This past weekend we had General Conference, and I had a very interesting experience. I went into it with a very specific question I was hoping to hear an answer to (or more precisely, I was hoping I would hear a speaker say something, and the Spirit would impress me powerfully with an answer, as it has done many times before). And in fact, because of something my patriarchal blessing said (along the lines that I should listen closely to the words of the prophet), I had specifically prayed that President Monson would say something that would help me know what I needed to do.
Neither his Priesthood talk nor his Sunday morning talk said anything about what I was hoping to hear. Elder Oaks’ talk yesterday, however, strongly impressed me that I must never put my own selfish needs above the needs of my children. It wasn’t a direct answer to anything, but it was a strong impression about priorities. Then today, I was deeply touched by Pres. Eyring’s talk, and especially the story about his daughter-in-law who prayed for years to have another child. And only when she prayed instead, “Lord, give me an errand,” did He respond with a feeling of peace. Then she had two more children, which is exactly what she was hoping for. Again, it wasn’t the direct answer I was hoping for, but I felt that perhaps I was asking the wrong question. I was asking for the Lord to tell me something I wanted to know (for what I felt were very good reasons), instead of what He needed me to know.
Then I started feeling like, “Maybe this is a silly thing to stress over so much. Maybe the answer is the Lord just doesn’t care. It’s not important.” President Monson’s talk did not give me the direct answer I sought, but I was powerfully impressed with his statement, “The Lord is in the details of your life.” It made me think about my own little son. He was so frustrated the other day by a balance game on the Wii. He was crying because he could never get the giant yellow bead with his face on it in the yellow bucket. It wasn’t a serious problem in the scheme of life. But I was so happy to help him do it because it mattered to him. It pained me to see him so distressed—even over something I knew didn’t matter—and it truly lifted my heart to see him get so excited when that silly yellow bead went in the yellow bucket.
In the eternal scheme, my distress over this question is about as important as getting a yellow bead in the right bucket. But I realized it was important to God because it’s important to me. He chose not to directly give me the answer I was seeking, but I think He gave me enough to know that there is an answer I can find, and that He really does care that I find it. It’s important to Him because it’s important to me, even if I look to him like a 5-year-old crying tears of frustration over a yellow bead.