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Promptings That Went Sour / Literal Beilief


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I have had a very bad experience at my first time going for literal belief. I have always been a "particle of faith" kind of guy. I do pray, but generally for things like sick people and things I cannot control. (I have nothing to lose by praying about it) I usually do not go down with the whole literalness of things.I go by ethics and striving high. However, I decided to give literalness a shot.

Here's why. I have been wishing for certain things. Good things no doubt. Been patient too. But I was wondering if maybe the idea of not being literal in my faith was the thing keeping this blessing back. You know, not just the power of positive thinking, just believing that God would help actually me and not well wishing on my part. Well, I decided to give it a shot.

So I went with some promptings in this direction. I went by the spur of the moment with things that felt right after I prayed about it towards this thing. (and I prayed a lot about it with questions and angles to questions.) It felt good. It felt right. I certainly did not get a "You are about to jump into a disaster."

...and that is what happened. And not just once. It cascaded into what I could only call a personal catastrophe. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong.

I have been loyal to the church, improved on my transgressions (and set personal goals about those transgressions), and amplify my callings. I can say I have done a lot. In the church, we constantly hear how we will be blessed by God by doing these things. But yet, here I am, not only without my dream, it blows up in my face as if I am carrying a lightning rod on a stormy day. Actually, the dream itself isn't the thing.as much as it blowing up in my face that is killing me.

I am truly at a level of despair that makes me wonder what I am doing here. I see no end to the rainbow anymore. If prayer, trying to be obedient, breaking records for avoiding temptations, and all that doesn't end up helping me at this point? How dare I tell anyone else to go this path? I still believe in the church as an institution, but the idea of a God that involves himself I am not seeing. How can I promote the church to someone else if it cannot work for me? Even if I like the institution part of it, the literal part is still promoted. I'd be responsible for anyone I'd bring in that would have bad things happen to them because they had some pie in the sky idea that God would literally help them.

Add to this the fact that I am here in Mormonville, USA. People prayed about me being here...literally. Yet, this disaster is just one of many that has happened since I have been here. This one is more disturbing because it lifted my eyes about literal belief and if it works.

I hope I am coming across right. I have been in the church for longer than half a decade now and I mean no disrespect, but I am truly at my wits end. The tank of my heart is running on empty. I don't want a placebo. What more do I have to do that I have not already done?

Sorry to be a sour grape...good night.

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I'd be responsible for anyone I'd bring in that would have bad things happen to them because they had some pie in the sky idea that God would literally help them.
Is this what you mean by "literal belief"? That God will have a direct hand in answering your prayers?
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As I read your post I do think there is a common problem of trying to make God into our own personal genie in a bottle. If I rub the bottle hard enough a genie will pop out and I will get my wish. I have tried to teach my children that prayer is not about getting what you ask for, but its most important objective is to expand and strengthen a relationship with our Father in Heaven. Additionally, following the Spirit does not mean you will not still walk for 40 years in the desert. There is a time and place for all things and we need to understand that we are learning to value accepting our Father's will rather than follow our own at all times and in all things, even if it means that we endure indescribable pain and suffering. Following God, being a disciple of Jesus Christ, is not about avoiding pain or suffering. It is about knowing why we endure pain and suffering, that we are striving to become like our Savior. God plays a role in our daily life; however, he is not there to grant us our every wish.

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..yet, here I am, not only without my dream..

Not my will, but thine be done - the hardest words spoken by our Savior, or spoken by anyone.

It felt good. It felt right.

to be honest, I would not describe my Spiritual promptings as going with what "felt good". Quite the opposite in fact, generally I'm prompted to do things that I do not want to do, that do not go along with my personal dreams, that feel awkward, out of my personality, or otherwise at odds with my own will... often that's how I know the idea came from the Spirit rather than from my own head, because left to myself, I would never have thought/pursued it.

In short, generally the right thing to do is the hard thing to do, the uncomfortable thing to do, the thing that does not at first "feel good". ... generally the wrong thing to do is what appeals to our carnal mind, the easy thing, the "our will" and "our dream" thing.

