It took three times

September 14-20

If you prefer to listen over reading an article, keep an eye on A Balanced Saint of Mind on YouTube. I post video versions of my blog posts on my channel. The video versions are often posted a little later than the written blog posts.

Today, instead of starting directly with a verse from this week’s chapters, I want to start with a personal story. It’s a long story, and I’m sharing a lot of details, and though it’s a personal story, I invite you to think of personal experiences that you’ve had that are similar to mine.

I don’t often get into TV shows. I really like TV shows, but there are very few TV shows that I’ve allowed myself to get into mostly because I know my limits of self-control in those areas, and they’re pretty weak. I start watching a show, and at first, I do pretty good at turning it off when kids are awake and need me. As time moves on, I get more and more drawn in until I’m either watching it while the kids are trying to get my attention or I’m just counting the minutes until they go to sleep so that I can watch it without feeling too guilty. After kids go to bed, I only have to feel guilty over neglecting Conner.

I have watched 3 ½ shows all the way through all of their seasons. Each time I have started these shows, I have felt little tugs in my head and my heart. This is not the best use of your time. Or Your kids need you. Or These shows are actually not making your life happier. 

For the first 3 shows, I ignored these tugs and they went away. The fourth time I turned on a TV show, it was Poldark. Now do not mistake what I’m trying to share in this story. This story is not a commentary on how you’re spending your time and whether you should be watching Poldark. That’s not what this is about. What this is about is following promptings. 

As I watched Poldark, I started to once again feel those tugs and I begrudgingly decided to acknowledge them. This occurred around the time that President Nelson challenged the women to study Doctrine and Covenants 25 in his October 2019 conference talk titled “Spiritual Treasures.” Before that personally eventful study, I had a long talk with my Heavenly Father. I kinda already knew He was going to tell me that I needed to stop watching Poldark, and I was a little peeved about it. I was only watching it at night or during naptime (at that point in time). I took care of my kids. I worked out and studied my scriptures and made dinner and practiced piano and did my calling regularly. I did family history and went to the temple and had weekly date nights and showered regularly. Why did I have to give it up when I was already doing so many good things? I wanted to relax and indulge after being a mom all day. I wanted to watch a romantic show and feel like a teenager again.

I read “Spiritual Treasures” and I studied Doctrine and Covenants 25, and the answer was unmistakable. I needed to lay aside some things of the world, but I wasn’t happy about it. I told Heavenly Father that He better be ready to help me avoid that temptation because when all my stuff was done and it was night and I was home alone because Conner was working, it was going to be immensely difficult to stay off the couch. 

I don’t remember wanting to watch TV that night. I don’t remember what happened exactly, but I remember that I was busy and content. I remember that the next couple weeks were very happy ones as I started to legitimately enjoy my kids instead of agonizing over when they were headed to bed. I remember finding romance in my own life and feeling so close to Conner. As the weeks went on, I remember thanking Heavenly Father over and over for helping me to let go of those shows. I remember thanking Him for sending those promptings even though I ignored them for the first three times. I remember thanking Him for sending the promptings despite the fact that He probably knew I was going to be a brat about it. 

But the blessings didn’t stop there. After a few weeks passed, I started to feel like I should start a blog about the gospel. I felt that tug regularly, and I had my reasons for (once again) ignoring it. It finally got to the point where I was receiving this tug any time I tried to pray or read the scriptures, and it became so intense that the tug changed from “Maybe you should start a blog” to “You are disobeying my voice. I have asked you to do something. Do it.” Now this blog eventually evolved into the YouTube channel, and the promptings and tender moments and unmistakable guidance I’ve received goes on and on. I don’t know what His plans are for me, but I know He has a very specific plan because I keep trying to deviate and He keeps saying no.

I could go on and on about the experiences I’ve had and the changes that have happened in my life, but I’m going to digress because I have a different point I want to make. Let’s look at 3 Nephi.

3 Nephi 11:3-7

3 And it came to pass that while they were thus conversing one with another, they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard; and it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn.

4 And it came to pass that again they heard the voice, and they understood it not.

5 And again the third time they did hear the voice, and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came.

6 And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them:

7 Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.

There are a couple of things that I want to point out about these verses that teach us about revelation.

Your promptings will not come at convenient times

These people had just lost everything, including loved ones. They had just sat in darkness for days. The scriptures talk about how the people mourned because they wished they had been more righteous so that they could have been spared. There were feelings of loss, devastation, shame and guilt, worry for the future, and probably a million more emotions. Our promptings will seem to come at the worst possible moment when we feel we need rest or time to process, but these promptings will heal us just as the Savior healed the Nephites.

We’ve had some unexpected things come into our lives recently, and there are so many times I’ve told Heavenly Father that it’s not physically possible to handle everything. I wanted to stop making the videos, but if I could even begin to tell you how strong of a no I got…it’s funny though because as I write this post, it’s reaffirmed to me that Heavenly Father has His reasons for sending things when He does. It’ll work itself out.

Three times

Three times. It took three times for the people to understand where the voice was coming from. Imagine that scene. Everyone is talking about the destruction that occurred as the sign for the death of Christ, and then everyone heard a voice. This was confusing to them because the voice wasn’t loud, but they all heard it. 

The third time it came, they opened their ears and looked towards it, and that’s when the miracle occurred. 

It took me four times to open my ears to a prompting that changed my life. 

I had a friend who dated a guy for five years on and off, and when it ended, I asked her if she regretted all that time. I asked if she was worried that she had missed out on getting married while spending time on this guy. She wisely reminded me that Heavenly Father doesn’t work like that. Heavenly Father knew her and knew the time it would take her to work through that relationship and learn relevant things before finally moving on.

Heavenly Father likewise had a plan for my life, and He was also aware of how long it would take to get me to wake up and listen to Him. 

This is not a call to ignore promptings you are receiving until you feel more ready to handle them. Rather, this is an encouragement that Heavenly Father calls early enough to give you time to overcome the natural man and listen. If you feel late to the party, remember that it took the Nephites three times to understand the miracle occurring right in front of them (despite the signs and miracles they had already witnessed just days prior) and they still got to see the Savior. They still got the miracle. 

The Savior came

And that’s just it. The Savior came. He is coming. He has things to tell us and teach us before we come, and if we’ve been ignoring them, it is not yet too late to start following them. Please follow them. I can testify of miracles and personalized moments with a loving Heavenly Father for following promptings. He wants to come and see you, but we have to learn to listen.

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