I have come to an understanding of a gospel truth that I think is oftentimes far underestimated.
It is so hard when sincere prayer about something we desire very much is not answered the way we want. It is especially difficult when the Lord answers no to that which is worthy and would give us great joy and happiness. Whether it be overcoming illness or loneliness, recovery of a wayward child, coping with a handicap, or seeking continuing life for a dear one who is slipping away, it seems so reasonable and so consistent with our happiness to have a favorable answer. It is hard to understand why our exercise of deep and sincere faith from an obedient life through prayer does not bring the desired result.
But check it for a minute:
Perhaps you prayed to know if Jesus Christ is really our savior.
Or maybe you prayed for your depression to go away.
Perhaps a third scenario could be that you had a car accident and you prayed for help.
now I pose the questions of what are the possible ways that God could answer these prayers?
for the first one, He COULD send Jesus Christ himself to come and tell you. He could come tell you himself He could send an angel to tell you... etc.
for the second one, he COULD, take your depression away. He could just make everything in you life right. Make you get an awesome job and never experience adversity again. he COULD do that.
for the third one, he COULD come down and and mend the broken bones, the cuts, the damage to the car. He COULD probably even reverse time and take back the car wreck. He COULD do that.
But, to solve the problem through any of those ways would not be accomplishing his purpose: "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of men". The solutions already mentioned require no faith and build zero testimony. So often we forget what Alma taught us, and that is that "faith is thing which are not seen which are true". So regardless of how many times God sends an angel, or comes to us himself, that cannot build our faith. It HAS to be the other way around. Faith precedes the miracle.
However, let me now comment on what I think is the way that god more often tries to answer our prayers.
Why would god send Jesus Christ to come and tell you what is true, when another one of your spiritual brothers or sisters could just as boldly come to you and testify to you of the divinity of Jesus Christ. Would that not be an answer to your prayer? It would. And it would also give someone else an opportunity to learn and grow, as well as an opportunity for you to exercise your faith. Both of which accomplish his purpose.
Why when you prayer for happiness in exchange for the depression you feel, would god instantly provide that which you desire? Why would he make your burdens light himself, when he could just prompt one of your friends with the idea that they need to call or visit you with words of hope and encouragement. would that not answer your prayer? It would. And it would also give someone else an opportunity to learn and grow, as well as an opportunity for you to exercise your faith. Both of which accomplish his purpose.
Why, though he is completely able to if he so wish, would god choose not to come and fix the terrible car accident we have just had? Perhaps though, he could send your home teacher a prompting to go to where you are to help. Perhaps God could give dexterity, precision, and knowledge to the doctors and emergency technicians, that they may work on you to the best of their abilities. Would both of these not be an answer to a prayer for help? It would. And it would also give someone else an opportunity to learn and grow, as well as an opportunity for you to exercise your faith. Both of which accomplish his purpose.
I have full faith in the fact that oftentimes the only way that god answers others prayers, is through us; and through situations like these, we begin to understand just how important it is that we are listening to the spirit and prepared and ready to serve wherever it is that we are called.
What happens if someone prays for a witness of Christ, and we fail to listen to the prompting we are given to bear testimony? That prayer will go unanswered.
What happens if our friend prays for happiness, and we ignore the prompting to call and talk to them, or miss the prompting altogether because we are not listening? that prayer will go unanswered
What happens if we receive the prompting that someone is in trouble, and we shrug it off and do not heed the call? that prayer will go unanswered
I fully believe that the faith of the prayerful person is oftentimes not the only variable that goes in to receiving an answer to a prayer.
we MUST be ready and prepared to receive the promptings of the spirit.
I know that if we can just do that. We will change people's lives. Through us god will answer the prayers of others, and we can begin to more fully understand the purpose of god.
Eternal life is not a gift that God could give freely. It is a gift that we have to be prepared to receive; And when so done, we will be freely given it.
There are people now. today. waiting for you to be the answer to their prayers. Don't be the reason that their prayers go unanswered. Be the reason that they receive the most powerful answer in the world. That is your privilege and your duty. to be the "light of the world". Be a godsend. Each of us, because of divine potential has it within us to be that.
I testify that they are out there. People are waiting for you to light their paths.
I testify that God lives. That Jesus is our savior.
The church is true. This is the lord's work.
Have an incredible week. I love you.