To be tested
What does it mean to weary him with our petitions?
Class member: I think it means we don’t give up. So many times we aren’t willing to work for it. Sometimes the Lord waits to see if we are willing to work for it. I think it’s helping us develop patience.
Class member: I think it also has to do with turning your life over to the Lord.
Class member: Is it to take it away or is it strengthen us or what we should learn from it?
If they are tenacious about it and they are working for it and showing us they are responsible.
To weary the Lord with our petition…is to stay focused on what we want and that we are praying the right way.
Class member: It’s turning to him in gratitude as well. When you are thankful and they are working for it you are more willing to work with them and help them.
As they use this word ‘weary me’ it means ‘continue on’.
D&C 9:7 “Behold ye have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.”
Class member: So we care.
Do they appreciate it if they just given it?
Class member: Whenever you work for something you feel more appreciative towards that. You feel better about yourself when you get through it.
Class member: When I was going through hard things those were the times when I can’t refute the times I received answers and saw the Lord’s hands. It’s a spiritual strength we gain through those trials.
I feel very strongly (personal opinion)…I feel like the church is pulling away from all of it’s in depth counsel to us. You go from the missionaries teaching with the flip chart and memorized discussions and Preach My Gospel. When you go from Sunday School lessons to “Come Follow Me” you prepare yourself. The church is pulling back from the ‘being commanded in all things.” The Lord doesn’t want robots and puppets.
We have been taught when we need an answer we just pray. Is that true? Eventually.
Class member: We don’t want to scare children from the way life is.
We are taught it is really easy or we get over on the other side and say “It’s so hard.” The truth is that it’s both of those things. Prayer is both of those things. We rarely teach that prayer is hard work. Sometimes the Lord allows hard times so we are desperate enough to work hard at prayer. Think about your prayer last night. Did you have a prayer this morning? Think about how the environment and the thought in your head go on when you pray. We take prayer a little to casually in our prayers.
Don’t diet just write down everything you eat. Be aware of how you pray. Do you stay focused? What are you praying for? What are your prayers like? Does it matter how long they are? No. Length doesn’t determine how efficient they are.
One key to receiving personal revelation is prayer.
“When man begins to hunger, when arms begin to reach, when knees begin to bend and voices begin to articulate, then and not until then, does the Lord make himself known. He pushes back the horizons, He breaks the curtain above us, and He makes it possible for us to come out of dim, uncertain stumbling into the sureness of the eternal light.” (Spencer W. Kimball, Teachings, pp 453-40)
He will be there, but he expects us to hunger, reach, bend, articulate…usually we are thinking of the big things in the crisis. This needs to be in daily prayer. One way to reach that point is to learn to prepare for receiving revelation.
Do you remember the story when Jesus was teaching on the mountain side he told his disciples to get in a boat and sail across the sea of Galilee and they got in the boat and he would meet them. They were planning on meeting the Savior. During that time he goes to the mountain top to have those rare moments when he could just be alone with his father and prayer. A huge storm comes up. Do you think the Savior was aware of that storm? What is going on in the sea? The disciples are scared. These great fisherman fear that they are going to die. Do you think they were prayer? Do you think they were calling out? Absolutely. They were terrified. When did the Savior come walking on the water? It was the beginning of the 4th watch. 3-6am is the 4th watch. The Lord let them struggle in that storm until at least 3am then he came. He let them struggle.
What does this say about us? The Lord is a God of the 4th watch. He leaves us to work out some of the problem ourselves before he comes or he gives answers. Does that mean he is not mindful of the storm? No. He also wants us to grow and be mindful ‘in the peace’ just like ‘in the storm’.
Sometimes we don’t know how to ask. Sometimes we are praying a prayer the Lord can’t answer. We are praying a to do list to the lord.
January 1993 Ensign “Unlocking Heaven”
“One day, my husband and I prayed, as we had every day since Carol’s handicap was discovered: “Please make our little girl well and whole and normal.” Her life was so unhappy and fraught with so many difficulties. Oh, how we wanted her to be made well. And so with all our hearts we prayed for her to be healed.
But that day, when the children were at school and I was at the kitchen sink washing the dishes, I had a profound experience. On that quiet morning, the Holy Ghost taught me that I had been praying for too much in too general a way for Carol. What had I been praying for? I remembered: “Please make Carol well and whole and normal.” A big, general request. I felt prompted to pray instead for something small and specific. So I prayed that today when Carol came home from school and called Jill, she would remember to say, “That’s okay, Jill. Maybe another time.”
A few hours later the children came home, and with all five children there, the usual after-school pandemonium was in full swing. But amid the noise I heard Carol call Jill and say, “Hi Jill. This is Carol. Can I come over and play?” Then a pause while Jill said no. Then Carol said softly, “That’s okay, Jill. Maybe another time.”
We forget to use ‘thy will be done’ in our prayers.
Class member: When I was growing up my brother was very sick. He had cancer. He wasn’t getting better. Our bishop said, I think you guys are praying for the wrong thing. We had to turn our will over to the Lord and allow him to pass away. Sometimes we have to realize that it’s the will of the Lord.
