I believe in prophets. I believe God speaks to them. He always has, He always will. In the Old Testament, the prophet Amos said, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” These prophets help us to know and figure out God’s will for each of us, here and now.
This week I was reading the words of a prophet named Nephi who helped prepare his people in the Americas for the coming of Jesus Christ (about 6 B.C.). He said, “the more part of them are in the path of their duty, and they do walk circumspectly before God, and they do observe to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments.”
I paused on his words describing those who are in the path of their duty, remembering words in a Patriarchal Blessing I was given when I was 16 years old. I think about the words of counsel in that blessing quite often because it refers several times to my “duties” and how to learn what those duties are. The blessing counsels me to trust God and listen to His promptings through the Spirit. It counsels me to follow the instructions of the prophets and the counsel of my parents. It encourages me to read and study good books and to be in the right places at the right times. It says if I do these, and other things, my duties will be made plain.
This week I was thinking about one particular time in my life when following a prophet seemed counter-intuitive. I was a university student, eager to learn and enlarge my world. I wanted to study Everything and had a hard time narrowing my interests down to one field. I changed my major almost every semester.
During that time, a prophet of God counseled women to do all they could to not work outside the home. He told us our greatest work would be in our homes, with our children. As a university student, I wondered at that, considering all the career options out there, and what I wanted to become. I decided to follow the counsel of the prophet, and I changed my major another time–to Child Development and Family Relations.
I will never forget the conversations I had with my roommates the morning of our graduation day. We were each graduating from the university, single, hopeful, and with no marketable skills. We’d each chosen degrees that would help us raise strong families, but not necessarily enter the work force. What were we to do next??
I trusted in the counsel to trust God to make my duties plain. He did. At every turn. For me it was important to have a university degree. After that, it was essential to follow the counsel of a living prophet. My life went in glorious directions, all over the world. I could never have planned or imagined the “duties” that would unfold. I did end up with a wonderful career for many years, until my path led me to John and then family and I was prepared for them when the time was right.
Sometimes I wonder what would have happened in my life had I studied medicine. I would have loved to have been a doctor, or even a nurse. I would have been relieved then, to have a career path that was clear. Instead, I took the path less traveled, and as Robert Frost said, “and that has made all the difference.”
Instead, I got to spend time with my 3 incredible children, loving and nurturing them every single day of their lives. They taught me and they changed me more than any career path I might have selected. Oh, what a gift!
I am grateful for living prophets who see beyond what we see and who know what we do not yet understand. I’m grateful for the path of my duty that continues to beckon me to discover it. And I am grateful for the means to discover God’s will for me in my own life.