I have always been intrigued by the biblical account of Peter walking on the water. (See Matthew 14.) Jesus Christ had just performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes, where He fed 5,000 people with only 5 loaves of bread and two fishes. The Savior had gone to a mountain to pray and instructed His disciples to meet Him on the other side of the sea. The wind became “contrary,” and they were “tossed with waves.” Then, the disciples saw a figure walking on the water toward them. They were afraid, but the Savior called out: “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” Peter replied: “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” Jesus bade him come, and Peter walked on the water.

But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately, Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? (Matthew 14:30-31)

prayer in mormonismI have often wondered how Peter, with the Savior standing in front of him, could doubt. But this week, I gained a greater understanding of how difficult it is sometimes to have faith—even with the witness of Jesus Christ’s healing power and love in front of us—during the storms of life. I am in the middle of one of those storms of life. The winds are raging and the seas are high, and I know the Savior is beckoning me to come unto Him and be healed. But now I can see how Peter, with the Savior standing in front of him, could doubt. And I can almost hear the Savior saying to me, “O ye of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes inadvertently called the Mormon Church). I have witnessed the power of the priesthood (which is the power that God gives to man to act in all things for the salvation of His children—and is the same power by which Jesus Christ performed miracles) in the healing of the sick. But still, when the doctors gave me the diagnosis that it was unlikely I’d have more children on my own, I panicked. I feared and doubted the answers I had received to my prayers. I was, like Peter, not having faith. How can we have faith in the Lord and in His will when they seem to contradict how we are feeling? How can we find peace amid the storms of life—especially when the storms are so personal and hit so close to our hearts? The Lord does provide answers—in His own time and in His own way. We just have to be willing to do our part.

The Power of Prayer

I have 4 beautiful children, and I always figured I would know when I was done. I would just know. After the birth of my 4th child, I knew I wasn’t done. When the time came to start trying for another one, I wasn’t ready. I think now I know why I wasn’t ready—because I think somewhere inside I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I just didn’t think it would be this hard. The first step in finding answers for our problems is to seek for guidance—for personal revelation. Elder Russell M. Nelson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (with the First Presidency, the governing body of The Church of Jesus Christ), taught:

Today’s technology also allows us to use wireless telephones to exchange information rapidly. … Even more amazing than modern technology is our opportunity to access information directly from heaven, without hardware, software, or monthly service fees. It is one of the most marvelous gifts the Lord has offered to mortals. It is His generous invitation to “ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

This timeless offer to provide personal revelation is extended to all of His children. It almost sounds too good to be true. But it is true! I have received and responded to that heavenly help. And I have learned that I always need to be ready to receive it. [1]

Prayer is the lifeline between us and heaven. It is the first step that we must take to put us in the position to receive revelation. Elder Robert D. Hales, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, taught:

Personal revelation is the way we know for ourselves the most important truths of our existence: the living reality of God, our Eternal Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ; the truthfulness of the restored gospel; and God’s purpose and direction for us….

You may ask, “How do we seek personal revelation?” Paul counseled the Saints to rely on the Spirit rather than the wisdom of the world. To obtain that Spirit, we begin with prayer. [2]

Elder Richard G. Scott, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, said:

Prayer is a supernal gift of our Father in Heaven to every soul. Think of it: the absolute Supreme Being, the most all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful personage, encourages you and me, as insignificant as we are, to converse with Him as our Father. Actually, because He knows how desperately we need His guidance, He commands, “Thou shalt pray vocally as well as in thy heart; yea, before the world as well as in secret, in public as well as in private.”

It matters not our circumstance, be we humble or arrogant, poor or rich, free or enslaved, learned or ignorant, loved or forsaken, we can address Him. We need no appointment. Our supplication can be brief or can occupy all the time needed. It can be an extended expression of love and gratitude or an urgent plea for help. He has created numberless cosmos and populated them with worlds, yet you and I can talk with Him personally, and He will ever answer. [3]

Times get tough for everyone—stress, finances, children, health and jobs. Life can get hard. But it’s comforting to know that our Heavenly Father is there for us—and is just a prayer away. He wants us to turn to Him, and He wants to help us. It may not be the help that we want, but it will be the help that we need. And it all begins with a simple, sincere prayer.

Finding Answers in the Scriptures

learning from scripture mormonismThe scriptures are the word of God. They are His words to His children on earth. So it should be no surprise that we should begin our quest for answers here. However, I’m still amazed at how often I ask a question or seek guidance or comfort in sincere prayer, and then open the scriptures and find the answers exactly where I am reading. Elder Hales taught:

… When we want to speak to God, we pray. And when we want Him to speak to us, we search the scriptures; for His words are spoken through His prophets. He will then teach us as we listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. If you have not heard His voice speaking to you lately, return with new eyes and new ears to the scriptures. They are our spiritual lifeline. [4]

One of my favorite stories in the scriptures is of Queen Esther. Esther was a Jewish woman, who was raised by her older cousin, Mordecai, and his wife after her parents died. She became the queen of Persia because of her beauty. Mordecai angered the chief prince in the king’s court by refusing to bow down and pay homage to him. Haman, the chief prince, tricked the king into ordering the destruction of all Jews in the land. President Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ, continued the story:

Through a servant, Mordecai sent word to Esther concerning the decree against the Jews, requesting that she go in to the king to plead for her people. Esther was at first reluctant, reminding Mordecai that it was against the law for anyone to go unbidden into the inner court of the king. Punishment by death would be the result—unless the king were to hold out his golden scepter, allowing the person to live.

