This week was absolutely amazing! I want to start with an experience that actually happened in high school but was the start of an incredible learning opportunity.
I was a Senior, college applications were submitted, acceptance letters received, and it was time to make a decision. I had it down to my final two schools–University of Washington and University of Utah. The pros and cons lists were rather long, as much personal research had been done. I had been taught by my parents to counsel with the Lord over big decisions like this. So, I took the question to the temple to do some pondering.
I had read the classic scripture of D&C 9:8-9
8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
9 But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.
Alright Heavenly Father, I studied it out, now tell me which one I was supposed to go to…Nothing.
Did He not want to give me revelation?
Someone I loved very much told me, “Sometimes God doesn’t give you an answer because He trusts you to choose. However, He is for sure not going to let you go too far if you made the wrong choice.”
Well, I decided the University of Washington was for me. Little did I know, God still had different plans.
A week later I was sitting in my Chinese class, and I got the feeling to call University of Washington admissions office. Without really knowing why, I did it. Before I realized it, I found myself asking about their policy for me to take academic leave and serve a mission. Their answer was no.
So I chose the University of Utah, loved every minute of it, and now I’m here IN Taiwan (fancy enough–speaking Chinese…“coincidence, I think not” haha)
God definitely guided those footsteps, but He also gives us the room to exercise our agency.
Now back to this week, and hopefully you will see how these two stories connect.
Zeng JM is incredible. She was a miracle that called us back up almost two weeks ago.
When she was younger, she was baptized into a different Christian church, so she couldn’t quite wrap her head around why she would need to be baptized again. We tried many ways of explaining to to her, and it just wouldn’t click. So we challenged her to pray every day and ask God if she should be baptized. Every time we asked her she said she didn’t know because she still wasn’t feeling anything.
Well, on Saturday she came with us to watch a cute 8-year-old from our Ward get baptized. After the baptism we were reading in the Book of Mormon about the proper way of baptism. She then asked the question every missionary wants to hear, “When can I get baptized?”
“July 20 or the 27, you choose,” I said.
“The 27th sounds like a great day!” (but she still sounded hesitant)
In her closing prayer, she told Heavenly Father she was going to get baptized and it was going to be on July 27th and that she just wanted to know if that was the right day.
She looked up and says one word — “Peace”
Elder Bruce R. McConkie said, “There’s a fine balance between agency and inspiration. We’re expected to do everything in our power that we can, and then to seek an answer from the Lord, a confirming seal that we’ve reached the right conclusion; and sometimes, happily, in addition, we get added truths and knowledge that we hadn’t even supposed.”
Zeng JM has received that confirming seal. The Holy Ghost helped her to know that she has made the correct decision.
So why didn’t God answer her first prayers of wanting to know if she should even be baptized?
I don’t know everything, but I think God trusted her, and He wasn’t going to let her get too far down the wrong path.
I’m very grateful to be a guiding hand in Zeng JM process of understanding God’s plan for her. It has definitely been on the Lord’s timetable, and I have been extremely grateful for the guidance of the Holy Ghost.
I want to share one more quote with y’all in relation to what I’ve been talking about.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks said, “[A person may have] a strong desire to be led by the Spirit of the Lord but … unwisely extends that desire to the point of wanting to be led in all things. A desire to be led by the Lord is a strength, but it needs to be accompanied by an understanding that our Heavenly Father leaves many decisions for our personal choices. Personal decision making is one of the sources of the growth we are meant to experience in mortality. Persons who try to shift all decision making to the Lord and plead for revelation in every choice will soon find circumstances in which they pray for guidance and don’t receive it. For example, this is likely to occur in those numerous circumstances in which the choices are trivial or either choice is acceptable.
We should study things out in our minds, using the reasoning powers our Creator has placed within us. Then we should pray for guidance and act upon it if we receive it. If we do not receive guidance, we should act upon our best judgment.”
God trusts you. He loves you. He is willing to guide you. He gave you your agency for a reason. Trust Him and His plan, be a good boy or girl, keep the commandments, and you won’t have to worry about whether or not He is guiding you. If you are worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost, God is always by your side.
I hope you all have a great week!
I love you all so so so much!!!
“preparation day at the beach”