At the end of the Book of Mormon, the prophet Moroni included an invitation and a promise to all those who would read the sacred record: “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:4-5). From my own experience testing that promise, I’ve come to know and to rely on the Lord’s guidance in my spiritual development. However, I’ve only recently started to recognize the truth of that final portion of Moroni’s promise—that we can know the truth of all things by the power of the Holy Ghost.
“Great is our Lord,” the Psalmist declared, “and of great power: his understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:5). I don’t often realize what it means for God to have infinite understanding: it’s easy to say that God knows everything and to stop at that simple declaration. But when we acknowledge that God knows everything and that everything means everything, we have to acknowledge that that means that God must know the best way to study for a midterm, the best way to ask someone out, the best way to start a business, the best way to write a poem, the best way to teach a lesson, the best way to play the marimba, the best way to bake a pie, and the best way to arrange furniture. It means that God knows what we need to accomplish and that He knows what we need to do in order to succeed. It also suggests that He’s interested in helping us to do more more than just build our faith and be nice to people (though He is, of course, very interested in helping do both of those as well).
In moving to another state, transitioning to graduate school, and everything else that goes with such a change, I’ve found myself almost constantly in situations that have required understanding and abilities that I lack. As I’ve written before, I’ve often had no recourse but to turn to the Lord and seek His help—and, without fail, He has shown me a way to go.
That isn’t to say that things have always gone perfectly. I still spend long periods of time writing, revising, deleting, and rewriting lines and stanzas of poetry, and I still have lesson plans flop. I don’t always have something smart to say, and I don’t always leave the right impression with everyone I meet. That’s not because God isn’t helping me, though—it’s because I’m a fault-riddled human being. Nevertheless, I know that the Lord is at my side, that He is teaching me how to do the things that are required of me, and that He is strengthening me along the way. I also know that He is ready and willing to be at each of our sides in order to teach us and to magnify us as we invite His help through sincere prayer. That knowledge gives me the courage to keep trying.
Before the Savior was crucified, He sat with the Apostles, and He promised them that, even though He would soon depart from them, He would not leave them alone. He explained, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26). Those eleven faithful disciples were about to be shorn from their Shepherd, left to lead an infant church in a hostile world. Without the guidance and support of that Comforter, the Holy Ghost, they surely would have failed. Instead, they succeeded gloriously, filling the world with the good news of the Resurrection. And, because God never changes, we can count on similar success in our own spheres of responsibility. We need only live close to Lord and rely on the incomparable gift and guidance of the Holy Ghost.