Standing with the Savior
By Audra Elkington
“I don’t have a clue how to walk this path.”
Not long ago I found myself repeatedly thinking these words as I prayed. It wasn’t just one situation. For the past year, I have found myself navigating so many experiences that I just couldn’t figure out the best way to proceed. Divisive topics in the world. Struggles with members of my family. Uncertainty with what comes next in my life. How to proceed in my church calling.
As I considered all the different ways I could respond, I just kept feeling like nothing felt right. This happens to me frequently because I have been blessed with the gift to truly see things from all sides. I once told a friend that the world isn’t black and white to me, I live in the grey on so many issues. I appreciate this gift but also realize that it comes with the stumbling block of making decisions harder for me.
Shortly after one of my recent prayers for guidance, I found myself writing in my journal. These words made it onto the page:
If you are standing with the Savior, you cannot go wrong.
As I read, and re-read, those words, the truth of them washed over me. With Jesus Christ as my companion and guide I can be certain that the path will become more clear as I proceed.
Elder Neil L Anderson said:
“Humbly petition the Lord: ‘Father, what wouldst Thou have me do?’ The answers come. We feel the changes we need to make. The Lord tells us in our mind and in our heart.”
There are times when the answers aren’t so clear to me. I don’t know which choice is the best. But as I consider how the Savior would react in each circumstance, I can move forward with assurance that I will choose the good part.
Recently, my middle child admitted to me that she doesn’t believe in God. I have long known this particular child is a deep thinker and that she will have many questions to work out in this life. Her statement didn’t surprise me at all. What did catch me off guard was the calm that came over me. I knew how to respond at that moment.
When my children were younger, my husband and I made the decision not to emphasize Santa at Christmas time. From very young ages, my children have known that Santa is more about adding to the spirit of the holiday and that it isn’t Santa who gives them gifts. I did get weird looks when I would admit this to friends over the years, but it felt important to me that we didn’t participate in that particular tradition with our children.
Back to that moment driving home from school when my daughter tells me she doesn’t believe in God. I initially told her that it’s okay, everyone has to come to that knowledge on their own. As I considered how the Savior would respond in such a conversation, I was then able to share with her that one of the reasons I never perpetuated the Santa myth is because when it came to the really important things I want her to be able to trust that I’m telling her the truth.
She will still have to work on her own beliefs surrounding God. But, she knows that her Mom fully believes in Him, not just hopes that He is real.
That experience with my daughter was completely out of the blue. Nothing led up to that - except that I can now see how Heavenly Father has been preparing me for that conversation since that child was born. It was a conversation that assured me that as I stand with the Savior, “it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.” (Doctrine and Covenants 100:6)
I just found this post today, and I was deeply touched. We have always taught our children that Santa isn’t the magical figure that is culturally customary. It just felt right to do so, and I haven’t had a complete understanding of why we felt to do this. But, it HAS been awkward with family and friends, when we don’t follow Santa traditions. When I read your post today, especially what you said about teaching things that you knew were true, and not perpetuating myths, I had a deeper understanding of why I have felt to teach truth about things that really matter. Thank you for sharing your heart. It touched mine.