God gave me defective materials to build with. I thought I figured it out. God reveals His Gospel to his prophets and apostles. From there, I build my Gospel-Centered life on their teachings and I’m good to go. It was in my early teen years that I realized some aspects & challenges in my life didn’t seem to fit nicely in the revealed Gospel.
As I grew older I kept waiting for the Church to say how I was to build this Gospel-Centered life with the pieces I did NOT choose and surely didn’t seem to fit. I saw others and myself included, becoming frustrated the Church didn’t give better instructions how we should live a happy and fulfilling life with these defective pieces. I kept waiting and waiting and waiting, all the while becoming more aggressively frustrated.
Some defective pieces in our lives might include a failed marriage, early death, mental illness, weight problems, job loss, a wayward child, low self-esteem or loss of a testimony. When the horse crap hits the fan, we may want to cry out to the Church or the Brethren,
How?! I don't know how to move forward. What's the next step? I'm not finding the answers at church or from my leaders. I need specific steps to take and I'm lost.
Boy was I approaching this all wrong. 3 important things I’ve learned:
1. Prophets and apostles reveal the building-code for a happy & fulfilling Gospel-Center Life – They reveal the blueprints for such a life through Gospel doctrines, ordinances, and commandments. These are the parameters to which I should build my life and can and should receive my own witness of them directly from God. Most often they don’t reveal the nitty gritty details.
2. Now that I have the blueprints, it’s between me and God – It’s not the Church’s nor church leaders’ responsibility to spell out the specifics in my life. God expects me to work out the details directly with Him. Why? Two reasons: 1. To realize my dependence on Him. 2. For my spiritual development with Deity.
3. It’ a matter of spiritual development to learn to build with life’s building materials according to God’s will- This takes hard work. It’s where I should be reaching to God daily, “God, teach me your attributes so I can be more like you. Guide my spiritual development so I know how to use these building materials that don’t seem to fit.” It’s through developing the Godly attributes that God reveals the details I am seeking. And as I develop these Godly attributes by drawing close to God, He will give clarity via the Holy Ghost.
Catherine Thomas in “The Goodseed” says,
…we may come to a point where we weary dependence on others’ answers, their visions, their insights, their commentaries; we may seek more direct answers for ourselves…
We currently may be holding in our hands odd or defective pieces from our lives. Take heart. If you don’t know what to do at this very moment, know this: God wants and expects us to actively seek Him for direct answers. That why He lovingly says,
If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peacable things – that which bringeth joy, that which bringether life eternal. DC 88:63
Conclusion – When we feel we are building life with defective pieces, remember this: it is by developing Godly attributes and seeking direct personal revelation from God that we will receive the detailed wisdom and knowledge to move forward with confidence and joy.