So, I've been asked to talk from the heart and my personal experience about my relationship with the Lord.
As I've mulled this over, I have come to the conclusion that I've experienced many phases or developmental stages in my Relationship with the Lord.
The First Whispering of the Still Small Voice
It all began with my childhood phase. Where I felt the Lord witness plainly and simply to me.
Then there was my teenage phase where I repeatedly prayed for confirmation and repeatedly got it.
The Guidance of a Patriarchial Blessing
I then had a Patriarchial Blessing phase wherein I really delved into that blessing and just about memorized it, such that when that first same sex attraction appeared later I knew that the Lord had already given me guidance on that issue. Characterized by pondering and praying.
The Resource of Institute
Then there was my Young Adult/College Student Angst phase where I sorted out all things bizarre/difficult such as Polygamy, feminism and the priesthood and who I was and returned to activity. Characterized by studying of secondary source materials (at the institute library) and some prayer.
The Sisterhood of Relief Society, a Mother's Prayers and Family Scripture Study
Then there was my young wife/young mother/resentment phase where in I realized life was not just some caricature of a happy ideal, that I too, would suffer and face difficulties. Characterized by heart rending prayer and tears, leaning heavily on my sisters in the gospel and my first really sustained effort as an adult at family scripture study. Daily appeals to the Lord on behalf of a child. The beginning of my integration into the greater body of the Church as something more than a recipient of other's acts.
The Consequences of Denial of the Holy Ghost and the Tender Mercies of the Lord
Next came my relationship with the Lord in my extremities as I failed to follow the promptings, put away my desires for the riches of the world, and do what had been revealed by the Lord to me. I suffered profound physical pain which I know could have been avoided. I came to have a deeper recognition of when the Holy Ghost was working in my life through this experience and to fully understand the consequences of not heeding the Spirit.
The Astounding Benefits of Temple Attendance and the Power of the Priesthood
After that came a period of time where I was able to attend the Temple regularly often with great difficulty. This phase culminated in my greater understanding of the Power of the Priesthood and the application of Priesthood Power in my life on behalf of my children.
In the Valley of the Shadow Wherein I Rejoiced in all the Things Past that the Lord had Done
During this time I suffered deep mental, emotional, physical and financial privations as step by step I followed extraordinary personal revelation in faith. I learned that even without an ongoing burning in my bosom, I could rely on those previous extraordinary witnesses and ordinary witnesses to carry me through a time when feeling was not so easy to come by.
Finding The Peace of the Lord through Fasting, Prayer and Scripture Study
When I first went through my huge internal turmoil regarding the Kid's coming out, Prop 8, DH and Girl Song's disaffection, and the enormous professional growth I was making,I had the opportunity to teach the scriptures at Church which necessitated deep study. This was came at a time when I had enhanced intellectual ability and an expanded ability to analyze what I read in the Schriptures. Because I was having such a hard time myself and so many members of my family were also suffering in one form or another, I decided to fast weekly. I also had the opportunity to have great personal prayer at this time on a daily basis. Finally, to this day, I'm still the primary giver of prayers in the home, although Baby Song occasionally steps in.
I learned how to love with a Christ Like love during this time and have been extremely blessed with Peace and the reduction, and finally the absence of internal conflict and a witness that the Lord is at the helm and all will be well in the end.
I Hope to Endure Valiantly
This last phase has been so amazing for me and I know that I have received exactly the kind of blessings the scriptures speak of during this last phase. I so wish that I had understood this twenty years ago, but I wasn't ready. I had to learn through not only my own adversities and failures but through the experiences of those around me as well.
I am finally at the place where I no longer fear what the Lord may send me as I know there are more things for me to learn before I leave. I expect to experience additional types of loss, disappointment, heartache, and failure. But I'm ready and I've learned to rely on the Lord and to give thanks for the opportunities and the blessings of this sweet experience here on earth.
The prodigal blogger
2 years ago