When Mormon learned that there was some disputation in the church relating to baptism, he was concerned. When the Savior had visited the American continent, He had emphasized the importance of unity in the performance of baptisms. “Thus shall ye baptize,” He had said. “And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been” (3 Nephi 11:28).
He might have responded to this challenge in any number of ways. He could have immediately expressed his own opinions. He could have spoken with the people who felt most strongly about the issue, trying to negotiate a resolution. He could have issued a call for peace and unity to the members of the church. But his first instinct was different. “Immediately after I had learned these things of you,” he wrote to his son, “I inquired of the Lord concerning the matter” (Moroni 8:7).
We often ask for blessings in our prayers, but how often do we ask for information. Consider the following events in the Book of Mormon in which an individual prayed to know how to handle a situation:
- Jacob “inquired of the Lord” to understand how to respond to growing pride and infidelity among his people. He was told to assemble the people at the temple and speak candidly to them (Jacob 2:11).
- Alma “poured out his whole soul to God” when members of the church accused other members of wrongdoing and told him that he, as the high priest, should do something about it (Mosiah 26:13-14). In response, the Lord taught him how church leaders should deal with unrepentant sinners.
- Shortly after, King Mosiah prayed to know whether he should allow his sons to preach the gospel among their enemies, the Lamanites (Mosiah 28:6). He was told to let them go, and the Lord promised to protect them.
- Fourteen years later, after having much success as a missionary among the Lamanites, Mosiah’s son Ammon was concerned about the well-being of his converts. They had chosen a life of pacifism, and they were being massacred by violent people who knew that they would not fight back. Ammon prayed for guidance and was told to take the converts to live among his people where they could be protected (Alma 27:7-11).
- As Mormon wrote the story of the three disciples who were blessed to never taste of death, he admitted that he didn’t understand how that was possible (3 Nephi 28:17). But he later “inquired of the Lord” and learned that “there was a change wrought upon their bodies” similar to but less than the change we will all experience in the resurrection (3 Nephi 28:37-40).
President Russell M. Nelson has encouraged us to follow a similar pattern with the challenges we face:
What wisdom do you lack? What do you feel an urgent need to know or understand?… Find a quiet place where you can regularly go. Humble yourself before God. Pour out your heart to your Heavenly Father. Turn to Him for answers and for comfort.
Pray in the name of Jesus Christ about your concerns, your fears, your weaknesses—yes, the very longings of your heart. And then listen! Write the thoughts that come to your mind. Record your feelings and follow through with actions that you are prompted to take. As you repeat this process day after day, month after month, year after year, you will “grow into the principle of revelation.”
Does God really want to speak to you? Yes!“Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” General Conference, April 2018
Today, I will follow Mormon’s example. I will “inquire of the Lord” to understand how to address the challenges I face. I will listen for answers. And I will act upon the answers I receive.