Using Agency and Revelation to Make Life Decisions

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Seeking for revelation when making major life decisions has become a part of life for my husband and I.  Recently, we have had to do just that as my husband had lost a job he loved and was well-paid for.  Having had a great reputation in his industry, there were many job offers that came to him.  Some more appealing than others.  But confusion as to what position to take was disturbing since at times he felt that a decision had to be made swiftly.  Praying for direction was a steady habit.  In the meantime, he woke up each morning as if he was going to work, and did all he can to study his options in his mind.  It wasn’t until about four months later that an answer came.  We are eternally thankful for the revelation that came as we patiently relied on the guidance and direction of our Heavenly Father.  –Emilia

Throughout my life, I have always been able to rely on the promise that God would hear and answer my prayers. Over and over again, I experienced the reassuring feeling of peace that the decisions I was making in my life were in line with the plan God had in mind for me. I knew what it felt like to receive an answer to my prayers, and I felt complete confidence in my decisions as a result.

All of that changed two and a half years ago.

In 2015, I was halfway through graduate school and had just begun the recruiting process for the next year’s summer internship—the internship that would determine my job. After an unexpectedly positive interview process, I ended up with multiple offers from firms in different cities. Recognizing the impact of the decision on the trajectory of my life, I took my dilemma to the Lord and employed the familiar model found in D&C 9:8-9 to “study it out in [my] mind” and then to ask God if it was right, knowing that if it was right, I would feel that comforting burning in my bosom, make my decision, and confidently move on to the next stage of life.

However, unlike previous experiences, that burning never came. Every time I came close to making a decision, I felt nothing but confusion and silence. No matter what I did, I could not seem to find the path that felt “right.” Over time, I even started to wonder if I was no longer worthy to receive answers from God. Finally, at the eleventh hour, I made the best decision I could and accepted one of the offers, even though I still did not feel any closer to a sense of peace about my decision.

A few months later, I was home in Salt Lake City for Christmas and visiting a local singles ward with one of my friends. As we sat together during the sacrament, I had a very clear thought enter my mind that I needed to come back to Utah. I panicked. At first I couldn’t tell if the thought was a prompting or a moment of homesickness, but I knew from my years of experience what promptings felt like, and I knew this was not homesickness. However, since this new development only seemed to bring further confusion and anxiety (and a bit of anger at the delayed timing), I simply ignored the prompting and went back to school.

Four months later, I was attending a conference in another city and again had the very clear thought that I needed to come back to Utah. With my internship only one month away, I really began to panic. I knew what it would mean for me professionally, as well as for my school, if I backed out of my internship now and went back to Salt Lake City with no prospects and nothing but a feeling.

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