Striving to Seek the Savior’s Face
November 2023

Striving to Seek the Savior’s Face

I’m spiritually face-blind. What now?

Jesus Christ reaching His hand out to a woman

Do you ever feel like God could work miracles in your life if you’d just get out of His way?

For years, I’ve struggled to understand how to truly trust God and let Him prevail in my life. I love Him, and I try to do what’s right. But I always feel distanced from Him. Like I’m looking through a wall of frosted glass—one that I put there myself—and then wondering why I can’t see clearly.

Diagnosis: Spiritual Face Blindness

During the October 2023 general conference, Elder Robert M. Daines explained how, when he was younger, he realized he was “spiritually face-blind”: “I thought my life was about following rules and measuring up to abstract standards. I knew God loved you perfectly but didn’t feel it myself.”1

When I heard that, I felt like I’d been thunked over the head. Elder Daines was describing me.

I know, intellectually, that God loves me, but I have a hard time feeling it in my heart. I’ve got that wall of frosted glass in the way, and I can’t quite reach His love. It makes me feel stuck. Even hopeless, like I will never manage to be enough.

I thought of a time when I confided in a friend. I told her how I struggled to believe that the Savior could truly heal and transform me. “Sometimes I feel like change is possible for other people—just not for me,” I confessed.

My friend was quiet for a moment. Then, in her signature blunt way, she said, “No offense, but what makes you so special that you’re somehow above the power of Jesus Christ?”

That moment was a wake-up call for me, and I’ve reflected on it many times since. I just never figured out how to fix my problem. I’d been trusting more in my own weakness than in the Savior’s strength—a toxic mixture of pride and self-pity. I built that glass up thick and strong, and now I’m trapped behind a wall of my own making.

I’m spiritually face-blind. What now?

The Answer Is Always Jesus

“What can we do?” Elder Daines asked. “The answer … is always Jesus.”2

He explained how people in the scriptures sometimes didn’t recognize Jesus when He was standing in front of them. “They had to learn to recognize Him,” he said, “and so do we.”3

I pondered what I could do to better recognize the Savior—how I could unfrost the glass that hid His face, or even shatter it completely.

I decided to start with prayer.

I’d often heard the invitation to pray and ask God, “Do you love me?” I’d tried it before, and I didn’t feel much. It was that wall, in the way like it always was. I didn’t want to ask and be disappointed again. But I knelt down anyway.

“Heavenly Father,” I prayed, “do you really love me?”

I waited and felt nothing. I didn’t want to give up. So I imagined what it would be like if I could hear God’s answer. And as I did, I found the answer itself.

In my mind, I knelt at the Savior’s feet, clutching something tight to my chest—my pride, my fears, my doubts and insecurities. All the things that kept me from seeing His face.

I pictured Him crouching and gently covering my hand with His until my grip relaxed. I was finally able to let go. And I finally looked up.

I don’t know what Jesus looks like, and I don’t have a great imagination, so the image was still fuzzy in my mind. Still a little like that frosted glass. But as I thought about what it would be like to look into the loving face of my Savior, the Spirit filled me with light.

“I love you,” I imagined Him saying. “Do you believe me?”

I realized, then, just how different it is to believe in God, and to believe Him.

I wasn’t sure I was quite there yet, but I wanted to be. So I imagined myself with empty hands and a heart without walls, and said yes.

I don’t think spiritual face blindness is something that can go away overnight. But now I know that the cure has been there all along. I believe that as I continue to follow the Savior and seek the face of His love, I’ll find it, wherever I look. “For now [I] see through a glass, darkly,” but I’ll keep trying, every day, to see Him “face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12).