This week’s blog post is going to be a tad lazy, since most of my time is spent entertaining the kids for summer vacation. We’ve been to the pool nearly every day, the lake, and had lots of fun at home. Here is my talk from Sunday and I’ll tell you more about the beginning of our summer this weekend. Have a great week!
What miracles have you seen in your life?
a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.
What about today?
Moroni 7:27 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven? And hath sat down on the right hand of God, to claim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men?
In verse 29 it continues, “have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.”
So again, I ask, what miracles have you seen? If your answer to that question is “none” I challenge you to rethink the events of your life, both the blessings and the trials.
I propose that the path to seeing miracles in your life is first, looking for them, secondly, asking for them, then taking the initial steps for them to occur and lastly, thanking God for them.
First look for miracles.
I shared at the beginning of this year how I had been struggling with anxiety a year ago. And don’t worry, it’s still here, but not debilitating like it was. Here is the secret I learned while trying to become the master of my mind. Gratitude. In a blessing from my husband, the Lord told me, “take the time to recount the blessings that have come from trials in your life.” Being one going through a trial at that time, the last thing I wanted to do was reflect on other hard times in my life, but I did as I was encouraged and the effect was tangible. I began to keep a daily gratitude journal. Sometimes it was three sentences, sometimes three words, and sometimes it went on for pages and evolved to more of a reflection on my life. But that simple ritualistic act slowly (and I emphasize slowly) helped me train my brain to look at the world in a much different light. Let me share one of those reflections.
The first trial I will share is not my own. My husband has some unbelievably profound stories about miracles from his days deployed in the mountains of Afghanistan, but this particular “miracle” brought him to me. While on a mission they lost some valuable intel. A terrorist had grabbed hold of the device containing the valuable information. Andy and his team saw the terrorist beyond a retaining wall. Andy, one other SF teammate and four Afghan commandos jumped the retaining wall. Andy’s teammate jumped the retaining wall about twenty feet away from where Andy did. Unfortunately for Andy, his drop was about forty feet, unlike his teammates. Down he flew and left his ankle absolutely shattered. His SF teammate looked to him to see if he needed to go help him, but Andy motioned for him to go after the intel. His teammate left one Afghan commando behind and took the other three. Where’s the miracle you ask? Andy to this day suffers pain in his ankle and it’s a miracle he didn’t lose his foot from the lack of blood flow that occurred from his foot being faced in the opposite direction. So there’s the first miracle. Second, he was not able to stand, but managed to crawl his way to the top of a mountain with the Afghan Commando. The two of them miraculously fought off the enemy until the team joined them two hours later. Next miracle was that the intel was successfully retrieved by the other team member. The miracle I am most grateful for is that he stayed alive during all of this and was sent home for a lengthy recovery. They sent him to Alaska where he began to recover with his family. I guess days of immobility made Andy realize that maybe it was time to do something less dangerous. He decided he wanted to further his education and the ONLY school that he wanted to go to that accepted late admissions (and only from military veterans) was University of Houston. Right while he was trying to get into school, I was graduating from BYU with no idea of what I was going to do with my Bachelors in English. I went to many job fairs and most writing positions available at that time wanted you to have years of writing experience—not including the hundreds of papers I had written at BYU. There were internships available but I needed something that would pay, because I like to eat. I found a job teaching with Teach for America. They asked me my top five places I’d like to teach at—most of them being at the largest cities in America. I picked five and Houston was the bottom of that list. In fact, the only reason I put it on the list was because I HAD to have five cities and my it was the only one left on the list that had any upside to it—which was a lower cost of living. It was this “coincidence” or as I like to call it, miracle, that drug me from the comforts of family and a world I knew to move across the country to the unknown. Both of us had no real intention of moving to Houston, but, once again, we were miraculously brought together. By looking for miracles and recognizing them in your blessings and your trials, your faith begins to build, and it makes it easier to ask for more and take action to see them in your life.
What miracles might you need in your life? I’ve learned the Lord cares about the little things in our lives as well as the big. He admonishes us to “ask and ye shall receive…” this phrase in found in 36 times in the scriptures. We must ask in faith, knowing we will receive. Recently I uttered a silent prayer to find an important ring my husband lost. Miraculously I found it at the gym we frequent. Miraculously, someone had turned it in instead of keeping it. I have also witnessed bigger miracles in my life. Some I am sure I don’t even know about because the Lord had preserved me before I knew it was a problem, but some came after much prayer and fasting and a long time waiting. I am not sure what was the bigger miracle- graduating from BYU single or finding Andy in Houston, but I can tell you one thing, I was terrified of moving to Houston, but I had learned a valuable lesson on faith when I had decided to serve a mission. I had received my answer, without a shadow of doubt that I needed to serve, however, fear overcame me and I put my mission off. I went back to school, even took a marriage prep class. It was in this religion class that I realized I needed to repent from my lack of faith. The teacher told us that when we get the answer from God to marry the person we are dating that we need to do everything in our power to go forward and get married in the temple, because Satan would use his tactics of fear to keep you from that goal. It was a kick in the pants. My papers were turned in two weeks later and the miracle was the endless and innumerable blessings that have come and continue to come from that act of faith. I had to get my feet wet, just as the priests in the book of Joshua. Once again I had received an answer that terrified me, but this time I acted, knowing that the scripture in Ether 12:12 was true.
13 Behold, it was the faith of Alma and Amulek that caused the aprison to tumble to the earth.
He shows not himself until AFTER their faith.
13 And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.
If we understand a miracle, does it make it less of a miracle? I love the miracle of the staff. When the children of Israel were stricken by the poisonous serpents, they were admonished by the prophet to look to the staff and live. It doesn’t say they were instantaneously healed nor does it explain how they were healed, but their action of faith is what lead to their healing. These days we may hear there are no more miracles, but look at the technology, the modern medicine that we have today. If we had lived through this pandemic just 100 years ago we would not have had as many survivors as we did today. Again we have the prophets council. I looked to him as a guide and a comfort during this new and “unprecedented time.” My husband brings people back to life often. These are no less miracles, just because he can explain how. In fact, my husband is known as a “dark cloud” which may sound ominous, but I’ve realized that it is because of his willingness and ability to follow the spirit that he gets the worst and most patients while on shift. He has seen patients come in that would have been discharged, but the spirit told him they were in deed sick, despite tests or outward appearances and because of his willingness to listen to that, he continues to be trusted with these situations.
No matter what miracle Moses showed unto the Pharoah in Egypt, his heart was hard and he looked to logic to explain the mystery. But even when logic does explain a miracle, it is still a blessing from the hand of the Lord.
Can miracles be found in the harsh parts of our life? Just like the blessing admonished me to seek the blessings in my trials, I dare say I found miracles in the darkest parts of my life. It is from these refining moments that the most beautiful things have come forth. Recounting these events with a mindset of gratitude lead me to a miraculous healing. My anxiety, though still present in my life, doesn’t control me.
President Nelson states. To be sure, there may be times when you feel as though the heavens are closed. But I promise that as you continue to be obedient, expressing gratitude for every blessing the Lord gives you, and as you patiently honor the Lord’s timetable, you will be given the knowledge and understanding you seek. Every blessing the Lord has for you—even miracles—will follow. That is what personal revelation will do for you.