Move Forward in Faith

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What should you do when you have to make a decision and you’ve prayed about your choices, but you’re still unsure of what to do?

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has stated, “It is the plain and very sobering truth that before [and after] great moments, certainly … great spiritual moments, there can come adversity, opposition, and darkness” (“Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence,” Ensign, Mar. 2000, 7).

But opposition doesn’t mean that Heavenly Father has abandoned you. He is there, and He will guide you. Sometimes we must move forward in faith until our way is illuminated. Following are some insights from modern prophets about patiently waiting for answers and guidance.

Walk to the Edge of the Light

President Boyd K. Packer

“Shortly after I was called as a General Authority, I went to Elder Harold B. Lee for counsel. He listened very carefully to my problem and suggested that I see President David O. McKay. President McKay counseled me as to the direction I should go. I was very willing to be obedient but saw no way possible for me to do as he counseled me to do.

“I returned to Elder Lee and told him that I saw no way to move in the direction I was counseled to go. He said, ‘The trouble with you is you want to see the end from the beginning.’ I replied that I would like to see at least a step or two ahead. Then came the lesson of a lifetime: ‘You must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness; then the light will appear and show the way before you.’ Then he quoted these 18 words from the Book of Mormon:

“‘Dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith’” (Ether 12:6).

President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Edge of the Light,” BYU Magazine, Mar. 1991, magazine.byu.edu.

Proceed with Trust

Elder Richard G. Scott

“What do you do when you have prepared carefully, have prayed fervently, waited a reasonable time for a response, and still do not feel an answer? You may want to express thanks when that occurs, for it is an evidence of [Heavenly Father’s] trust. When you are living worthily and your choice is consistent with the Savior’s teachings and you need to act, proceed with trust. As you are sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit, one of two things will certainly occur at the appropriate time: either the stupor of thought will come, indicating an improper choice, or the peace or the burning in the bosom will be felt, confirming that your choice was correct. When you are living righteously and are acting with trust, God will not let you proceed too far without a warning impression if you have made the wrong decision.”

Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer,” Ensign, May 2007, 10.

Don’t Take Counsel from Your Fears

President James E. Faust

“Let us not take counsel from our fears. May we remember always to be of good cheer, put our faith in God, and live worthy for Him to direct us. We are each entitled to receive personal inspiration to guide us through our mortal probation. May we so live that our hearts are open at all times to the whisperings and comfort of the Spirit.”

President James E. Faust (1920–2007), Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “Be Not Afraid,” Ensign, Oct. 2002, 6.

Wait Patiently for Revelation

Elder David A. Bednar

“The gradual increase of light radiating from the rising sun is like receiving a message from God ‘line upon line, precept upon precept’ (2 Nephi 28:30). Most frequently, revelation comes in small increments over time and is granted according to our desire, worthiness, and preparation. Such communications from Heavenly Father gradually and gently ‘distil upon [our souls] as the dews from heaven’ (D&C 121:45).”

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Spirit of Revelation,” Ensign, May 2011, 88.

Know That God Will Provide

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“During [a] busy season of my life, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin extended a call to me to serve as stake president.

“During my interview with him, many thoughts raced through my mind, not the least of which was the unsettling worry that I might not have the time this calling would require. Although I felt humbled and honored by the call, I briefly wondered if I could accept it. But it was only a fleeting thought because I knew that Elder Wirthlin was called of God and that he was doing the Lord’s work. What could I do but accept?

“There are times when we have to step into the darkness in faith, confident that God will place solid ground beneath our feet once we do. And so I accepted gladly, knowing that God would provide.”

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “The Why of Priesthood Service,” Ensign, May 2012, 59.

Illustrations by Jeff Ward