Tuesday, February 28, 2012

seeking understanding and light

Lately I have been pondering and studying an aspect of my religion that I have not quite "come to grips with."  I remember having a similar experience while on my mission when I wanted to understand the doctrine of polygamy... no, I desperately needed to understand it.  It drove me to my knees, more than once.  I read stories of my ancestors, of women in my own family, who were married to men with other wives.  I grew up learning gospel principles; increased in learning through seminary, institute, and religion classes prior to my mission; and, as a missionary, I felt the Spirit often as I taught gospel principles, preached of Jesus Christ, loved all those I came into contact with, and testified of the things I knew were true.  But, I could not ignore the nagging feeling, the unrest that I felt about that part of the Church's history.  It led me to sincere contemplation and diligence in seeking for an answer.  Ultimately, I received a strong and reassuring feeling as I read the scriptures one day; I suddenly knew, that Heavenly Father was aware of my concern and that He wanted me to know and feel that it was "all right."  I remember weeping and being grateful for the simple, sweet, and powerful impression that brought immediate peace to my agitated soul. 

Recently, a similar nagging has caused me to ponder and study, but this time it has lasted for much longer and the answer has not come as easily.  Along the way, I have felt little answers, assurances, but often these came after arriving at my own rational explanations.  But, I now feel strongly that I need to receive an answer, similar to the kind I needed while on my mission.

Joseph Smith taught, "Thy mind... must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity--thou must commune with God... He shall give unto you knowledge by His Holy Spirit, yea by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost." (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 267-68).

I am grateful for this truth.  I know we can receive answers to our prayers, answers that will calm desperation and give light and peace to our minds and hearts.  I know that we can receive knowledge by the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Really, I cannot express how grateful I am for opportunities to seek and receive understanding of things that I cannot understand on my own.

1 comment:

amanda nay said...

Wow, I never knew this, Liz! Why didn't you ever mention it to me? I had a similar experience on my mission I had to work through, and actually it spurred a "sister missionary conference" when I expressed my concerns to my mission president. I hope you can find answers to whatever you are seeking.