“Embrace your sacred memories. Believe them. Write them down. Share them with your family. Trust that they come to you from your Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son. Let them bring patience to your doubts and understanding to your difficulties. I promise you that as you willingly acknowledge and carefully treasure the spiritually defining events in your life, more and more will come to you. Heavenly Father knows you and loves you.”
Elder Neil L. Andersen, “Spiritually Defining Memories”, General Conference, April 2020
Sadly, and regrettably, the only time I kept a journal was on my mission. During those two years, I had many experiences where I knew the Lord and angels were with me. And, as Elder Andersen says in his talk, “I knew that God knew that I knew”.
Since then, I was at a point where I quit recognizing His hand and I quit listening to His voice. But that didn’t stop Him from talking to me. It wasn’t until I started paying attention again that I could hear His voice and recognize His hand in my life. Did I deserve His help? No way. Did He want me back and always helped even though I didn’t want His help? Of course. He is always knocking for us to open the door.
Writing down my feelings and experiences today, though still not very often, I can see the hand of the Lord in my life. Most of these are small and simple ways that He has manifested Himself in my life. Very few, as I look back, are there grand moments of guidance and nudging, though there are some. Writing down my impressions helps me to see His hand I’m my own life.
You may be surprised at how often the Lord sends forth His tender mercies and love if we take the time to focus on them and even record them.
A word of caution, because I do this more often than not. When I ask for something in my life, I have an idea already formed in my head of what I think I deserve, or what answer I think that I should receive. Heavenly Father can very well be answering me but I neglect to hear Him because my mind is already focused on what I think the answer is. Therefore, I fail to recognize His hand. I know that that disappoints, even upsets, Him. Real intent will never be my own intentions in this life, however good or sincere they are. Real intent is what He intends for me, His will for me. I need to learn the difference.