The Savior entreats us to “seek, and ye shall find” (Matt.7:7). Seeking and finding often comes as an answer to earnest prayer, a prompting to act or a sure witness that Jesus is the Christ. Sometimes revelation finds us without seeking as in Saul’s uninvited experience on the Road to Damascus. More often the seeker finds revelation only on the other side of sacrifice. Joseph Smith studied, pondered and prayed in faith as he diligently sought a personal witness about which church to join. While his First Vision experience was remarkable in scope and beauty, our journey as seekers and finders can be equally touching.
Consider one example of “seeking and finding” as a mission president in the Philippines. After much study, pondering and prayer I assigned Elders A and B to serve together as trainer and trainee. No vision, no voice, no blinding light. But the companionship assignment was a sunshine moment, unmistakably right. Then… trouble.
The elders whispered, “President, our companionship can’t be revelation.” Each wrote home complaining about the other. Then Elder B received a stunning letter from his father. The letter revealed that four decades earlier his dad had served with his trainer’s father as joyful companions in Western Samoa. The news startled the young elders. They soon put their doubts to rest and became one with God and the work.
Did the letter trigger their changed attitude? Perhaps the letter had been only the medium for God’s true lesson. Hearts softened because the missionaries recognized their companionship had not been random but revelatory.
This begs the question: How would our attitude and behavior improve if we truly understood the Lord’s injunction to seek and find? By seeking the powers of heaven we can find peace with any personal challenge, especially the “oil of joy for mourning” (Isaiah 61:3). While each circumstance differs, revelation for me typically comes by faith in Christ after all I can do. True faith includes work and the willingness to accept answers that differ from heartfelt desires. After diligently seeking God’s will, our finding personal revelation depends on our sphere of influence tempered by “what is expedient for [us]” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:64).
Naysayers will ascribe coincidence or serendipity to seeking and finding celestial guidance. Critics may lament: “Some things they might have guessed right” (Helaman 16:16). Faith and diligence, not guesses or luck, guide our seeking and finding. Perhaps the most poignant lesson for our young elders was not about finding revelation in a companionship pairing, but in discovering that a loving Heavenly Father lives deep in the details of our individual journey. We are never alone as we seek and find Him, for in the effort we may discover our true selves. Unlocking our potential as a child of God in partnership with the Savior is a powerful companionship indeed. God bless.