Preparation For Life

 By Gary McDonald of Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

Humble yourselves, and continue in prayer to him; cry to him when you are in your fields, and over all your flocks; cry to him in your houses, and over all your household, morning, midday, and evening…And when you do not cry to the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn in prayer to him continually for your welfare, and for the welfare of those who are around you.  Alma 16:219, 222, adapted

When I graduated from high school I felt as though I were standing in the junction of a three-pronged path. Which path I took depended on my choices. One was to get a job. Another was to join the army, which I wanted to do. A third was college, but I didn’t want to go because I was tired of school. I was having difficulty deciding which path to travel.

That summer I attended reunion at Cloudcroft, New Mexico, high in the mountains. Before this I had not been attending church. At this camp I attended a class taught by Evangelist Glaude Smith, who taught about the evangelist blessing.

After reunion, I decided to join the army, but first I wanted to visit my maternal grandmother, who lived in Independence, Missouri. I believed her to be a spiritual woman, and I wanted to discuss my career choices with her. We spent several weeks together, praying, reading scripture, and visiting. She encouraged me to have my evangelist blessing.

Glaude Smith, who also lived in Independence, set up an appointment for us at church headquarters. He interviewed me to get some idea of what I was seeking. I told him about the paths I could take and my inclination, but I said I wanted God’s direction. We set a date and agreed to prepare for the sacrament.

The blessing was a beautiful experience, and I shed tears as the Holy Spirit touched me. Brother Smith gave me counsel to develop my God-given abilities through education to become “a polished shaft” in God’s hands. Under the impress of the Holy Spirit I chose to attend college.

I had not made proper preparation, but doors opened as I moved forward in faith. That blessing has guided my life and continues to inspire me.

Prayer for Peace:

Compass God, we need your direction in our lives. May we be faithful and listen when we pray for your guidance to the path of peace.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Growing a Gracious, Generous Heart

Open your heart to God’s grace and generosity with a “breath prayer.” Let your breath slow and deepen. Spend several minutes focusing on breathing in God’s generosity. With each breath, silently name one gift for which you are thankful. With each breath out, name one gift you want to share from the overflow of your heart.

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will pray and discern your direction for my life.

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