Mordecai’s response to Esther’s hesitation was to the point. He replied to her thus:

“Think not … that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, … thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed.”

And then he added this searching question: “Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” [5]

This questions often crosses my mind: Who knoweth whether thou art come to the earth for such a time as this? In my life and in my trials, I wonder if there is a higher purpose. Esther’s response to Mordecai was to ask him and all the Jews he could gather to fast for three days, and she and her handmaids would do the same. She declared, “I [will] go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16). President Monson said:

Esther had gathered her courage and would stand firm and immovable for that which was right. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually prepared, Esther stood in the inner court of the king’s house. When the king saw her, he held out his golden scepter, telling her that he would grant whatever request she had. She invited the king to a feast she had arranged, and during the feast she revealed that she was a Jew. She also exposed Haman’s underhanded plot to exterminate all of the Jews in the kingdom. Esther’s plea to save herself and her people was granted.

Esther, through fasting, faith, and courage, had saved a nation. [5]

Although my battle is not one of life and death, it is still a struggle to do what I know to be right, even though the medical answers seem to point in a different direction. Esther’s courage saved a nation. But I have discovered that facing my struggle has helped me connect on a more personal level with others who are facing health challenges. I see more clearly—because I know how it feels—how hard it is to function at times while waiting for relief and answers from the medical field. And maybe that is the reason that I am here, struggling with these issues “for such a time as this.” Maybe this is one of the answers that I can find in the scriptures—and I can take courage in knowing that the Lord will be with me as He was with Esther in her time of need.

Priesthood Blessings

Another source of healing, peace and comfort during times of trial or sickness are priesthood blessings. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, said:

In a priesthood blessing a servant of the Lord exercises the priesthood, as moved upon by the Holy Ghost, to call upon the powers of heaven for the benefit of the person being blessed. …

What is the significance of a priesthood blessing? Think of a young man preparing to leave home to seek his fortune in the world. If his father gave him a compass, he might use this worldly tool to help him find his way. If his father gave him money, he could use this to give him power over worldly things. A priesthood blessing is a conferral of power over spiritual things. Though it cannot be touched or weighed, it is of great significance in helping us overcome obstacles…. [6]

I have received many priesthood blessings over the years—including right before my doctor’s appointment last week. The Spirit of the Lord was strong as my husband laid his hands upon my head and pronounced a blessing upon me. I knew everything would be OK. That’s why I felt like Peter, doubting the witness I received, in the days following my appointment. I know everything will be OK—I just don’t know exactly what that means. Which is where the last part comes in: Having faith in Jesus Christ.

Faith in Jesus Christ

Having faith in Jesus Christ means having faith in His love for us—even when things seem be going wrong in our lives. And, as I realized today, it is also believing that Jesus Christ can and will perform miracles in our lives. Miracles as significant to us as the parting of the Red Sea was to Moses. Last week, I was supposed to go to an orientation meeting for my daughter who is turning 12 this year. She will be going into the Mormon Young Women’s program (for girls 12-18). But just before the meeting, I was so sick I could barely move and I thought I was going to throw up. It was after my appointment, and I thought it might be a reaction to the procedure (which wasn’t supposed to be a big deal). I was in such pain I just wanted to crawl into bed, but I couldn’t miss my daughter’s special night. So I asked my husband for another priesthood blessing. After he has finished, the pain was gone. I immediately got dressed and made it to the event, which was wonderful. My daughter was beautiful and shy as she was introduced to the small gathering, and I was so grateful for the healing miracle that allowed me to attend. Elder Hales said:

By unwavering faith, we learn for ourselves that “it is by faith that miracles are wrought.” Generally, those miracles will not be physical demonstrations of God’s power—parting of the Red Sea, raising of the dead, breaking down prison walls, or the appearance of heavenly messengers. By design, most miracles are spiritual demonstrations of God’s power—tender mercies gently bestowed through impressions, ideas, feelings of assurance, solutions to problems, strength to meet challenges, and comfort to bear disappointments and sorrow. [2]

Sometimes the miracles heal us physically and comfort us emotionally. But they are all spiritual demonstrations of God’s power—tender mercies that He sends to us in our times of need. But we need to ask Him for them. Sometimes, He sends them to us in the form of a friend. At church today a friend came up to me and said, “You must be doing really well because you have a glow about you. You look really good.” This meant a lot to me, and I told her so, because this week was really bad for me. Over the past month I’ve overhauled my diet and eating habits—and expected a quick return on my investment in my health. When that didn’t happen, I had begun to doubt. Like Peter, I wondered where the Lord was. But, as my friend showed me, He has been by my side the whole time. I just panicked and forgot that He was there. As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, said:

Every one of us has times when we need to know things will get better. … For emotional health and spiritual stamina, everyone needs to be able to look forward to some respite, to something pleasant and renewing and hopeful, whether that blessing be near at hand or still some distance ahead. It is enough just to know we can get there, that however measured or far away, there is the promise of “good things to come.” …

Even if you cannot always see that silver lining on your clouds, God can, for He is the very source of the light you seek. He does love you, and He knows your fears. He hears your prayers. He is your Heavenly Father, and surely He matches with His own the tears His children shed….

Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. [7]

About Lisa M.
I am a wife and mother of 4 beautiful children in a small town in the mountains of Idaho. We ski as a family in the winter and camp, fish, and go to the beach in the summer. I’m a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I am grateful for the Savior and the blessings of the gospel in my life.

Copyright © 2018 Jesus Christ. All Rights Reserved.
This website is not owned by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. The views expressed by individual users are the responsibility of those users and do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. For the official Church websites, please visit LDS.org or Mormon.org.

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