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For years my prayers have gone unanswered or answered in a way that is devastating. I find it hard to pray but still believe. I think the Lord knows this is just a phase in our short life on earth, not the big picture. But I do cringe when I hear stories of people praying to find objects like keys, wedding rings etc. And the prayers were answered but others that pray about dire things don't get the blessing. It's a tough one. I hope you run out of the storm and see the rainbow end and good things to happen soon "thatjimguy".

ETA: I need to add that the Lord has given me thousands of blessings I'm probably not even aware of. So I guess I can't pick and choose.

Edited by Tacenda
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I went by the spur of the moment with things that felt right after I prayed about it towards this thing. (and I prayed a lot about it with questions and angles to questions.) It felt good. It felt right. I certainly did not get a "You are about to jump into a disaster."

...and that is what happened. And not just once. It cascaded into what I could only call a personal catastrophe. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong.

I have been loyal to the church, improved on my transgressions (and set personal goals about those transgressions), and amplify my callings. I can say I have done a lot. In the church, we constantly hear how we will be blessed by God by doing these things. But yet, here I am, not only without my dream, it blows up in my face as if I am carrying a lightning rod on a stormy day. Actually, the dream itself isn't the thing.as much as it blowing up in my face that is killing me.

I am truly at a level of despair that makes me wonder what I am doing here.

On another thread, I mentioned that my father had a loss of memory after back surgery in 2008, that he thought I was his brother, that I had to tell him that their mother died, and that that was the first time we bonded.

I've thought (and I've had this confirmed by someone with authority to teach in our local ward) that God's hand was in this.

Is it possible that God is leading you through this valley of despair to teach you something, or build something into your character?

(To help you progress, in other words.)

And could allowing you to misinterpret your feelings after you prayed about this dream, and allowing you to pursue it believing He had prompted you to be part of that larger purpose (or would that be "lying")?

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I suggest you read "When my prayers seem unanswered" by Michael Wilcox.

I have had experiences that leave me no doubt at all that your Heavenly Parents and your Savior are not just aware of you, but actually know you and are doing everything possible for you, consistent with the laws They conform to, to help you on earth to return with honor. At this moment of your despair, they are rooting for you, walking with you, even carrying you. They believe that you can get through this difficulty and all others with Their help.

So the question is how can that be true when everything goes wrong. If it isn't because They don't exist and don't love you, what possible explanation is there?

1) What you want isn't good for the eternal you, so They aren't going to help you do it. Or conversely, the experience you are going to get by having things blow up is going to help you in the long run, even though you can't see that now.

2) You want a sign of their love, and They know that if They were to do that, it wouldn't help you.

3) They don't control agency, and that means good people (you) have to experience the natural consequences of someone else's misuse of their agency.

4) They want for you to learn something from this that will help you return to Them.

5) They cannot administer justice without letting the natural consequences flow from someone's choice, and you are the one being subject to those natural consequences. The Atonement can repair your wounds.

For all of us, the more we obey promptings, the better we get at discerning and interpreting them correctly.

Bottom line is that if it were a prompting from God, though that doesn't mean everything will turn out roses, it does mean that your choice to follow it is blessed. Whether that is temporally, is a whole other subject.

I'm sorry for your despair. My advice is to access the atonement to heal it, and move forward still seeking to do the will of God, so that He can give you all the help you want and need. You are NOT alone, no matter how alone you feel. Secondly, if you do not have a friend or counselor who can help you figure out whether there is anything about the way you think that might be impeding inspiration, consider cognitive behavior therapy. If your natural thinking processes are not healthy, inspiration can easily get misinterpreted.

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Perhaps these will offer some needed perspective:

http://www.greatgourdini.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/on-gods-injustice/

http://www.greatgourdini.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/when-revelation-goes-wrong/

And perhaps it’s time for you to reread the Book of Job. He, too, had a lot of things “blow up in [his] face,” but he determined to be obedient no matter what—simply because it was the right thing to do. Which is not to say that we need to be perfect (at least, not all at once or right away) or that we must be like Job in order for the Lord to bless us. But I think we also need to let go of the ideas that obedience is a quid pro quo proposition and that God is like Santa Claus—that He’ll “bless” us because we’re “good.”

