Where Was My Answer?

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“Where Was My Answer?” New Era, June 2014, 15

Where Was My Answer?

Susan Stoffer lives in Wisconsin, USA.

I was excited to get the feeling everyone else seemed to have. Why wouldn’t it come?

Still life

Photo illustrations by John Luke and Matthew Reier

Growing up in the Church, I’d always just assumed that God existed and loved me. It wasn’t until high school that I felt the need to discover for myself if everything I’d been taught was true.

I went to a Church-sponsored youth camp one summer where faithful peers spoke of receiving answers to their prayers by feeling the Holy Ghost. I thought the Holy Ghost had never communicated with me because I’d never felt “my heart burn within my chest” as many of the other youth had described. At the camp, one of the counselors said that “if you ask God if He loves you, then He will answer.” Excited at the prospect of definite revelation, I knelt that night and asked God if He loves me. I felt nothing. I was angry. I begged for an answer. I’d never felt so very alone. I knew that God loves me—why wouldn’t He let me feel it?

I spent the next year coming to terms with this experience. Over time, I realized that the Holy Ghost had spoken to me, just not in the way I’d expected. It was not through intense feelings but through a calm and pure knowledge of truth in my heart and mind. By the time I went back to camp the following summer, I’d realized I didn’t need an intense confirming feeling to know that God loves me, because the Spirit spoke to me a different way.

And then the strangest thing happened: I got that feeling. One night while writing in my journal, I heard a voice in my head say, “I love you.” It was a soft whisper, and I knew it was of divine origin. I knelt and tearfully thanked God and felt surrounded by His love. It often seems too bold to say, but I felt like I was wrapped in the arms of God that night.

Though I felt a lot of emotions during this experience, I also learned that the Holy Ghost speaks to people in different ways. To this day, the Spirit gives me a pure knowledge of the truth. I know that God lives and loves us more than we can comprehend. He may not give us everything we want, but when we’re ready, worthy, and faithful, He will answer our earnest and fervent prayers in the way and time He knows is best.