The answer to the prayer was not that she was healed, but that she create a friend. As she broke it down into something small and specific she could see the Lord’s hand in answering that prayer.
In faith we need to add ‘thy will be done’. 2nd part is ‘Heavenly Father will you do this and this and this.’ Ask what do I need to do?
Class member: Talk to Heavenly Father like a friend. Talk to him like you want to work.
Work towards doing my part.
“The Spirit does not get our attention by shouting or shaking us with a heavy hand. Rather it whispers. It caresses so gently that if we are preoccupied we may not feel it at all…Occasionally it will press just firmly enough for us to pay heed. But most of the time, if we do not heed the gentle feeling, the Spirit will withdraw and wait until we come seeking and listening…..” (President Boyd K. Packer, “The Candle of the Lord,’ Ensign January 1983, pg 53)
What prepares you then to go to that prayer prepared to receive revelation?
Class member: When you prayer to talk to someone. We don’t just hang up, we wait for an answer. You need to take extra time to listen. Throughout the day you need to plead in your heart throughout the day when you are ready you will ‘get it.’
Why do you think the Lord commands us to pray at least 8-9 times per day for the basics? To bring us back to the Lord. Our thoughts need to come back to him. It’s an opportunity for us to keep him as a companion.
Class member: I have a hard time remembering to pray for something specific. I write down my prayers and write down the inspiration I receive.
Don’t forget that’s what you wanted. If that’s what you really wanted then ‘weary me’.
How do we create a heart that can hear a whisper? Is it possible? It’s not only possible it’s essential.
Daily scripture study. It doesn’t have to be prolonged. Daily you need to get into the scriptures. That opens the door to your heart. Then meaningful prayer. You are preparing the ground so I’m ready and listening.
Class member: A couple of conferences ago there was a talk…she said we read our scriptures is just to open the door to the spirit and say I want the spirit.
It’s an invitation. Most times when we read the scriptures we don’t have those ‘WOW’ moments.
Class member: With reading your scriptures it’s showing Heavenly Father that you are doing some work. You are putting in a little effort for something spiritual.
Then it’s not his job list you are doing your part to. You are willing to learn.
Class member: I was just reading the scriptures with my 5 year old. We just did it because I was supposed to. I was just married in July. I was asking to be happy. My ex-husband comes home and I had an immediate attraction to him. I got this feeling I was supposed to be with my ex-husband. I talked to my bishop and he said he thought I should go back to my ex-husband. My husband came to me crying and not wanting to lose us. I had a lot of confusion. I went back to the bishop and he said it really is your choice. I was mad because I wanted an answer. Then I got the thought I already gave you the answer.
Class member: I have 2 kids, but I left the church early. I got married to the wrong person for the wrong reason and got divorced. Since reading my scriptures I started going back to church. Reading has been helping me come back.
When we pray, read our scriptures, and then listen we can get answers.
The Holy Ghost will bring answers to our prayers and then it empowers us to do the answer.
How does the Lord speak to us?
Class member: I think they are different for so many. Heavenly Father knew I would not read it. He knows me. I do the dishes and get inspiration when I’m doing them.
Everyone here listens you and says “I know this and I know that” what is it that you feel, hear, know? I get a thought that I wasn’t thinking about. How many of you rationalize the thought.
Class member: I love you laid out your “Ponder Pad” at the beginning. Something just won’t settle. That is the Spirit talking.
“These delicate, refined spiritual communications are not seen with our eyes nor heard with our ears. And even though it is described as a voice, it is a voice that one feels more than one hears.” (President Boyd K. Packer, That All May Be Edified, 1982, pg 335)
I guess I have answered the Spirit enough to know and heed the Spirit. I think I know the difference now.
The way you come to know the Spirit is to act on it.
Class member: When I get feelings that are positive you should always do it anyway. One of my best friends lives in Utah I was thinking about her a ton. I started praying for her. A couple days later she texted me and told me she was pregnant and lost her baby. She said I have felt extra strength and didn’t know I was that strong.
Pg 113 (Syllabus)---Joseph Smith taught…strokes of thoughts…
Class member: I think these experiences remind me of Richard G. Scott that reminds me about writing down these experiences. You will remember them later and draw on them for strength. That is another way that you are showing the Lord you are taking them seriously.
Class member: We work with thoughts coming in our mind. I ask Heavenly Father if this is his inspiration or is it something that I can’t let go. D&C says you will have a stupor of thought..that helps me recognize and differentiate.
Neal Maxwell gave a missionary conference…how can you tell if the prompting is the Spirit or just a good idea. What difference does it make? All promptings that are good are from the Lord. Act on them. The more we do that the more we will come to know which are the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
Class member: That’s great you have a good idea where do you think it came from?
All things are spiritual…(scripture)
Elder Bednar “The Windows of Heaven” October 2013… “We often receive significant but subtle blessings that are not always what we expect and easily can be overlooked. Some of the diverse blessings we obtain as we are obedient to this commandment are significant but subtle. Such blessings can be discerned only if we are both spiritually attentive and observant.”