I wish you well. :)

Edited by Kenngo1969
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thatjimguy,

I'm so sorry things aren't working out for you right now. I'm sure we can all sympathize - and even Christ wondered where His Father was in His hour of despair.

Just speaking from my own experience, those moments when I felt the most forsaken inevitably led to the brightest of days. Resolution usually wasn't immediate and rarely came in the way I expected, but there has always been life emerging from the tomb.

Hang in there. As InquiringMind wrote, you may yet find a purpose in this experience.

Edited by mercyngrace
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Sometimes our prayers don't get answered. It is then that our faith is tested most.

One thing about literal faith, I think you should remember, is that it fulfills itself oftentimes through physical things. For example, to help overcome a personal weakness, you might read the scriptures, and pray alot. One might say 'oh positive thinking' caused it. And that'd be possible. But it could also be God's tender mercy twoards you in providing a method of communication with him where you could feel comforted, as well as his tender mercy twoards you in providing literature that can help you move forward. I guess what I'm trying to get is this; faith doesn't always result in something unsubstantial and undeniably of God. Sometimes God works through physical small things. There's that one verse in the Book of Mormon talks about it slightly.

Alma 37:6-7

Now ye may suppose that this is afoolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by bsmall and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.

And the Lord God doth work by ameans to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very bsmall means the Lord doth cconfound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.

So yeah... perhaps God is already answering your prayers. Just not in the way you expected it. Perhaps he has other things in store for you.

Also, good job on overcoming the transgressions. Keep working at it. You can do it! We have confidence in you!

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I had such a similar experience years ago. Well actually I've had a couple of experiences that made me question my faith (well actually more than a couple) as well as every decision I ever made. But it was getting through those and hanging on by my fingernails and continuing to believe that finally the light came and opened up opportunities I would never have had if I hadn't made those "bad" decisions. Those decisions actually had long-term effects, many of which I'm still reaping the benefits.

Sometimes what appears to be the wrong choice is merely making the right choice and then being tested to see if we really mean it. In one case I had gone through several months of real trials and finally had a situation which would have been the opportunity to return to my old place and job. I fasted and prayed and told the Lord bluntly that if HE wanted me to stay here then he had 2 weeks to make it work or I was going back to where I had been. Well the next week I got the job that I still have, and because I eventually was moved to work out of my home was able to bring that job with me to where I now live. Furthermore, where I had moved to is where my son came to stay with me awhile and where he met his wife who gave me two beautiful grandchildren. And where I ended up now is where my other son came to live with his seven children. I could not be more blessed but I assure you I went through the grinder before getting here.

If I do not know the will of my Father, and what He requires of me in a certain transaction, if I ask Him to give me wisdom concerning any requirement in life, or in regard to my own course, or that of my friends, my family, my children, or those that I preside over, and get no answer from Him, and then do the very best that my judgment will teach me, He is bound to own and honor that transaction, and He will do so to all intents and purposes.

--Brigham Young, February 17, 1856, JD 3:205.

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I hope I am coming across right. I have been in the church for longer than half a decade now and I mean no disrespect, but I am truly at my wits end. The tank of my heart is running on empty. I don't want a placebo. What more do I have to do that I have not already done?

Sorry to be a sour grape...good night.

I probably spend an inordinate amount of time running from my fears of being hit by a curve ball that will change how I experience my life for the worse and for the rest of it. :sad: I suppose I should get over thinking that I should be blessed any more than the next man. At the risk of sounding cavalier, you probably now have "membership" in one of if not the largest "clubs" known to man - that being, those who thought they were being blessed by God only to find out the experience felt just the opposite. As bad as your experience must be it does not distinguish you from the countless other men and women of good faith who have experienced crushing dissapointments in their lives all the while having thought the outcome would be different due to God's blessing. I've wondered several times how many folks on those fated 9/11 flights had prayed before getting on the plane. Perhaps with their families the night before? Perhaps they joined together after their prayer thanking their God for what everyone felt would be a successful journey out to the West? And perhaps a journey to visit loved ones who needed their support...

