Do you ever feel like the heavens are sealed? Like God is silent? Like you are doing everything you know how and are capable of, yet receive little to no answers, comfort, or even reassurance? Sometimes it can last a day, a week, a month. For me, it lasted nearly a year. Here is the good news of the gospel, guidance and lessons I learned.
We seek for what we think we need physically and spiritually; answers to questions, comfort, cleansing, repentance, food, shelter, job, health, hope, happiness and more. All needs, all righteous desires, all given to us by God.
Is it me?
I first checked myself and wondered if I’m having the same experience that David Whitmer had. Because of being glued to the world and persuaded by others, he was “left to inquire for himself… for his mind had been on the things of earth more than on the things of me, your Maker.” (D&C 30:1-3) For that reason, I first had to assess what I had done to seal the heavens during my seeking. I had to seek for what I needed to repent of.
Am I dependent on the Lord?
It’s not only frustrating, but fearful at first to have the “heavens sealed.” You feel like you’re on your own. Like you’ve made a mistake, sinned and lost the Spirit of the Lord. Despite the Lord warning us, “the spirit of God will not always strive with man,” I thought it was only because of sin. Yet, there are times, when the spirit of the Lord is withdrawn and we are left unto ourselves.
“Show me Latter-day Saints who have to feed upon miracles, signs and visions in order to keep them steadfast in the church, and I will show you members of the Church who are not in good standing before God and who are walking in slippery paths.” (Joseph F. Smith, Seeking the Spirit, pg. 14)
I realized that God had given me everything I need, “all things are given them which are expedient unto man. 2 Nephi 2:27 I didn’t need God to continually make choices and he wanted me to first use the resources he gave me. Sometimes, you simply sit still and trust the engineer (click, it’s well worth the quick read). In so doing we are “keeping our souls to him in well doing.” 1 Peter 4:19
God trusts you
Sometimes it might feel like a rebuke and angry lesson from the Lord, but I’m here to testify it never is. Even if we have not grievously sinned (commission or omission) God is giving us the experience to be “tried and tested in all things,” that we need. In discussing this with a good friend, she related a story of her stake president. He had approach the same fear of the heavens being sealed with an area authority seventy. His response was, “congratulation.” What do you mean congratulations? It means, “the Lord trusts you enough to use your time, talent, gifts and agency.” God’s silence is sincere trust in your abilities.
Patience is doing something else in the meantime
It’s dangerous to focus on only one thing at once. As important as taking care of yourself and your stewardship, if you focus on only one thing at the exclusion of others you loose site of what you have and focus on what you don’t have. You can easily loose the spiritual mind of gratitude we are commanded to cultivate. Think about how beautiful it isn’t to incessantly play only one key on the piano. There is no
Have patience and know that God will make miracles of our mistakes.
One of those things you can do in the “meantime,” is
waiting on the Lord is easier when you’re working for the Lord
You can have patience, but Purpose of church is lesson not to change behavior but to change habits and desires.
Besides, developing these qualities is one of the purposes of the gospel and our experience
You don’t have to understand it all, just give your all
After all, we are here to walk by faith not be sight. How can we expect
Ultimately, the experiences in this life is meant to give us a probationary state to repent and prepare to meet God, experience opposition, use moral agency (choice), and. Out of weakness you can be make strong.
“The curriculum in this classroom is custom to each of us.” Neal A. Maxwell
May I recommend an excellent Christian book and movie, “The Shack.”
“Sometimes you just have to hang on and outlast the devil.”
Faith in outcomes
Can we have faith in outcomes? Yes and no. God has special promised for each of us that he wants to give at the right time. Our faith is in Christ and in His timing. Outcomes, yes, but in His time and way.
“GOD WANTS US TO ALWAYS TRUST AND BE OBEDIENT TO HIM, BUT NOT ALWAYS RELY ON HIM.”