Before Joseph Smith went into the grove of trees to pray, and ultimately received his first vision, he read the Bible passage in James: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). In response, he wrote: “never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine.” Joseph wrote further, “For how to act I did not know. Unless I could gain more wisdom than I then had, I would never know.” It seems that Joseph was not looking for a direct answer to his prayer, but for the wisdom to arrive at the answer himself. This is when the Lord stepped in and gave him more wisdom and specific direction.
Cathy opened a dialogue with God during her earnest efforts to date. With a righteous desire to marry, she expressed her desire to be told “no” if marriage to any specific partner would not be best for her. As a result, she ultimately got a lot of “nos.” At times this felt discouraging; but she followed the counsel she was given. At one point, when deciding which of the good men she was dating to get more serious with, Cathy was told to “join none of them” – much like Joseph Smith was told to join none of the existing churches when he was sincerely seeking religion for himself.
It is prudent to gather as much relevant information as we reasonably can. There is also wisdom in knowing we will never have all the information we need, nor a crystal ball to tell us what will happen in the future. Bravely deciding which answers to take on faith and which to seek divine guidance for is the essence of what we are here on earth to do. Wisdom is knowing that we don’t know everything God knows. This can be difficult for many mid-singles who have been hurt and sometimes even received answers to prayers about a marriage that did not work out.
Many of us want to “make sure” that if we ever get married again, certain ironclad conditions will be in place to prevent us from ever feeling such terrible pain again. But there is no way to “make sure,” and you cannot guarantee future happiness by making rules for your future partner and laying down the law to your dating partners.
Some people are meant to come into our lives, teach us things, and encourage us in certain ways; while other people are meant to come into our lives and stay forever. Counsel with the Lord and be specific about the guidance and direction you want from Him and He will steer you well in making wise choices.
While you seek blessings from the Lord in specific ways, remain open to receiving blessings that come in unexpected ways. Often the Lord has bigger and better things in store for you than you might dream of for yourself. The foundation of wisdom is trust in the Lord. As the proverb says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
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About the Author
Jeff Teichert, and his wife Cathy Butler Teichert, are the founders of “Love in Later Years,” which ministers to Latter-day Saint single adults seeking peace, healing, and more joyful relationships. They are co-authors of the Amazon bestseller Intentional Courtship: A Mid-Singles Guide to Peace, Progress and Pairing Up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jeff and Cathy each spent nearly a decade in the mid-singles community and they use that experience to provide counsel and hope to mid-singles and later married couples through written articles, podcasts, and videos. Jeff and Cathy are both Advanced Certified Life Coaches and have university degrees in Family & Human Development. They are the parents of a blended family that includes four handsome sons, one lovely daughter-in-law, and a sweet baby granddaughter.
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