Have you ever begged for something? I’m not talking about the silent figures on the side of the road with a piece of cardboard in their hands. I’m talking about the desperate, frantic begging of a child to her mother. I’ve witnessed it this month as my 8-year-old sister has plead daily with our mother for a Bernese Mountain dog. Her pleading is relentless. At breakfast, she shares her dreams about this dog. At lunch, she updates us on the newest online advertisements she has found. In the afternoon, she pleads with Mom to make one more phone call. But for whatever reason, Mom isn’t ready for this dog.
I’ve done my own pleading this month. I’ve pled to know what next. I’ve asked my Heavenly Father on a daily basis, “What should I do today? What is the solution to this problem? That dilemma? What is the cure for this weakness? That sin? That tendency?” For weeks, my revelation journal has remained blank. Each day, I write the date and my question. Each day, I walk away from my study with another blank page. I finally learned why last week as the Spirit taught me something important about personal revelation.
After another week of blank pages, I went to the temple in prayer, seeking further guidance. What are the solutions to my problems? Why am I stuck? Damned, if you will. And then the Spirit told me clearly and loudly enough that I could not mistake. “Until you act on the revelations I have already given you, I will give you no more.” I skimmed through my mental list of past promptings and immediately knew what those words meant. Begin running again and be more obedient to the Lord’s law of health. Really? Running? Of all the things the Lord could tell me, He wants me to run? But the knowledge was so sure, I had not doubt.
The first thing I did when I got home that night was change into my sweats and tennis shoes. I hadn’t been running in over a year. Back to ground zero for me. I pulled out my Couch Potato to 5k app and started my sixty second jog, ninety second walk rotation. By the end of my second run that week, I began to remember why this was so important for me. That revelation is for another time, but my run also taught me something very important about the process of revelation.
It taught me that God is merciful enough to not answer my prayers when it will work toward my condemnation. He has given me so many commandments that I am struggling to obey. Why would He give me more when I can’t even do the things He has already asked me? I learned that revelation only comes when we obey what we have already been given. Our Heavenly Father loves us enough to not answer sometimes. He gives line upon line and precept upon precept. As we learn to obey what we have already been given, He will gladly give us more. In other words, obedience leads to revelation. Disobedience leads to damnation—a literal halting of our spiritual progress.
I hurt my knee on my third run and I’ve missed a few since. So no, I’m not perfect. I’m still really struggling with my obedience, but I finally understand the principle and it gives me the motivation to keep trying. I still want to know what else the Lord has to give me and I know I can’t get it until I’ve learned to do what He’s already asked. As soon as I show Heavenly Father I can keep running and more closely adhere to the Lord’s laws of health, I know He will reveal the next step for my progression. Until then, I just keep trying.
Maybe when my sister learns to clear her plate from the table, Mom will be ready for a dog.