The bottom line is you have one thing and one thing only that you have exclusive control over in your life - that being, your desire to show your devotion to God through your own actions. This will never be taken from you unless you consent. It does not matter how bad things become in your life. You will always be blessed with the chance of expressing this devotion. And yes, it is a blessing. There were probably many souls on those flights who - realizing their imminent demise - found themselves praying and thanking their God for the life experience they had been given only to have it snuffed out moments later. Hmmmm, the nerve of them thinking they were actually blessed... The fact that you are still alive to feel and share your struggles with those who could stand a little help, the fact that you have already probably experienced many positive events in your life, and the likelihood that you will go on living is more of a blessing than what a good percentage of the earth's inhabitants will ever get a chance to experience. You are a lucky man.

Hang in there. Hold on to your devotion. Step back and learn from this experience. You will be the wiser for it and it may well strengthen not only your devotion but will help to remind you there are others who would give their right arm to experience what you have been blessed with. Our God is no respecter of persons. We need to understand and hopefully embrace what this really means.

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I have had a very bad experience at my first time going for literal belief. I have always been a "particle of faith" kind of guy. I do pray, but generally for things like sick people and things I cannot control. (I have nothing to lose by praying about it) I usually do not go down with the whole literalness of things.I go by ethics and striving high. However, I decided to give literalness a shot.

Here's why. I have been wishing for certain things. Good things no doubt. Been patient too. But I was wondering if maybe the idea of not being literal in my faith was the thing keeping this blessing back. You know, not just the power of positive thinking, just believing that God would help actually me and not well wishing on my part. Well, I decided to give it a shot.

So I went with some promptings in this direction. I went by the spur of the moment with things that felt right after I prayed about it towards this thing. (and I prayed a lot about it with questions and angles to questions.) It felt good. It felt right. I certainly did not get a "You are about to jump into a disaster."

...and that is what happened. And not just once. It cascaded into what I could only call a personal catastrophe. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong.

I have been loyal to the church, improved on my transgressions (and set personal goals about those transgressions), and amplify my callings. I can say I have done a lot. In the church, we constantly hear how we will be blessed by God by doing these things. But yet, here I am, not only without my dream, it blows up in my face as if I am carrying a lightning rod on a stormy day. Actually, the dream itself isn't the thing.as much as it blowing up in my face that is killing me.

I am truly at a level of despair that makes me wonder what I am doing here. I see no end to the rainbow anymore. If prayer, trying to be obedient, breaking records for avoiding temptations, and all that doesn't end up helping me at this point? How dare I tell anyone else to go this path? I still believe in the church as an institution, but the idea of a God that involves himself I am not seeing. How can I promote the church to someone else if it cannot work for me? Even if I like the institution part of it, the literal part is still promoted. I'd be responsible for anyone I'd bring in that would have bad things happen to them because they had some pie in the sky idea that God would literally help them.

Add to this the fact that I am here in Mormonville, USA. People prayed about me being here...literally. Yet, this disaster is just one of many that has happened since I have been here. This one is more disturbing because it lifted my eyes about literal belief and if it works.

I hope I am coming across right. I have been in the church for longer than half a decade now and I mean no disrespect, but I am truly at my wits end. The tank of my heart is running on empty. I don't want a placebo. What more do I have to do that I have not already done?

Sorry to be a sour grape...good night.

So often we think that if we believe and try that we (should) will be rewarded and all our dreams will come true right now. Not so, but when we work our way through our problems and do what is necessary to accomplish our dreams(D&C 130:20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all cblessings are predicated-

21 And when we obtain any ablessing from God, it is by bobedience to that law upon which it is predicated) we can look back and see God's intervention on our behalf during the hardest parts.

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.

Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.

Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,

other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed

that during the low periods of my life,

when I was suffering from

anguish, sorrow or defeat,

I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,

"You promised me Lord,

that if I followed you,

you would walk with me always.

But I have noticed that during

the most trying periods of my life

there have only been one

set of footprints in the sand.

Why, when I needed you most,

you have not been there for me?"

The Lord replied,

"The times when you have

seen only one set of footprints,

is when I carried you."

Mary Stevenson

Edited by ERayR
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I have had a very bad experience at my first time going for literal belief. I have always been a "particle of faith" kind of guy. I do pray, but generally for things like sick people and things I cannot control. (I have nothing to lose by praying about it) I usually do not go down with the whole literalness of things.I go by ethics and striving high. However, I decided to give literalness a shot.

Here's why. I have been wishing for certain things. Good things no doubt. Been patient too. But I was wondering if maybe the idea of not being literal in my faith was the thing keeping this blessing back. You know, not just the power of positive thinking, just believing that God would help actually me and not well wishing on my part. Well, I decided to give it a shot.

So I went with some promptings in this direction. I went by the spur of the moment with things that felt right after I prayed about it towards this thing. (and I prayed a lot about it with questions and angles to questions.) It felt good. It felt right. I certainly did not get a "You are about to jump into a disaster."

...and that is what happened. And not just once. It cascaded into what I could only call a personal catastrophe. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong.

I have been loyal to the church, improved on my transgressions (and set personal goals about those transgressions), and amplify my callings. I can say I have done a lot. In the church, we constantly hear how we will be blessed by God by doing these things. But yet, here I am, not only without my dream, it blows up in my face as if I am carrying a lightning rod on a stormy day. Actually, the dream itself isn't the thing.as much as it blowing up in my face that is killing me.

I am truly at a level of despair that makes me wonder what I am doing here. I see no end to the rainbow anymore. If prayer, trying to be obedient, breaking records for avoiding temptations, and all that doesn't end up helping me at this point? How dare I tell anyone else to go this path? I still believe in the church as an institution, but the idea of a God that involves himself I am not seeing. How can I promote the church to someone else if it cannot work for me? Even if I like the institution part of it, the literal part is still promoted. I'd be responsible for anyone I'd bring in that would have bad things happen to them because they had some pie in the sky idea that God would literally help them.

Add to this the fact that I am here in Mormonville, USA. People prayed about me being here...literally. Yet, this disaster is just one of many that has happened since I have been here. This one is more disturbing because it lifted my eyes about literal belief and if it works.

I hope I am coming across right. I have been in the church for longer than half a decade now and I mean no disrespect, but I am truly at my wits end. The tank of my heart is running on empty. I don't want a placebo. What more do I have to do that I have not already done?

Sorry to be a sour grape...good night.

If I were in your shoes, one of the things I might want to consider, while self-analysing my situation, is if the way I was going about trying to obtain a"literal belief" was a variation on the theme of sign seeking. We are always taught that faith precedes the miracle, and so I would wonder if I had had sufficient faith at the beginning of my quest for "literal belief," enough to enable the process to come to a successful conclusion. I would take time to seriously consider if the despair and "sour grapes" I had at the end of my quest was evidence that I didn't have suficient faith in the beginning.

I know that a quest for a literal belief in light of the principle of faith preceding the miracle can seem like a "what came first, the chicken or the egg?" type of riddle. Nevertheless, the scriptures demonstrate over and over again that faith does indeed precede the miracle. One must actally believe that the successful quest for "literal belief" can come to a triumphant conclusion before the process ever begins. Faith is the key.

5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. (James 1)

I offer the above not in a spirit of correction, but as the very prescription for how I myself went from atheist to true believer. I just decided to believe after first hearing the good word of God, and it's made all the difference.

Edited by teddyaware
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Jimguy,

I know how you feel. I think feeling abandoned or misguided by the Lord is one of the hardest things that people experience in life.

I've had times in my life where I've felt promptings and following those promptings have led to less than desirable results. I've felt alone and betrayed.

But I can honestly say that with years of hindsight, I've been a better person because of those trials and experiences. I've also come to trust in the Lord and have patient faith in Him and the direction He is leading me.

