Do you ever second guess revelation? Are you not sure if the Lord really has spoken to you? I’m wondering today how all of the puzzles of revelation fit together in my life. I KNOW He speaks to me and yet I am today puzzled about how the various messages, commands, assignments and calls to action all fit together… because I’m not omniscient and I don’t always see the big picture until years later when it becomes so obvious and beautiful!
I found comfort in President Uchtdorf’s first presidency message in this month’s Ensign magazine, as I try hard to fully understand in my own life, how the different parts of revelation fit together. In his article, “Our Father, Our Mentor”, he said,
Have you ever opened a box of parts, pulled out the assembly instructions, and thought, “This doesn’t make any sense at all”?
Sometimes, despite our best intentions and inner confidence, we pull out a part and ask, “What is that for?” or “How does that fit?”
Our frustration grows as we look at the box and notice a disclaimer that says, “Assembly required—ages 8 and up.” Because we still don’t have a clue, this does not boost our confidence or our self-esteem.
Sometimes we have a similar experience with the gospel. As we look at some part of it, we may scratch our heads and wonder what that part is for. Or as we examine another part, we may realize that even after trying hard to fully understand, we just can’t figure out why that part was included.
I feel myself scratching my head this month and similarly asking, “What was that part for?” “Why did I get that message if this happened?” “Why was that part included if this thing was coming?” President Uchtdorf continues,
Fortunately, our Heavenly Father has given us wonderful instructions for structuring our lives and putting together our best selves. Those instructions work regardless of our age or circumstance. He has given us the gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ. He has given us the plan of redemption, the plan of salvation, even the plan of happiness. He has not left us alone with all the uncertainties or challenges of life, saying, “Here you go. Good luck. Figure it out.”
If we will only be patient and look with a humble heart and an open mind, we will find that God has given us many tools to better understand His comprehensive instructions for our happiness in life:
He has given us the priceless gift of the Holy Ghost, which has the potential to be our personal, heavenly tutor as we study the word of God and attempt to bring our thoughts and actions into alignment with His word.
He has given us 24/7 access to Him through prayers of faith and supplications of real intent.
He has given us modern-day apostles and prophets, who reveal the word of God in our day and have the authority to bind or seal on earth and in heaven.
He has restored His Church—an organization of believers who work together to help one another as they work out their salvation with fear, trembling, and unparalleled joy.1
He has given us the holy scriptures—His written word to us.
He has given myriad tools of modern technology to help us in our walk of discipleship. Many of these marvelous instruments can be found at LDS.org.
In other words, Heavenly Father is our God, and God is a mentor to us.
This I know to be truth, more than any other thing in life and eternity. I know that Heavenly Father is MY God and that God is a mentor to ME! I have heard his voice regularly in my life and I know that he directs me. I am blessed when I obey. I have seen blessings withheld when I respond in fear and withhold my obedient actions. I have been challenged beyond what I thought was my capacity to handle. I know that God is intimately aware of the intricacies of our daily lives and stands ready at the door to answer when we knock. He delights in our questions and seeking and often has a response and direction ready when we didn’t even think to ask the right questions.
What I don’t yet understand is how all of is mentoring fits together in my life. I am so grateful for President Uchtdorf’s message to remind me that I don’t have to have it all perfect yet and I don’t have to understand “why each part was included”. I do however, have to keep “following the instructions” and obediently do my very best to “assemble” the assignments he gives me into my best possible life as an instrument in his hands to assist Him in his mission to “bring to pass the eternal life and immortality of man”. My question for him today, is “How can I better do that within my own family, to bring to pass the eternal life and immortality of my own family.” More specifically, I am asking: “Please show me one thing that I can do to assist each member of my family to be mentored by thee.” Helping my family to also be “Mentored by the Father”, I feel, is their best shot at eternal life and immortality. As I receive his mentoring, I also then am obliged to mentor them, my children… and others. Uchtdorf goes on to share how every father is a mentor (I would add mothers here also).
In some parts of the world, fathers are honored by families and society in the month of June. It is always good to honor and respect our parents. Fathers do many good things for their families and have many admirable attributes. Two of the most important roles fathers have in the lives of their children are those of being a good example and a mentor. Fathers do more than tell their children what is right or wrong; they do much more than toss a manual at them and expect them to figure out life for themselves.
Fathers mentor their precious children and show by their good example the way an honest life is lived. Fathers do not leave their children alone but rush to their aid, helping them to their feet whenever they stumble. And sometimes when wisdom suggests, fathers allow their children to struggle, realizing that this may be the best way for them to learn.
Similarly, I have experienced first hand that my father in heaven allows me to struggle. I believe that he realizes this may be the best way for me to learn. Yet, He often does “rush to my aid” and “helps me when I stumble”. We can do this for each other as well. God wants us to be his assistants in providing aid and support to those who may need a boost! We can all be mentors to one another. Again from our wise leader, President Uchtdorf,
…let us all be mentors—eager to reach out and help one another to become our best selves. Because we are God’s offspring, we do have the potential to become like Him. Loving God and our fellowmen, keeping God’s commandments, and following Christ’s example are the straight, narrow, and joyful path back into the presence of our heavenly parents.
If the God of the universe cares so much about us that He is a mentor to us, perhaps we too can reach out to our fellowmen, regardless of their color, race, socioeconomic circumstances, language, or religion. Let us become inspired mentors and bless the lives of others—not only our own children but also all of God’s children throughout the world.
I have felt so inspired at times to share what God has shared with me, with others. I wrote a manuscript for my children to share with them examples of specific times when God has mentored me. It is called, “Mentored by the Master”. On occasion, I have shared pieces of it and pieces of my heart with others, in an attempt at President Uchtdorf’s plea, to,
“let us become inspired mentors and bless the lives of others, not only our own children, but also all of God’s children throughout the world.”
This can be SOOO scary! Yet there is such wisdom and benefit in not only being mentored, but also becoming the mentor. Through leadership ideas and training, I encourage those I mentor, to do likewise and then share with others what they are learning and receiving. Hence, the many “Mama Contributors” on this blog. As of today, a new “Mama Contributor” e-mailed me seeking mentoring and as part of her “Why Statement” that I require prior to beginning mentoring, she shared,
I have a lot of life goals and dreams that I’m not sure when the right timing to accomplish them will be. One thing I desire to do is help women and mothers in fulfilling their rolls and to share a positive voice in the community for family. I have been thinking and praying about Elder Nelson’s talk “A plea to my sister’s” along with a few others, trying to understand what my roll is in standing for truth and being a light in the world.
I am constantly asking the Lord a host of questions and feel he is always answering me with little answers. I have felt such a need to lean heavily on him in my roll as a mother. Mothering has felt heavy and difficult to me at times lately and I desire to have a stronger connection with heaven, closer relationship with Christ, and hope in the future. I feel the need to have a more laser like focus in obtaining revelation and have more courage and faith to act.
She doesn’t really need mentoring from me… she already “gets it”… in that she is already “asking the Lord a host of Questions” and has a “desire to help women and mothers in fulfilling their roles”. The is being mentored by God and has a desire to mentor others. Alas, her coming to me for mentoring helps me to comply with President Uchtdorf’s call for us to mentor each other. We can do so in so many ways… formally is just one way. The greatest ideal is for us to all help mentor all of God’s children to go to HIM for the ultimate in divine mentoring and to trust his timing and wisdom, that all of the parts will come together in one great whole as we obey his invitations and commands.
I am so grateful that God is my mentor!!
To read the entire message by President Uchtdorf, click HERE.