A Prompting to Fast

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“A Prompting to Fast,” Ensign, Jan. 1976, 50

A Prompting to Fast

I had just spoken at a fireside one Sunday evening and was leaving for home when I felt a prompting to fast. I knew of no reason why I should do so and dismissed the idea. Yet, the following morning I awoke unusually early and was again prompted to begin fasting. The feeling was so strong, I could not ignore it, so I began.

During the day at the office, the still, small voice of warning whispered that the next day I would lose my job, but I was not to react angrily or panic but remain calm because the events about to transpire would turn to my advantage. Throughout the day, the voice repeated the message. I knew I was being prepared for a crisis.

I felt confused. I knew I was receiving revelation but could hardly believe it. People often commented on my qualifications for my work and the obvious security of my position. I liked my job as a rare book and manuscript librarian and did not relish the idea of losing it, but there was no denying the voice of the Spirit.

The next morning I had not been at work an hour when the director requested that I come to his office. He announced his intention of replacing me, on two weeks’ notice. It was apparent he had anticipated a scene, but the Lord had prepared me.

Since I was a state employee and could not be summarily dismissed, I was transferred to a different department to an assignment for which there were no duties. My superiors hoped I would resign rather than endure the embarrassment of a meaningless position. Remaining true to divine instructions, however, I made an effort to be useful and looked for work to do although the lowliest clerk in our office had more purposeful employment than I.

I tried to locate another job, but nothing seemed available in my field. Discouragement turned to despair. “Will I ever get a better job?” I asked daily in prayer.

I found comfort in reading the Prophet Joseph’s plea while in Liberty Jail, found in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 121. I was being taught to develop confidence in the guidance of the Holy Ghost, and, through the Spirit, I was encouraged to remain patient. [D&C 121]

One day in April I felt inspired to visit a man of considerable influence at our local university. He received me kindly, and upon learning I was looking for a job he became interested in employing me. He suggested I remain at my job until the position he had in mind became vacant. My hopes soared.

I expected to hear from the man before long, but my trial of faith had not ended. Five months dragged by without a word. Many times at work I sought solace in prayer in the library book stacks. But when our ward bishopric was reorganized and I was retained as a second counselor, I felt sure brighter days were near. Sometime later, while I was praying, the quiet voice of the Comforter whispered that I should take hope, my tribulations were nearly over.

In late August I had a two-hour interview with my friend, but no job offer. Two days later he telephoned and requested I come to his house. Before leaving I prayed to express my gratitude for what had transpired and acknowledge my blessings. I arose, knowing the job was mine. When I arrived at the man’s home, he proceeded to explain the duties of my new job to me.

Looking back over those seven months of hardship and spiritual guidance, I know I passed through a crucible of affliction that strengthened me spiritually and taught me the value of living close to the Lord.