“Waiting for Answers without Doubting,” Liahona, January 2021, 46–47
When I was young, I hated waiting for morning. I would get so excited and impatient about what the next day had to offer that I spent many nights tossing and turning in my bed, slipping in and out of sleep and taking frequent trips to the window, letting out a disappointed sigh every time I realized it was still dark outside. To me, morning always took forever to come.
Sometimes in the middle of the night, I would go ask my parents what time it was. They would reassure me that morning would come. I always slept better after that.
Waiting for promised blessings can sometimes feel like that. We offer sincere prayers, read our scriptures, and feel those warm feelings of assurance. But then if our circumstances don’t change immediately—if answers or blessings don’t come right away—we can start to doubt that they ever will.
From experience, I have learned that doubts often stem from focusing on circumstances rather than on the Savior and His love for us.
The more we magnify our circumstances and our hopelessness about what doesn’t seem to be working out for us yet, the less we realize that the Savior loves us and is with us as we take each step forward. Satan knows this, which is why he plants little doubts in our minds to make us question the Savior’s love for us, our eternal worth, and how much we matter to Heavenly Father.
Waiting is part of life. And waiting on the Lord’s answers and blessings and promises can sometimes feel unbearable. But there are a few things we can do to wait for blessings without giving in to doubts:
First, we can look back at those moments when we did receive answers or impressions. Remember those feelings of warmth or joy that whispered peace to your heart and mind. Those feelings and answers were from God. Passing time doesn’t change those truths and promises. We can follow apostolic counsel to “embrace your sacred memories. Believe them. Write them down. … 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.”1 By focusing on the Spirit and those things we know to be true, our doubts will fall out of focus. And we can have the confidence we need to move forward with hope.
Second, we need to remember that to receive personal revelation, we need to be willing to proceed with an eye of faith despite not having a perfect knowledge. Just like I always had to wait for morning to come, we can realize that even as we wait for promised blessings, there is preparation to do, small steps to take, and knowledge to gain in the meantime. As we wait, we can continue learning and striving to be worthy of the blessings in store for us.
Finally, we can keep an eternal perspective, bearing in mind that “some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come,” as Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught.2 “God expects you to have enough faith and determination and enough trust in Him to keep moving, keep living, keep rejoicing.”3 The Lord’s blessings always come, just like the sunrise each morning. Look to eternity instead of tomorrow.
In times of doubt when we feel like we are in a dark room without heaven’s light, let us remember that the Savior’s arms are always outstretched toward us, eagerly waiting for us to reach out to Him. He will reassure us of His love for us, just like my parents did whenever I was worried that morning would never come.
As we make the Savior our primary focus, waiting for promised blessings and answers becomes less tedious. The wait becomes a time of worthwhile learning and preparation. We can learn how to focus on Heavenly Father’s will and not our own. We can come to know with certainty that He loves us and will come through for us every time. And that certainty will defeat all doubt and darkness. Morning will always come, and so will His promises.