I think we’ve all laughed (or groaned) about the story of the guy asking the girl to marry him based on a prompting he had. The girl in the story typically says no because she hasn’t shared in that prompting or, perhaps, has another prompting.
Over the last few weeks I’ve felt much the same as Courtney and I have made decisions based on promptings and what, to us anyway, were clear revelations. We’ve felt crushed as each of those promptings came to not (at least on our time table), especially since each has been backed up by blessings, additional promptings, and other things that have encouraged and excited us.
All of this has prompted me to ask the question: What do you do when the promptings don’t come true?
As a reward for finishing my most recent semester of my Masters program early, I picked up and re-read the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. It had been a few years, and I had forgotten what a wonderful story he crafted. Towards the end of the second book and throughout the third, one of Sanderson’s main characters, Sazed, goes through a crisis of faith where he approaches religion and faith in logical, methodical ways. Over the course of the book, he invalidates each of the some 300 religions known to Sazed.
In my own life, I’ve spent these last few weeks wondering how such rich revelation can bear so little fruit. It’s not quite the same question Sazed asked, but the intent is the same: What do you do when the faith doesn’t move the mountain?
I won’t give away what happens with Sazed except to say he eventually realizes that faith isn’t logical and “makes it.” For me, I encountered answers of my own this morning. Among the numerous scriptures I encountered was this one:
Doctrine & Covenants 58:31–Who am I, saith the Lord, that have promised and have not fulfilled?
In another recent post, I wrote about how I think we sometimes take the promises and promptings we receive and then add a human element to them. Speaking of Sazed, his logical approach to religion became the barrier to his understanding and approach to truth. In our case, has our humanness created the fog? Has our eagerness associated an unpromised timeline?
Sometimes the lights really do go out.
And sometimes we just close our eyes.