Thursday, April 3, 2014

Revelation and Dew

A few semesters ago, I took a class from Dr. Rachel Cope in the religion department. Professor Cope encourages her students to think about the gospel in new ways.One of these new ways was her constant  focus on the theme of "sanctification" as the goal of the entire gospel. But what is sanctification? Sanctification is the process of becoming more holy.  Holiness is a matter that is frequently discussed in hymns, scriptures, literary texts, and a multitude of other sources, but Professor Cope's particular approach to it deeply impressed me.

One day in American Christianity we were discussing revelation as described my contemporaries of Joseph Smith. These contemporaries often described revelation as knowledge that they received as the "dews from heaven." In the past few weeks, as I have been pondering the nature of revelation and the revelatory experiences in my life, I would similarly describe it as "dew from heaven." A few days ago I was discussing my spiritual journey with a friend, and I mentioned how God seems to give me spiritual impressions. As I was describing my spiritual impressions, I surprised myself by the number of revelatory experiences that I had experienced in the past (almost) seven years. It seems like yesterday I was in high school debating the weighty truth claims that Mormonism claims to be the gospel truth. I went to BYU, received my endowment, and served an honorable mission in Thailand. Now I find myself trying to navigate the waters of Mormonism. I am not a traditional Mormon and, to some, I may not be the best Mormon. But I have realized one important lesson throughout my years of experience: God sends revelation for me like the dew from heaven.

When we find dew on the grass in the morning, we rarely think about how it appeared. It has simply appeared overnight, making the grass and flowers slightly damp. Likewise, revelation has appeared to me in the most obscure ways. I have felt that God is guiding my path to make difficult decisions. I do believe that God does communicate with me, but God's methods, however, remain somewhat of a mystery to me. I have never heard a voice, but I have had strong feelings and impressions that have guided my decision process. Sometimes these promptings are hard to follow, but as I have followed what I believe to be right, I have seen how God has helped me to be successful and happy.

Recently, I had a prompting that I needed to follow, but I was not happy about it. After almost eight months of questioning and wondering, I felt that I should do something that I had feared. It was extremely painful for me to see how God was asking me to do something that I did not understand. I still feel some pain from this decision, but I know that I made the right decision for this point in my life. It is only by making the hard decisions that I can learn how to see the right decisions. Also, time is a great teacher. Again, this revelatory experience was not a single event, but rather was a process. Like the dew mentioned earlier, my thoughts and impressions gathered to this point. I must not regret my decision to follow the impressions that came upon me. I believe that God has led me to a new place where I can learn and grow in new ways.

To new beginnings!

No comments: