Warmer … warmer …

17 Nov

Colder

Warmer

Have you ever played the game as a kid (or fun-loving adult) where you hide something, and then guide someone to it by letting them know if they’re getting closer or further away? “You’re getting colder. Colder. Ooh, now you’re warmer. Warmer. Warmer!”

In the early days of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, when Joseph Smith was translating the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God, his friend and associate Oliver Cowdery, who was acting as scribe for him, wanted to try. He took his turn, but it didn’t go as well as he’d hoped. Joseph asked the Lord for him why he couldn’t translate, and the resulting revelation is printed in the Doctrine and Covenants as section 9.

In that revelation, Oliver was told that he should study things out in his mind, make his own informed decisions, and then ask if he is right. Verse 8 then promises that if he is right, his “bosom shall burn” and he shall feel that it is right. Verse 9 explains that if he is not right, he “shall have a stupor of thought.”

As we navigate this life, we’re asked to make a lot of decisions. If we make the right decisions, and follow the right path, we are promised great joy and eternal life. But how do we know what the right decisions are? We do just as Oliver Cowdery was taught. First we study the matter out in our minds. We read the scriptures to learn what has been said by the Lord in the past. And then we make our informed decision and counsel with our Father in Heaven. If it is right, we are told so. If it is wrong, we are told so.

The game of Warmer/Colder wouldn’t be very fun if the children searching for the object were told exactly where it was. And life wouldn’t be very rewarding if we were told exactly how to live–we wouldn’t learn to make our own decisions. But just as the game wouldn’t be as fun without any hints at all, life wouldn’t be enjoyable without any direction. That’s why our Heavenly Father helps us to feel and to know when we are on the right path.

I’m grateful to know that the Spirit will whisper to me whether I am “warmer” or “colder”, and that I can follow its guidance to live as my Savior taught me to do.

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