The Lord gives us answers line upon line. That is just a step but he’s testing me to see if I will go do. If I do I will receive a greater blessing. I have to walk the path that leads to it.
Elder Richard G. Scott said, “When we seek inspiration to help make decisions, the Lord gives gentle promptings. These require us to think, to exercise faith, to work, to struggle at times, and to act. Seldom does the whole answer to a decisively important matter or complex problem come all at once. More often, it comes a piece at a time, without the end in sight.” (“Learning to Recognize Answers to Prayers,” Ensign, November 1989, pg 32)
Class member: We moved here in January from Utah. We had a few months to prep. We were just looking to rent based on schools we were looking at for our kids. Looking for a place to live became a burden. I felt like being asked to step into that calling was hard. Heavenly Father just took it all. I can’t believe how calm I feel, but I’m not feeling this urgency to look for a place to live. 7 days before we moved we got a call that the new rental was filing bankruptcy on the house. We are in an area that the Spirit was just leading me. I felt so calm about the process. We have had so many missionary experiences. I look back and think I need to remember that. He took care of it when I took care of what I needed to do.
To live by the answers of the Lord is to give up your power and control.
Elder Bednar…Devotional @ Rick College Aug 1999 Receiving Recognizing & Responding to the Holy Ghost. “We are prompted by the HG every day to do ordinary and simple things…say our prayers every morning and night. Prompted to study the scriptures. Prompted to live a dress code. We are either progress or regressing in our ability to respond there is no neutral ground.”
If we want to receive and answer we need to be increasing our ability to answer and act on the ability of the Holy Ghost. When we get those feelings that is the prompting of the Holy Ghost to say do it. Instead of saying I need to ‘stop, go kneel down and read my scriptures right now’. Your willingness to stop and do makes you willing.
“We cannot realistically expect to recognize big promptings if we consistently fail to heed small ones. The Lord teaches line upon line….comes in small increments.”
In a talk in November 2009, Elder Richard G. Scott shared an experience that taught him how to gain spiritual guidance. He said he was sitting in a Priesthood meeting in a small Spanish Branch in Mexico City. As he sat there he began to receive personal impressions as an extension of the principles taught in the lesson. They came as answers to prolonged prayers he had been asking. As each impression came, he carefully wrote it down. After the class, he pondered each impression that he had recorded, pondered the feeling to see if he had accurately expressed them in writing. Then he studied their meaning and application in his life. After he had pondered on them, he prayed expressing to the Lord the things he had been taught by the Spirit. When a feeling of peace came, he thanked Heavenly Father for the guidance given. Then he was impressed to ask, “Was there yet more to be given?” Further impressions came, were recorded, pondered, and prayed over and again the prayer, “Is there more I should know?”
“When that last, most sacred experience was concluded, I had received some of the most precious, specific, personal direction I could hope to obtain in this life. Had I not responded to the first impressions and recorded them, I would not have received the last, most precious guidance.” (“To Acquire Spiritual Guidance” Ensign, November 20090)
The steps Elder Scott outlines are:
1. Pray for guidance
2. Always be receptive to an answer
3. Write down the impressions
4. Ponder them to see if the feeling had been expressed accurately
5. Study their meaning for personal application
6. Pray, express to the Lord what the Spirit had taught and ask if it is correct
7. Act on the inspiration
8. Pray to know if there is more
9. When further impressions come start the process over
To record and act upon impressions, shows the Lord that we value the inspiration we have received. We then can express gratitude for answering our prayers. As we apply and give thanks for inspiration we qualify for further light and knowledge.
Julie Beck said she never goes to bed at night without a pencil and paper on her nightstand. She wakes up and writes it down.
Class member: It won’t feel like a chore. You want to be close to the Lord. We are his tools. It’s day to day life. You need to listen. It is all day long. You need to have that close relationship.
You aren’t focused on it every minute, but it’s always there. You are just always in tune with it.
Class member: We remember that service is never convenient. Doing the best you can to act on those promptings.
The Lord answers prayers…
1. Yes…that thought usually comes when we are going about our day.
2. No…it’s to prevent error. You get a stupor of thought. We feel like the Lord hasn’t answered our prayers because he’s not telling us what we want to hear.
3. Sometimes he withholds and answer.
“Sometimes you may struggle with a problem and not get an answer. What could be wrong? I 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 (D&C 98:12). 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.” (President Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1979, 21)
We have to learn to be more sensitive to receive the answers. We are going to have to become more spiritually personally strong.
Uchtdorf…”doubt your doubts and not your beliefs” Story behind that…In Sweden there was a falling away in the church. It happened because there was an area authority that had never heard that Joseph Smith had wives sealed to him. It shook his testimony and he has influenced his membership and they have now shaken a lot of people.
There are people that will say things that will shake us. You can receive your own personal revelation. Men in the church are not perfect at any level, but the gospel is true and you can learn that and know if yourself. You have the right and the responsibility to know that. Our need to have personal revelation will increase. It can be yours. You can know personally daily that Jesus is the Christ. This is his kingdom. I bear testimony to that.