As members of the Church, we often hear about the importance of agency and choosing the right. But choosing the right isn’t always as easy as looking down at your CTR ring.
The decisions that I have had to make and pray about are often challenging in my mind because the roads I can take are very similar. I often find myself wanting to make sure that I pick the perfect one. I want to be as successful and happy as I can be, so I pray about it. I put God in my decision-making process–something I was taught to do.
As I go to church each week, I often hear stories and testimonies of those who have had strong and powerful answers to prayers. They testify that God listens and speaks to us and I feel the truth in their words. However, I don’t always hear or feel strong answers to my prayers. I know that God listens, but I sometimes question if he really speaks or answers back. Why do I not hear an answer like those that are testified of in church?
I’m sure that many of you can relate. There are those of us who receive loud revelations and those of us who struggle to hear even a tremble of a whisper. I am in that latter group.
I find myself in a situation, thinking, “I have to make a decision. I want to know that what I am doing is right for me and my life, but also right for what God has in store for me.”
I contemplate it, I ponder it. It can seem to consume me.
After long days and sometimes weeks, I settle down. I decide to wait, and put my will in His. I have learned that when I have this patience and am truly willing to wait and let Him provide after I have done everything I can, that is when His answer comes.
His answer though, does not come in a whisper or in a thought.
It comes in silence–heavenly silence.
There is no yes or no, or strong feeling of what I should choose. He seems to, through silence, leave it up to me. I feel like it is His way of telling me that it is my choice. That either road or option I take will be good, that He will be happy and proud of me as long as I am happy and proud of my choice.
It’s like the difference between knowing whether an idea came from the promptings of the Holy Ghost or from my own conscience. No matter where it came from, if it’s good, I should do it.
So in the end, I find myself making a decision as if God had no say. However, He did have a say. His heavenly silence enabled me to fully use my agency, knowing that He was behind me no matter what. He allows me to focus on my feelings regarding the decision and to go ahead from there.
This heavenly silence is so confusing and so powerful that it is a bit hard to get used to. If we can pray for revelation, then why is revelation not clear? The answer to that, for me, has become clear through time. I do not always receive strict revelation because the options that have been before me have been good. I can pick A or B, but both will enable me to lead a God-fearing, faithful life. It makes sense then, why God may not always ultimately suggest one over the other. He allows me to make that decision. He allows to me use my agency and to feel confident in my decisions.
The heavenly silence in my life has taught me that God ‘speaks’ to us in different ways.
Before I got engaged, my fiancé suggested that I pray about marrying him. I had not considered that before because I knew that marrying him was a good choice for me. I knew him well and had faith that a relationship with him would enable me to have a family in the Church. I knew he would make a great husband. I loved him. Nonetheless, I took his advice and prayed about it. I prayed to know whether God was behind me in the decision to marry this man.
That circumstance is one of many in which my answer came as heavenly silence. I already knew that marrying him in the temple would be a good decision, and the silence I received after that prayer testified to me that God had no objections to my decision either. The silence allowed me to contemplate the decision for myself–to weigh out whether or not I should marry him. I decided that I would. I felt good about the decision.
It was a good choice. And he did turn out to be the perfect husband for me.
Heavenly silence for sure does not always result in happy endings. Life is full of people who are also making choices. If my husband decided to stop going to church or to do things that I did not agree with, it would not necessarily mean that my decision to marry him was bad. We are all affected by our decisions and by the decisions of those around us. I’m thankful that so far, we are both choosing the good in our lives.
I lead a busy life, and as a result, time for spiritual contemplation and pondering is sometimes rare. That means that for me to focus on getting an answer, I need to find a quiet moment. In those moments that I am seeking for an answer to a prayer or question, God is often quiet. And that is okay, because He trusts me and I trust in Him. His heavenly silence is an answer to my prayer.
Lauren is studying Journalism at Brigham Young University and considers the East Coast home. She has a passion for writing, photography, skiing, hiking, and traveling. She enjoys studying German and is married to her best friend.