Questions & Answers: Feeling Abandoned

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“Questions & Answers: Feeling Abandoned,” New Era, July 2014, 42–43

Questions & Answers

“My friend feels like Heavenly Father has abandoned her. She doesn’t feel the Spirit. How can I help her?”

Feeling alone sometimes is a part of mortality. Even prophets and apostles have experienced this pain. For example, Nephi wrote, “Why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, … and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?” (2 Nephi 4:26; see also verses 27–35).

The Savior had similar feelings in the Garden of Gethsemane. “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me” (Matthew 26:38). Then when He found them sleeping He said, “What, could ye not watch with me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40).

Because we are all beloved sons and daughters of God, He wants everyone to know of His love. The Savior set the example and taught us that we must reach out and help others. Remember, for example, His counsel to Peter: “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:32).

Following this counsel, how can we help? Consider sharing your testimony, along with uplifting thoughts and music. Listen to your friend, and be there for her. Encourage your friend to strengthen her testimony and to live worthy of the Spirit. Most important, love her and pray for her.

Help Her Invite the Spirit

I would challenge her to read her scriptures every day for at least 15 minutes, and I would ask her to write down important things in a notebook. By actively trying to get closer to Heavenly Father, she will be more receptive to the Spirit and more inclined to receive revelation.

Jackson C., 17, Utah, USA

Keep Doing Good Things

We all go through rough times sooner or later in our lives; it’s all about staying strong and knowing our Heavenly Father loves us. I recommend that your friend go on with her life, doing things in a good way. Little by little she will notice that the Spirit is with her. You have to be quiet and humble to recognize His voice. Encourage her to go to church and stay active in the gospel.

Jaqueline G., 19, Mexico

Pray for Her

You can help her by making her smile. You can pray for her. You can do some activities with her that invite the Holy Ghost, so she can feel His comfort and can know that our Heavenly Father has never abandoned her. Remind her that our Heavenly Father is always there for us.

Rudy M., 17, Mexico

Read the Scriptures

Read a scripture with her. I’ve had that feeling before, and D&C 122 always helps me when I’m in a negative mood. I can always feel the Spirit after I read and ponder this scripture. Heavenly Father is always there, but sometimes the problems and the noise of the world keep us from hearing His voice or feeling His Spirit. These kinds of feelings are not easy to handle, and it’s good to have a friend you can count on.

Flor Avalos C., 19, Mexico

Be There for Her

Be there for your friend and show Christlike characteristics. Let her know that she is loved and welcome at church. Find time to pray with your friend. As prompted by the Holy Ghost, share your own personal experiences where you felt the Spirit strongly.

Madison B., 15, Pennsylvania, USA

Share Your Testimony

Let her know you love her, and share your testimony with her. Make sure she understands that if we want to have the comfort, peace, and inspiration that the Holy Ghost brings, then we must invite His presence through our thoughts, words, and actions. Heavenly Father is always there for us and will answer our prayers in His own time and way.

Rylee T., 18, Idaho, USA

Offer a Hand

Encourage her to keep going to church. Offer to pray with her about it. Read the scriptures together in a peaceful place. The scriptures will help. Be a listener. Spend time together, and don’t abandon her.

Alanna W., 14, Texas, USA

Let the Spirit Lead

I had a similar experience with one of my friends. We were talking on the phone and I felt prompted to bear my testimony to her about what I saw in her and that I knew she was a daughter of God. Let the Spirit lead you in bearing your testimony to her, and tell her that you and Heavenly Father love her and will always be there for her.

Cerena F., 15, Utah, USA