This is the third in a series of articles from Sister Wendy Watson Nelson's new book, The Heavens Are Open. Read the first part here or the second part here.
Michael McLean’s lyrics are true for me:
All I ever wanted, all I ever dreamed of, Everything I hoped, and all the things I prayed for Couldn’t hold a candle to what I’ve been given, I’ve been given what I need.
Although all I’ve been given hasn’t necessarily been all that I thought I wanted, the Lord has known exactly what I have needed as well as when I needed those blessings. What I have always needed, what I have sought for, has been for the heavens to open for me.
Here are just a few of the things I’ve discovered:
1. The heavens open when we seek. I am inspired to seek more diligently and with more enthusiasm every time I recall the following words of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord’s prophet of this last dispensation:
"The things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God."
The heavens don’t always open quickly, but they will ultimately open.
2. I’ve learned that the heavens will open when we take a question to general conference, when we take a question to the scriptures, when we pray with real intent and faith in Christ, and when we make a sacrifice to the Lord.
3. The heavens will open when we open our computers to do family history research—so much so that I have learned to keep a pad of paper close by to capture thoughts that come to me as I seek the qualifying information for my ancestors.
4. The heavens are more likely to open when we have faith that they will. When we truly believe they will open, miracles happen.
President Nelson taught: “In the absence of experiences with God, one can doubt the existence of God. So, put yourself in a position to begin having experiences with Him.”
We could paraphrase his words and say that in the absence of having experiences with the heavens opening for us, we could doubt that the heavens will ever open for us, and we could doubt that they actually open for others.
However, it is my testimony that the heavens are open.
They are open for the prophet of the Lord, and they are open for each and every one of us as we do the requisite spiritual work.
Lead image from The Church News
Read more from Sister Nelson in The Heavens Are Open.
God speaks to His prophet on the earth today. And He will speak to you, too.
That is the powerful testimony of Sister Wendy W. Nelson, wife of President Russell M. Nelson, as she shares her personal witness of truths that will increase our capacity to receive and act on revelation from the heavens. In this volume, she offers a number of ideas for things we can do—and stop doing—in order to understand the Spirit’s direction more clearly.
“All I have witnessed, all I have experienced tells me that our Father wants to communicate with each one of His children and will do so commensurate with our desire and earnest seeking,” writes Sister Nelson. This remarkable book will help readers learn how to open that door.