minute, giving up, we asked, “Okay, would you show us how to do it?”

Here he Goes

 

In Less than 5 Seconds!

 

 

 

 

There They Sit-On 1 Nail!

 

 

 

 

 

Within 10 seconds Elder Sparks had placed those nails securely atop that nail! Very impressive!

Ta-da!

 

 

 

 

 

Huh!! We never would have thought of that on our own!

 

 

 

Elder Sparks explained, “This process is much like how we live our lives, sometimes; we fiddle with our problems and questions from almost every possible angle in order to solve them on our own. Through frustration and humility we find what God has known all along. We cannot do it on our own. “

He pointed out that unless we ask for help, we’ll never figure out how to do it. And he would not show us how, until we asked for help.

Elder Sparks continued, “This is just like trying to balance our lives by ourselves and expecting to be fruitful and successful, without asking for and accepting God’s counsel and guidance in our life.

“This object lesson also helps to demonstrate that we cannot even imagine the ways the Lord can help us with our life, and the miracles He can perform. Just like the balanced nails, when people seek and receive God’s counsel they proclaim “I never would have thought of that!”

“Heavenly Father will more than likely respond like a loving father would. He’ll help his frustrated child find answers to the problems that are impeding their happiness or progression. Personal revelation or guidance in life is one of the greatest gifts he can give us.”

Love our Faithful Missionaries!

If you ever meet Elder Webster, ask him about the 3 cups and 3 knives object lesson. 🙂

 

What can we do when we desire to receive personal revelation yet it does not come?

For several months I had been carrying on about being too busy. Bemoaning that I must cut something out of my week, my mind went in circles not able to figure out what that could be. I’d been praying for guidance so that my life would become balanced. For quite some time.

Afterwards I knew that I had not recognized immediately the answer that I’d been given. That answer -that I never would have thought to entertain- was to reduce my temple attendance.

You may understand why I resisted and did not receive this suggestion right away. The temple is where I get away from it all. It is quiet. There is peace. There is reverence there for the Lord and His work that I treasure. What activity can possibly have more import in life?

Very slowly the answer became apparent to me. Indeed I was greatly comforted by the Lord when He confirmed that my direction was correct. As soon as I had stated my intention to those people affected by my decision, those dear friends- some inconvenienced, expressed their delight at the change. I hope I wasn’t that much of a bear! 🙂

A huge weight lifted and I began to feel more energetic right away. This astounded me. I wondered why. I would not begin my new schedule for another two weeks, yet I felt differently.

I began to recognize that even though I was fitting the highest choice into my week that did not necessarily mean that it was the best one for me at this time. By letting go I brought balance into my life. And that has made the difference. Big lesson received.

 

 

What can we do when inspiration does not come right away?

Have you ever fasted and prayed and wondered whether you have been heard?

 

Here are some ideas:

  • We may have already been given an answer, but it is not what we expect or hope for.

If we insist on what we want, we may be closing off the Spirit’s communication. (I didn’t mean to be insisting on my own way, but that is what was happening.)

  • Be patient and continue waiting faithfully on the Lord.

We’re all familiar with this one. God does answer in His time. Practicing patience helps us grow spiritually and develop aspects of godliness.

  • Increase our efforts to be in tune spiritually

That we may be receptive and recognize when the Spirit is whispering to us.

  • Increase our efforts of scripture reading, study and prayer.

Perhaps we’ve not done this as long, or as faithfully or as honestly as we should.

  • Be more faithful in obeying the commandments

“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” Isaiah 59:2

  • Set the matter aside for awhile.

Sometimes when our minds are no longer consumed by the matter, flashes of inspiration come unexpectedly.

“Sometimes you may struggle with a problem and not get an answer. What could be wrong? It may be that you are not doing anything wrong. It may be that you have not done the right things long enough. Remember, you cannot force spiritual things. Sometimes we are confused simply because we won’t take no for an answer…

“Put difficult questions in the back of your minds and go about your lives. Ponder and pray quietly and persistently about them.

“The answer may not come as a lightning bolt. It may come as a little inspiration here and a little there, ‘line upon line, precept upon precept’

“Some answers will come from reading the scriptures, some from hearing speakers. And, occasionally, when it is important, some will come by very direct and powerful inspiration. The promptings will be clear and unmistakable” Boyd K. Packer

I am deeply grateful for many experiences that prove that Heavenly Father is mindful of me. And I know that is true for you. You are not alone or forgotten-ever. He is perfectly mindful of you at all times.

You may have other ideas. We’d be glad to read your comment.