Latter-day Saint Life

Elder Oaks on Why It's a Good Thing We Sometimes Don't Receive Revelation


When we feel like we aren't receiving answers to our prayers from our Heavenly Father, often we can feel alone, forgotten, or even confused. However, our Heavenly Father loves us with an infinite love.

In those times, there might be a good reason Heavenly Father isn't answering your prayers. Maybe it's a matter of patience or timing. Or, like Elder Oaks explained in adevotional address given at BYU, maybe there's another reason:

We do not always receive inspiration or revelation when we request it. Sometimes we are delayed in the receipt of revelation, and sometimes we are left to our own judgment. We cannot force spiritual things. It must be so. Our life’s purpose to obtain experience and to develop faith would be frustrated if our Heavenly Father directed us in every act, even in every important act. We must make decisions and experience the consequences in order to develop self-reliance and faith.
Even in decisions we think very important, we sometimes receive no answer to our prayers. This does not mean that our prayers have not been heard. It means only that we have prayed about a decision that, for one reason or another, we should make without guidance by revelation. Perhaps we have asked for guidance in choosing between alternatives that are equally acceptable or equally unacceptable.
Similarly, the Spirit of the Lord is not likely to give us revelations on matters that are trivial.
If a matter appears of little or no consequence, we should proceed on the basis of our own judgment. If the choice is important for reasons unknown to us, the Lord will intervene and give us guidance. Where we are living in tune with the Spirit and seeking its guidance, we can be sure that we will receive the guidance we need to attain our goal. The Lord will not leave us unassisted when a choice is important to our eternal welfare.

So, if you are not receiving revelation, don't get discouraged. Press on, do your best, and God will guide you when He needs to.

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