Seeing Clearly by Hearing Him

By Lauren Madsen

It will be fine, I thought as I slipped off my sandals and stepped into the murky water. I hopped into the kayak and off I went, happily paddling around the lake with the other young women.

An hour later it wasn’t, in actuality, fine at all when I found myself sitting on a bucket, bleeding from a deep cut across the bottom of my big toe. One of the Priesthood holders that had come to help at camp was scrubbing my foot under the water faucet, afraid that I would get an infection from whatever it was that sliced me. I hadn’t seen the danger that was just below the surface when I stepped off the kayak into muddy water along the shore. 

I have had many years to think about my carelessness that day. If I had just kept my sandals on, my feet would have been protected. There would have been no muffled screams as my wound was being cleaned out and I wouldn’t have spent the rest of camp walking around on the side of my foot to avoid putting pressure on my toe. If I had been more concerned about what could hurt me, I could have spared myself some pain.

Some might say it isn’t necessary to be on constant guard as to potential dangers around us. Maybe some may even call that paranoia. But just like a careful parent would scan a room for possible threats to a mobile and curious toddler, we should be always on the lookout for anything that could hurt us spiritually. Often that involves relying on the One who sees the things we can’t.

How do we do that? We continue to learn to hear our Savior better. President Nelson taught, “As we seek to be disciples of Jesus Christ, our efforts to hear Him need to be ever more intentional. It takes conscious and consistent effort to fill our daily lives with His words, His teachings, His truths.” When we choose to fill our lives with scripture study and the words of modern prophets, we hear Him better. When we hear Him better, we see more clearly.

The world presents us with murky water where confusion and contention seem to reign. We are bombarded daily by loud voices and popular opinions that are often in direct opposition to Heavenly Father and His plan. But hearing Jesus Christ, keeps the waters clear. He brings clarity out of confusion. He helps us see that which we wouldn’t see otherwise. He protects us from the danger we couldn’t see ourselves. It takes desire, willingness, and work. It requires time and effort. When the result of hearing Him better is seeing things clearly, the work it takes to protect the welfare of our souls is worth all of that.

Lauren Madsen is a photo-taking, scrapbook-making, kindergarten teacher turned stay-at-home mom of four. She loves reading, writing, family history work, spending time outside with her kids, and Friday night dates with her husband. Lauren currently works as a member of the SALT Gathering team. You can connect with Lauren on Instagram @a.lingering.light

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