I would like to recommend a book to you called The Simeon Solution. It really helped me understand the importance of perspective and patience.

God bless and good luck to you.

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For me, God's blessings have been much less about helping me achieve something...anything some would say, lol....and much more about helping me learn something, mostly about myself and what this life means to me. There is a lot that goes on in my life and my family's life and among many of my friends that seems utterly meaningless, taking those who could really help others or accomplish good things in life and rendering them more or less useless except in very limited ways. My biggest dream at the moment is to have a child that is able to leave the house without having to think about it. It is remarkable what becomes important to you when the simple things are no longer simple.

I don't understand it at all, but it is helping me understand other things and it is helping others in my life develop kindness and understanding so perhaps that is why it is happening this way.

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Whenever this kind of thing happens to me, i like to read up again about Zion's Camp.

It helps to remind me that the Lord doesn't direct my path according to which one will bring the least pain or 'disaster'. He directs it according to which one will give me what I need, teach me what I need to learn, and help make me into the person He needs me to be in the future.

That doesn't mean that the Lord doesn't give me lots of tender mercies-things that I don't need, but want and that make me happy-but it does mean that I can't expect Him to lay out my life so that I always avoid trials if I just do what's right. That's not what this life is about.

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I want to all of you for your comments. I am reading all of them. As I respond to them, I am going to try my best to edit them to make sure I do not seem gruff against you, but I can be a brash kind of guy, especially when bitter. So please take no offense if I let something slip by.

Is this what you mean by "literal belief"? That God will have a direct hand in answering your prayers?

Yes, and the whole she-bang about everything. Heaven, hell, everything. Not just a great idea, but completely real.

As I read your post I do think there is a common problem of trying to make God into our own personal genie in a bottle. If I rub the bottle hard enough a genie will pop out and I will get my wish........God plays a role in our daily life; however, he is not there to grant us our every wish

But have you ever heard of Bro. Cornish's talk about receiving blessings when asked?

http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/the-privilege-of-prayer?lang=eng

If this is not a real outcome, why motivate us to think that it would work? It's not just his talk either. How about the time when someone was going to get hit by a tractor and they heard "Move!" and avoided disaster by following a prompting?

Not my will, but thine be done - the hardest words spoken by our Savior, or spoken by anyone.

It sounds good, but then why pray at all and ask for anything? What's the point?

... generally the wrong thing to do is what appeals to our carnal mind, the easy thing, the "our will" and "our dream" thing.

This kind of assumes that my motivations were not in a righteous place. I can tell you they were. Maybe you didn't mean that though...

I need to add that the Lord has given me thousands of blessings I'm probably not even aware of. So I guess I can't pick and choose.

I've tried to be grateful. Especially in prayer since saying something we are grateful for is supposed to be a part of prayer. But I feel, as it goes forward, that I am just mailing it in.

Is it possible that God is leading you through this valley of despair to teach you something, or build something into your character?

(To help you progress, in other words.)

Yeah, but had it not been the same result every single time, (Not my first BBQ at disaster general), If I am supposed to learn something that gets me out of the same result, I should have learned by now. This is not a small thing, this has been a lifelong problem. You would think I would make some progress along this in my life, something to show I am moving forward. But it's dead stop every time.

And could allowing you to misinterpret your feelings after you prayed about this dream, and allowing you to pursue it believing He had prompted you to be part of that larger purpose (or would that be "lying")?

)

If I couldn't trust that feeling, what feeling could I trust? I certainly did not get a "NO...bad idea." feeling.

1) What you want isn't good for the eternal you, so They aren't going to help you do it. Or conversely, the experience you are going to get by having things blow up is going to help you in the long run, even though you can't see that now.

2) You want a sign of their love, and They know that if They were to do that, it wouldn't help you.

3) They don't control agency, and that means good people (you) have to experience the natural consequences of someone else's misuse of their agency.

4) They want for you to learn something from this that will help you return to Them.

