Breaking Through the Fog with

Breaking Through the Fog with God

(I received a cry for help from a young man who is on a mission.  I hope my response will help others who are having a hard time connecting with God.)
I am sad for your pain.  2 years is a long time.  If you are not experiencing a strong connection to the people or to God, it can feel like an eternity.
I remember you.  I remember how intense you can become when you get laser focused on something.  I remember the power you would bring to each meeting when you felt confident and successful.  I remember that laziness was not your main problem.
Remember when we talked about how your relationship with your father on Earth is often the (accidental) beginning template for your relationship with your Heavenly Father? (This is usually true for all people, not just you.)  I remember thinking, “I can’t do this missionary thing for another — months if I am living off a “maybe” relationship with this God guy.”  
I came across scriptural concepts like, “And this is life Eternal, that they might KNOW him.” (Well I didn”t KNOW him; all I had was an occasional fluff of warm fuzzies.)  Then I came across the Joseph Smith story where he comes out of the grove saying he KNEW God had talked to him.  I didn’t know that!  I wasn’t asking for a visitation, just a clarification.
I remember experiencing so much pain over this I broke the “rules” for prayer.  This was when I wrote my first letter to God.  It was awkward, but I didn’t care, I needed connection.  The second “rule” I broke was I refused to talk to Him as if He was a distant, uncaring God.  I decided, “Okay, the scriptures and prophets say he is an involved, loving, interested God, then I will talk to Him as if He is like that.”    So, I spent a little time thinking of Him as if he was a friend of mine I had not heard from in a while and then wrote something like, “So, what is going on here!  Why aren’t you talking to me?  I follow certain ‘rules’ for a while and it doesn’t seem to make any difference.  I have heard so many “should’s” and “supposed-to’s”  that I can’t keep them all straight.  I don’t think you want me to feel stress.  I don’t think you want me to feel depressed and hopeless.  I want to get this missionary thing right.  I want to have the experience ‘they’ say is possible, where it is a positive experience that I am going to look back on someday with appreciation.  Well, it hasn’t been like that so far.  Help!  Please, talk to me!
“I don’t have much of a real testimony of my own.  I am not stupid though, I can figure out on my own what things will probably increase the likelihood that you will talk to me so I will do those things.  I can also figure out what things I am doing that will decrease the likelihood of You talking to me, so I will decrease and eliminate those things.  But in all honesty, there many ‘rules’ I don’t understand, so until I get clarification, I am not going to worry about it.”
“So, here is what I do know.  I do know that I sincerely want to figure this whole thing out.  I do know that I want a real relationship with You, God.  And I know that I don’t want to waste my time here on my mission.  So, please break through the fog, as intensely as you did with Alma the Younger and/or Saul who became Paul if necessary, so I can proceed with confidence!”
I did not receive anything undeniable that first day, but I did experience such a breath of fresh air that I was finally communicating my own true feelings in my communication to Him.  I was not longer holding back due to what I thought others had told me about the rules for prayer.
For the next 3 months, I did not experience anything specifically amazing, but I did experience many “bumps and nudges”  that moved me in the right direction (I wrote about this more in detail in my booklet, “Undeniable Communication with God”.)   During these 3 months I continued to explore the words of the prophets for clues.  I continued to memorize principles from these scriptures that I felt some degree of confidence in.  I continued to write intense letters to God every day, discussing and debating my understanding of these versus and the experiences I was having as well as the experiences I WASN’T having. 
This was a long 3 months (felt like 3 years because I was in missionary time) with plenty of ups and downs.  We taught only about 3-5 lessons per week there in Detroit.  I think we had 1 baptism in that time.  A very cold winter creeped in after a very hot summer.  The girl I had dated for 4 years before my mission announced she was getting married to someone else, I still had over a year left.  Blaa. 
But I pressed on…pacing my self for the long marathon.  Sometimes returning to my basic mantra, “Just do good, don’t do bad.   Just do good, don’t do bad.”    Then finally… I walked quietly down a street in a town called Grand Blanc, I experienced my first, undeniable communication from God.  I heard nothing audible, but I definitely experienced a “Hello” from an entity, warm and powerful, outside myself. 
The next year was amazing.  That first day was like a first date.  A little exciting, but also somewhat awkward.  We spent the whole next year getting to know each other, through conversation (chatting as I walked around and during discussions), daily intense letters, continued memorization (which initiated lots of ‘what about’ conversations).  I was able to get to know the real God, and how is was similar to my earthly father, and how He is different from my earthly father.
Break through the fog.  Get to know the real God.  He is quite and enjoyable friend.
Let me know if you have any questions.

About Maurice W. Harker, LPC

Director of Life Changing Services, Director of Sons of Helaman, Facilitator of the WORTH group, Consultant for the Daughters of Light program.