“I Will Lead You Along,” Liahona, July 2021
In Doctrine and Covenants 78:17–18, the Savior says:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you;
“And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.”
As each of us thinks about our experiences in life, we will certainly remember times when the Lord has led us.
I remember one time when the Lord guided several people. I was serving as mission president in the Brazil Porto Alegre South Mission. One of our missionaries had a medical condition called a cleft palate, which had never been treated. When he spoke, air would go through the top of his mouth and out his nose. It was hard for others to understand him.
This young elder told me that he had prayed about his problem. He said the Spirit whispered that I would help him find an answer. His simple, determined faith inspired me. I turned to God for help in finding a solution.
A simple surgery could correct the problem, but getting the surgery was not a simple process. If we had it done privately, it would be too expensive for this missionary’s family. On the other hand, using the public health system would require several appointments and would most likely use up the remaining months of his mission.
Every time I have a difficult mission to accomplish, I count on the faith and help of my wife. I explained this missionary’s dilemma to her and asked her to talk with those at the local public hospital. Was there any way the surgery could be done at no cost and within the time frame available?
After praying for help, my wife went to the hospital. She got in a long line of people waiting to talk to an attendant. As the line advanced, my wife was able to hear how the cases in front of her were being handled. Typically, people were told to return for an appointment in six months, sometimes more.
My wife knew this would be too long for our missionary. She felt prompted to leave the line and go through another door. There she found another hospital employee. My wife identified herself and explained the need of our missionary.
The employee instructed her to talk directly with the surgeon, who was in the hospital that day performing surgery on another floor. She explained to the surgeon what missionaries do and how this missionary would be blessed if he could have surgery to repair his cleft palate.
The surgeon asked some questions. Then he said, “Can we schedule the surgery in two weeks?” He completed a hospital form that explained this surgery was in the interest of the community and that he was interested in it personally. He handed the form to his assistant and asked him to schedule the date.
Ten days later, the surgeon operated on our missionary. Soon this elder was back in the field, cheerful and speaking in a clear voice. With renewed enthusiasm, he recognized that the Lord had led him along.
This missionary’s experience is a testimony that our Father hears our prayers and leads us by the hand.
Spiritually speaking, we are like little children. We don’t understand the great blessings Heavenly Father has prepared for us. As we grow up physically, we begin to understand more about the earthly laws that govern our lives. But we should never let earthly knowledge become more important than understanding the great blessings Father in Heaven has in store for us.
Moses, a great prophet of the Old Testament, had an experience that showed him how little he truly knew. After he “beheld the world and the ends thereof, and all the children of men which are, and which were created; of the same he greatly marveled and wondered.” Then God withdrew. Moses was left unto himself, and he fell to the earth.
“And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed” (Moses 1:8–10).
If the Lord did show us all the things we could do with His power, we would probably feel overwhelmed. Like Moses, we would see that without God, we are nothing.
But instead of overwhelming us, the Lord leads us along step by step. This allows us to accomplish much more than we could on our own.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8–9).
As the Lord says in Doctrine and Covenants 78:18, we “cannot bear all things now.” We can’t yet understand everything that He understands. What, then, should we do? The Lord answers: “Be of good cheer!”
Walking the covenant path with good cheer includes being humble, like a little child. We must be willing to be taught and led by the Father (see Doctrine and Covenants 112:10). Life is so complex that we cannot possibly control all the details of our journey. And we can’t understand every single thing that we, or our dear ones, go through here on earth.
But as we trust in the Lord and allow Him to lead us by the hand, we can accomplish more in His kingdom than we could possibly imagine. We will be more able to bless the lives of our Heavenly Father’s children. We will be more able to recognize the hand of the Savior in our lives. We will be more able to feel gratitude for His infinite mercy and love.
Finally, the Lord leads us along by reminding us that “the kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours” (Doctrine and Covenants 78:18).
I return to the example of my missionary. He was guided to ask for help and was blessed with a surgery that now allows him to communicate clearly. He was then guided to those who were ready to receive the gospel and its blessings, including baptism. I also look at the example of my wife. Her testimony grew stronger as the Lord guided her. He then opened the windows of heaven and poured out a blessing.
I am grateful I got to work with this young missionary, who was filled with simple, powerful faith. And I am grateful that I can live eternally with my wife, who sets an example of allowing the Lord to lead her along.
Truly the kingdom and blessings are ours.