5) They cannot administer justice without letting the natural consequences flow from someone's choice, and you are the one being subject to those natural consequences. The Atonement can repair your wounds.

1 - I would like to receive some warning that it's a bad idea and save us all some time...

2 - Aren't all prayers based on hope for a sign? Aren't all testimonies of prayers being answered signs?

3 - Got this one.

4 - I'm at the point of not knowing what more I have to learn here.

5 - Got this one.

And perhaps it’s time for you to reread the Book of Job. He, too, had a lot of things “blow up in [his] face,” but he determined to be obedient no matter what—simply because it was the right thing to do. Which is not to say that we need to be perfect (at least, not all at once or right away) or that we must be like Job in order for the Lord to bless us. But I think we also need to let go of the ideas that obedience is a quid pro quo proposition and that God is like Santa Claus—that He’ll “bless” us because we’re “good.”

I knew Job would be coming up. Yeah, he was patient but to me it's a motivation story, which is fine. But his faith was HUGE...I don't have much and this whole disaster is not helping me.

Sometimes our prayers don't get answered. It is then that our faith is tested most.

Well, I haven't left yet. And I'm here to vent and get suggestions. I haven't become the bad guy yet.

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Hello thatjimguy...

I'm so glad you feel comfortable being able to come here and express your situation...

Let me add my voice to those who have given some wonderful thoughts and experiences for your consideration and encouragement.

One thing I would add... that I learned about prayer and answers to prayer... our Heavenly Father is indeed mindful of our prayers... he does know us and wants us to draw close to him and follow the Savior.

When I was inactive, I still prayed and read my scriptures, etc. I stayed fairly close to the Church through my parents, etc., even though I did not live according to the standards, i.e., Word of Wisdom.... I still felt my prayers were heard and even answered with many blessings.

One time a family member was having a very difficult time in their life... very... and I was distraught because I felt very close to this person. They were in deep despair and it was hard to comfort them as they were in emotional pain and discouragement. I had prayed and prayed for the Lord to help him. Finally one day in desperation I went into my room and fell on my knees and pleaded for Heavely Father to help this person... as I prayed, into my heart and mind came the words... "All will be well"... accompanied with a sense of peace that filled me completely... And I absolutely knew that things were going to be all right.

Time went on... the person still suffered... just the same.... but I had heard that still small voice, felt the peace, so I kept faith and continued praying but would ask... How long, Father? How long?

This went on for about two years and finally I could see a change slowly occuring in this person... a new hope growing... a new strength of mind and purpose... more confidence. Finally one day a call came regarding a new opportunity. Things started happening fast then, wonderful things for this person... and a whole "new life" unfolded and he went on to be very successful for many years.

So what did I learn... I learned that Heavenly Father does know us and does bless us according to what is best for us. If, in answer to my pleading, the same opportunity had come at the time my desperate prayer was given, I know the person would have failed He was not strong enough but had to be built up so when the blessing was given, he was ready for it and able to succeed.

I learned that our time table is not always the same as Heavenly Father's and he blesses us how and when is best for us...

I hope that you will go onto your knees if possible, and pray not for your dream... but for guidance and for what is best for you... that you will know the will of the Lord. I would hope that you will have a prayer in your heart as you go through your days... talk to your Heavenly Father... and listen... I know you will be comforted and feel closer to Him.

All good wishes... GG

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I have had a very bad experience at my first time going for literal belief. I have always been a "particle of faith" kind of guy. I do pray, but generally for things like sick people and things I cannot control. (I have nothing to lose by praying about it) I usually do not go down with the whole literalness of things.I go by ethics and striving high. However, I decided to give literalness a shot.

Here's why. I have been wishing for certain things. Good things no doubt. Been patient too. But I was wondering if maybe the idea of not being literal in my faith was the thing keeping this blessing back. You know, not just the power of positive thinking, just believing that God would help actually me and not well wishing on my part. Well, I decided to give it a shot.

So I went with some promptings in this direction. I went by the spur of the moment with things that felt right after I prayed about it towards this thing. (and I prayed a lot about it with questions and angles to questions.) It felt good. It felt right. I certainly did not get a "You are about to jump into a disaster."

