Each of us have critical intersections in our life where we make significant decisions that impact the rest of our life. Some of these are where to attend college, missionary service, who to marry, how many kids to have, and what profession to pursue.
Those who are wise seek to align themselves with the will of the Lord by asking the same question that Saul asked Christ after he appeared to him: "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6) This question can weigh heavily on our minds.
Recently as I pondered a significant question in my life and I was lead to this scripture:
9 Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.
10 And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them.
This passage of scripture has been called the prescription for most of our problems and most of the world's problems. We know that the Holy Ghost will tell us all things that we should do (2 Nephi 32:3) and often the Holy Ghost speaks to us through the scriptures (D&C 18:34-36). As I pondered this scripture it seemed to be saying to me that I needed to demonstrate more faith and humbly repent. Wait, isn't that the first two principles of the gospel? That was not the answer I wanted. While I wasn't looking for a glorious vision of the path, I was expecting a nudge in the right direction. Instead He seemed to be saying to me, "If you will just have faith in My time line and get yourself spiritually ready, then when the time comes I will open the way for you.
This experience reminded me of this story by Elder Packer.
“Shortly after I was called as a General Authority, I went to Elder Harold B. Lee for counsel. He listened very carefully to my problem and suggested that I see President David O. McKay. President McKay counseled me as to the direction I should go. I was very willing to be obedient but saw no way possible for me to do as he counseled me to do.
“I returned to Elder Lee and told him that I saw no way to move in the direction I was counseled to go. He said, ‘The trouble with you is you want to see the end from the beginning.’ I replied that I would like to see at least a step or two ahead. Then came the lesson of a lifetime: ‘You must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness; then the light will appear and show the way before you.’ Then he quoted these 18 words from the Book of Mormon:
“‘Dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith’” (Ether 12:6).
(President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Edge of the Light,” BYU Magazine, Mar. 1991)
When in the middle of an important decision remember to do the basics. Faith, prayer, repentance, scripture study, and service.