Jacob 6:6 - Jarom 1:12 The other day I heard a quote from Elder F. Enzio Busche, "Avoid at all cost any pessimistic, negative, or criticizing thoughts. If you cannot cut them out, they will do you harm. On the road toward salvation, let questions arise but never doubts. If something is wrong, God will give you clarity but never doubts."
I have thought of that principle almost every day since.
Let questions arise, but never doubts.
I have asked myself, is there a difference between questions and doubts?
I am realizing that understanding the answer to that question makes all the difference between strengthening the roots of our testimony or letting it wither and die.
There is a huge divide between a questioning heart and a doubting heart.
After hearing that quote I made a promise to myself...
I want to be someone who questions, because questions lead to greater knowledge ––but I refuse to allow myself to doubt.
I trust the Lord too much.
So if any doubt enters my mind that arises from pessimism, negativity, or criticism my goal is to turn it into a question.
One that will allow growth, one that will lead to clarity.
That decision has already affected my testimony for good on two recent occasions. In both instances, after prayerful consideration and study, I was given clarity.
Through the process the roots of my testimony stretched deeper and in the process my faith was strengthened.
Jacob teaches us two principles that will help us to find the clarity we seek for.
He had an experience where a man hoped to shake him from the faith. A conversation took place that could have allowed doubt to creep into his heart.
But it didn't.
Two verses help us to understand the reason why.
"And he had hope to shake me from the faith, notwithstanding the many revelations and the many things which I had seen concerning these things; for I truly had seen angels, and they had ministered unto me. And also, I had heard the voice of the Lord speaking unto me in very word, from time to time; wherefore, I could not be shaken." (Jacob 7:5)
The first principle is to remember the moments when we have heard the voice of the Lord.
To understand this principle, we must first determine how each of us -individually- can hear the voice of the Lord. How does this happen for you? What does the whispering of the Spirit feel like in your heart? When are the moments when you remember experiencing that whisper? Were you in a sacred place? Maybe you were listening to peaceful music. Perhaps you had a conversation with a friend that was exactly what you needed to hear.
The voice of the Lord can come in many different ways.
How has it come to you?
The first way to avoid doubt and to remain unshaken is to remember the moments when the Lord has spoken to us, from time to time, and to acknowledge and express gratitude for those moments and then remember what we have learned.
The second way to avoid doubt is described beautifully in Jacob 7:8, "But behold, the Lord God poured in his Spirit into my soul..."
I love this thought of the Spirit being poured into a soul.
Not a steady trickle, or even a small drip ––poured.
Have you ever stood in pouring rain?
The kind that drenches you from head to toe, seeps over you, and leaves every bit of you entirely soaked.
What if that happened with the Spirit?
How would that feel? Would it bring comfort? Bestow strength? Give courage? Fill you with knowledge or understanding? What might happen to your heart if you allowed the Spirit to pour into your soul on a regular basis?
What would you need to do to access the Spirit in that magnitude? Where would you need to go? How would you need to prepare?
These are the thoughts I find myself pondering today.
I love the testimony we read in the book of Enos, "And while I was thus struggling...behold, the voice of the Lord came into my mind again...and my faith began to be unshaken in the Lord; and I prayed unto him with many long strugglings." (Enos 1:10-11)
I don't know what you are struggling with today, but I would invite you to pray to the Lord with all your strugglings.
Then, listen for His voice,
and let His spirit pour over you,
until you become unshaken.