...and that is what happened. And not just once. It cascaded into what I could only call a personal catastrophe. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong.

I have been loyal to the church, improved on my transgressions (and set personal goals about those transgressions), and amplify my callings. I can say I have done a lot. In the church, we constantly hear how we will be blessed by God by doing these things. But yet, here I am, not only without my dream, it blows up in my face as if I am carrying a lightning rod on a stormy day. Actually, the dream itself isn't the thing.as much as it blowing up in my face that is killing me.

I am truly at a level of despair that makes me wonder what I am doing here. I see no end to the rainbow anymore. If prayer, trying to be obedient, breaking records for avoiding temptations, and all that doesn't end up helping me at this point? How dare I tell anyone else to go this path? I still believe in the church as an institution, but the idea of a God that involves himself I am not seeing. How can I promote the church to someone else if it cannot work for me? Even if I like the institution part of it, the literal part is still promoted. I'd be responsible for anyone I'd bring in that would have bad things happen to them because they had some pie in the sky idea that God would literally help them.

Add to this the fact that I am here in Mormonville, USA. People prayed about me being here...literally. Yet, this disaster is just one of many that has happened since I have been here. This one is more disturbing because it lifted my eyes about literal belief and if it works.

I hope I am coming across right. I have been in the church for longer than half a decade now and I mean no disrespect, but I am truly at my wits end. The tank of my heart is running on empty. I don't want a placebo. What more do I have to do that I have not already done?

Sorry to be a sour grape...good night.

I am recovering from a broken back, and my Mother whom my wife and I moved in to care for, is either angry at us , awe does not remember who we are. The more depressed I get, the more I read his words, and attend to my Priesthood duties. Hoping that life Adam I will understand his will. Also being in Mormonville, USA.(as you put) it will not automatically, assure a good life. Take it from someone who has lived in many places and. Countries. What matters is the heart is, I have learned more from my failures than my triumphs. I recently had a child tell me they were struggling...I told them, forget yourself and go to work, as one of our greatest Prophet's, father told him. Btw this come from 34 years in the Church and did not join until grown and living in Germany. I cannot count my heartaches nor my joys...such is life.
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anyone ever seen this...it's not from our church or maybe any church,,,but ti was good. I know that maybe LDS would disagree with the whole "have to be worthy to receive blessings" thing, but maybe there is a point to it? Maybe a lot of what she says is in the church doctrine too and I am so disenchanted i cannot see it (or truly because she is easy to look at and kept my attention...) Thoughts?

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Thanks, this was great! I have a renewed appreciation for praying. For so long I've felt negative about prayer. Usually thinking I'm wasting His time, being repetitive. Even our family prayers. My children even thinking my husband and I are torturing them when they are too long. Why does this happen where we feel we have to repeat certain phrases? It's excruciating sometimes and not conducive to a personal relationship. If you were God would you want to hear that, it's like hearing a tape recorded message from your children on a daily basis, nothing new, or specific in which to focus to help them with. I like this woman's analogies and will try to be more specific in my prayers, and focus on the positive outcome I need rather then the negative of what I don't want.

ETA: Relating to my previous post, I think I know now why God answers prayers to find keys, rings etc. they were prayers focused on a positive outcome and were easier fixes, maybe the more difficult answers take time.

Edited by Tacenda
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I don't have a comment, but I think everyone should read this again:

I believe God gives us the "tender mercies" not because they are important or because he is a micromanager, but because knowing he is there through the little blessings helps us get through the big stuff where the blessings must be delayed for whatever reason...perhaps to protect our agency or someone else's, perhaps because we need to learn a lesson, perhaps for a million important reasons God can't step in as he would like to make everything work for us...... If we haven't taken the time to be aware of the tender mercies, then when the hardship comes, we will be tossed about without an anchor to keep us steady, but we must not allow ourselves to be convinced that because God helps us in somethings, he will step in and solve all of our problems. If he did that, we would remain children forever.

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