Have you ever felt like you should do something, even if it doesn’t make sense to do it? For instance, just yesterday I was taking a walk near a temple owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes inadvertently called the “Mormon Church” by friends of other faiths), and I saw a girl sitting on a bench and she looked like she was thinking about something of great importance (something that members of The Church of Jesus Christ—also known as “Mormons” do often at Mormon temples in order to receive answers to prayers). The first time I walked past her I told her she was beautiful, inside and out. She smiled and said thank you, but quickly went back to her deep contemplation look. When I walked past her the second time a voice (not an audible one, just a “feeling” one) said, “go tell her that she can do it!” When I felt that, I quickly shrugged it off with the thoughts, “I already complimented her, I would just be bothering her,” “She would think you were weird and obnoxious,” etc. Then another feeling came to me saying, “Look, you seek to find out My will, are you going to do this or not?” So I turned around bashfully, walked the uncomfortable 20 steps, and said, “sorry to bother you again, but I just wanted to say that what ever you are thinking about, you can do it!” When she looked up at me with a little bit of tears in her eyes, and uttered a sincere “thank you” I knew it was all worth it.
In a book titled, Experiencing Christ: Your Personal Journey to the Savior, written by Randall J. Brown, and published in 2009 by Cedar Fort, Inc. (pp. 37-38), Brown shares a personal experience of listening to those feelings and how they brought him and his family into a “spiritual wilderness:”
Experiencing the Journey in the Wilderness
As I grew in understanding of my total reliance on the Savior, I became aware of my need for constant conscious contact with Him. I found myself frequently engaged in the process of counseling with Him. It became a daily process for me to commune with the Lord, and then, with paper and pen in hand, I would listen and record the feelings, thoughts, and impressions that would come into my heart and mind. I found that after a period of time, I was gaining sensitivity and an ability to perceive the words of the Lord.
In August 2004, while I was sitting in my room counseling with the Lord, the words of the Lord came clearly into my mind, directing me to move my family to Utah. His words were not audible, but they were clearly perceived, and they came in a very powerful way that deeply penetrated my heart. I quickly went into the other room where my wife was and related to her what I had just experienced. She was immediately impacted by the same spiritual confirmation and tears began to flow. She knew instantly that it was from the Lord.
The experience was unexpected yet wonderful. We were filled with joy. I felt as if I were walking on a cloud for months after that experience. I knew I had experienced something very intimate with my Savior and felt privileged to have experienced Him in this way. He had spoken to me! He knew me and cared for me enough to minister to me in such an intimate and powerful way.
Following the experience, I was, at times, plagued by carnal-mindedness that tempted me to doubt the revelation I had received. I went to the temple many times and on each occasion received strong confirmation that the direction I had received was correct. We had no idea why the Lord had asked us to pick up and just go, but we soon found out that we were being called on a wilderness journey. It was a journey that challenged and tested my faith like it had never been tested before. It was a journey of afflictions, a journey of great spiritual, emotional, and financial trials.
We were being led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things that we should do, but in the process we came to know that the promises of the Lord are sure. We came to know that the Lord tests, tries, and afflicts us to the fullness of our capacities. He does this that we might know Him, and through the process of personal experience, come to know of our complete reliance on Him. In my family’s wilderness experience, we came to know Christ in ways that would not have been possible any other way. We experienced divine intervention on a daily basis as we were sustained with manna from heaven.
To remove our barriers to grace, the Lord will lead us out of spiritual Babylon and place us on a spiritual journey through His wilderness school. The wilderness journey will require that we surrender our lives and our wills to our new Master and that we yoke ourselves to Him while placing our trust in His power of deliverance (Blaine Yorgason, I Need Thee Every Hour, 253).
Like Brown, we can receive specific directions from the Lord as we counsel with Him in prayer. As we follow that counsel we will draw near to Him, and subsequently closer to our family and loved ones. I know this is true, and I have experienced it in my own life. It might be hard to do it, like for me, going back to that girl was uncomfortable, but it was the right thing to do.
I witness that the Lord speaks with man today in the form of personal revelation. I also witness that He speaks with a Prophet, as He has throughout the ages of time, and that prophet is the Mormon Prophet, Thomas S. Monson. He receives revelation for the entire world—revelation that will allow man to draw near to God and be safeguarded from the wiles of the world. I invite you to learn more about revelation by chatting with Mormon missionaries online. They are called of God and can help you with the great questions of life, and can help you in your journey to follow Jesus Christ.
Ashley Bell is a 22-year old wife, mother, BYU graduate, and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ashley loves to run, cook, garden, read, and most of all spend time with family and friends.