Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Learning Not to Vacillate (Part 1)

Have you ever felt prompted by the Holy Ghost to do something and you were certain and grateful that our Heavenly Father communicated that with you, only to doubt your feelings later? There have been times that I have done that. I start to think that it was just my emotions or what I wanted and then I hesitate to act on the prompting. The times when I follow the Spirit’s proddings more consistently, I do seem to become more sensitive to the Spirit when another prompting comes and I feel closer to my Heavenly Father. So why do I ever hesitate or vacillate???

I read this wonderful talk by Elder Holland entitled Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence . It is an impressive title taken from Hebrews 10:35. I will post bits of it here (all of the following in this post is from his talk), but you should go and read the whole talk.

I wish to encourage every one of you today regarding opposition that so often comes after enlightened decisions have been made, after moments of revelation and conviction have given us a peace and an assurance we thought we would never lose.

Every one of us runs the risk of fear. You do, and I do. Did you catch the line I tried to emphasize as I read the account from the Pearl of Great Price? For a moment in that confrontation, "Moses began to fear exceedingly; and as he began to fear, he saw the bitterness of hell" (Moses 1:20). That's when you see it--when you are afraid.

That is exactly the problem that beset the children of Israel at the edge of the Red Sea. That is lesson number two. It has everything to do with holding fast to earlier illumination. The record says, "And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid."

Some, just like those Paul had described earlier, said, "Let's go back. This isn't worth it. We must have been wrong. That probably wasn't the right spirit telling us to leave Egypt." What they actually said to Moses was, "Wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? . . . It had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness" (Exodus 14:10–12).
How soon we forget. It would not have been better to stay and serve the Egyptians, and it is not better to remain outside the Church nor to reject a mission call nor to put off marriage and so on and so on forever. Of course our faith will be tested as we fight through these self-doubts and second thoughts. Some days we will be miraculously led out of Egypt--seemingly free, seemingly on our way--only to come to yet another confrontation, like all that water lying before us. At those times we must resist the temptation to panic and to give up. At those times fear will be the strongest of the adversary's weapons against us.

After you have gotten the message, after you have paid the price to feel his love and hear the word of the Lord, "go forward." Don't fear, don't vacillate, don't quibble, don't whine.

We may not see it as fully as Moses or Nephi or the brother of Jared did, but we see as much as we need to see in order to know the Lord's will for us and to know that he loves us beyond mortal comprehension. I also believe that the adversary and his pinched, calculating little minions try to oppose such experiences and then try to darken them after the fact.

If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don't give up when the pressure mounts. … Don't give in. Certainly don't give in to that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness. He wants everyone to be miserable like unto himself. Face your doubts. Master your fears. "Cast not away therefore your confidence." Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you.


  1. So sorry you didn't win the contest this time, Valerie. Thanks for taking time to enter. And don't give up! There will be a new contest each week for many months. Some great prizes.

  2. Amazing post! I love that talk, I read it often or when I think about it when times seem to get rough and I seem to doubt I think of this talk! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier, I love missionaries, I owe my life to the work!

  3. I love this message. I've actually been thinking about this subject lately. Thanks for posting Elder Holland's comments.

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