That Time I Tried to Move a Mountain with My Faith
Can I tell you about the time I tried to raise a mountain with my faith? Spoiler alert: it didn’t work.
Around the age of 14 I became convinced that I absolutely had to know that the Church was true . . . right then!
After all Joseph Smith had the First Vision at the age of 14, so it felt like the right time for me to have a spiritual awakening as well.
Well I prayed, and prayed, and prayed.
Every single night I would say, “Dear Heavenly Father, please let me know if the Church is true.”
And nothing happened.
I prayed for months without an answer.
I started to get desperate.
So one day when I was visiting my aunt in Alpine, Utah I woke up early in the morning to say a special prayer.
I went out and sat on her front porch. I looked up at the beautiful mountains that towered over her neighborhood and thought to myself, “I’ve got faith like the grain of a mustard seed. If the Church is true, then I can move those mountains.”
I closed my eyes.
I concentrated with all my might.
I raised my hands high in the air.
I peeked one eye open.
The mountain hadn’t moved.
I slumped back and sighed, thinking that maybe I didn’t have faith like the grain of a mustard seed. Maybe the Church was true but I wasn’t.
I went back inside and decided to stop asking if the Church was true.
It wasn’t until years later as I read the account of the brother of Jared in Ether 3 that I realized what my problem had been all along.
In the previous chapter the brother of Jared had come to the Lord asking how in the world they could have light in the barges he was building to cross the ocean. There were no windows, they couldn’t build fires . . . what were they supposed to do?
Well in Ether 2:25 the Lord responds to the brother of Jared’s question with a question of His own, “. . . what will ye that I should prepare for you . . . ?”
In response to this question Jared prepares 16 stones for the Lord to touch and make luminescent– ancient flashlights for them to use in the barges. And when he does this miracles happen. The stones are lit and the brother of Jared even gets to see and talk with the Lord face-to-face.
And all of this happened because the brother of Jared did one thing: he came with an answer.
What 14-Year-Old Kristen Got Wrong
I suddenly realized what had been the problem with my testimony efforts as a 14-year-old. I had come to the Lord with a question. I had asked, “Heavenly Father is the Church true?” instead of coming to Him and saying, “Heavenly Father I have decided the Church is true . . . please let me know if that decision is right.”
Such a subtle difference but such an important one.
Elder Melvin J. Ballard said, “It is your privilege to study it out; counsel together with the best wisdom and judgment the Lord shall give you; reach your conclusions; and then go to the Lord with it. . .” (Conference Report, April 1931, p. 37 – 38)
Of course the Lord wants us to use the gift of our brains; the gifts of reason and logic; the gift of friends to counsel with before we come to Him. How else would we grow if He simply answered our questions for us?
We need to come to Him with an answer!
Hopping on the Revelation Train
Learning this has made all the difference as I’ve sought to #HearHim.
As I have come to the Lord with my own answers (well thought out, researched, and pondered) revelation has flowed more freely than ever.
I am able to receive answers to prayer more quickly and clearly than I ever have before.
So here is my invitation to you: if you need an answer to a question from the Lord practice coming to Him with your own answer first and simply ask for His approval or disapproval of your choice.
And if you found this helpful, share it! I would love to help more people learn how to receive revelation in their lives and would so appreciate your help in spreading the word.