Steven J. Lund, Young Men General President for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered Tuesday's devotional address. He spoke on learning to recognize the flashes of light and inspiration that the Lord gives us in order to strengthen our testimonies.
President Lund began by referencing a principle of law known as “the doctrine of chances,” which is an exception to a rule of evidence. He taught that when certain miracles occur, they may not make logical sense, but we need to have the faith to recognize them as God’s hand acting in our life.
“My testimony is a composite panorama of countless bursts of light through an otherwise impenetrable earthly veil.”
In order to remind us of some of our own flashes of miracles in which God’s light has penetrated our minds and hearts, Lund shared several of his own testimony-building experiences.
“While these anecdotes do not amount to proof beyond a reasonable doubt, they do combine to remind me of a tangible reality of 'that which is' that is not always before my eyes.”
Finding church in Frankfurt, Germany
As a young soldier in Frankfurt, Germany, President Lund missed a carpool to a family home evening activity and felt devastated that he didn't know how to get to the activity on his own.
Hopeless and frustrated, President Lund folded his arms to begin to pray, when suddenly a miracle occurred.
“Something of a map flashed in my head: a well-lit sequence of streets started at the church and traveled down Eckenheimer Landstrabe, through a number of intersections, around a traffic circle, left, right, left, over a bridge, more turns, and onto a broad-bending street in front of an apartment building.”
President Lund relied on faith to follow the directions whispered to him. He was guided to a certain building, then an apartment and then a hallway. Still unsure, he wondered which door he should knock on. Suddenly, he heard a group of young adults singing “The Spirit of God.”
“I opened the door, the most astonished 23-year-old in the Church. Heavenly Father had sent a shaft of light that replaced my bewilderment with wonder. Later that night I couldn’t even find my way home without a guide.”
Blessings come from heeding revelation
President Lund shared that against his own will, he received a strong spiritual prompting to take a break from his college education in order to enlist in the army. It was because of his obedience to this revelation that he was stationed in Germany, where he eventually met his wife.
“I have learned that the Lord sometimes withholds blessings from us to eventually deliver undeniably discernible miracles. I would serve 100 army enlistments for that one stunning miracle that formed our family.”
Contemplating this and many other experiences, Lund taught that sparks of revelation can lead to many divine and eternal blessings.
“None of these things are coincidences. They are consequences of a string of unpredictable heavenly interventions that have burst through the veil as flashes of light through what has at times felt like a drab never-ending gray wall”
Seeing God’s hand act in others' lives
As leaders of the Georgia Atlanta Mission, the Lunds had a unique experience that built their faith in the Lord’s love and in His involvement in their lives.
One morning, an Elder called Sister Lund and complained that his stomach hurt. To her own surprise, Sister Lund heard herself telling the Elder that he had appendicitis and that he needed to immediately go to the hospital.
Once at the hospital, the doctors found nothing wrong and tried to send the Elder away, but he stayed and insisted that “Sister Lund told me I have appendicitis.”
Eventually, the problem revealed itself and the Elder went into immediate surgery, which ultimately saved his life.
“In the Kingdom of God, such stories of faith abound. But miracles rarely announce themselves. To see them, we might have to ‘turn back and look.’”
President Lund promised that if we strive to remain close to the Spirit, we will be able to have the courage to keep faithfully moving forward while recognizing that it is not necessarily easy to see the Lord’s hand when challenges occur.
“Our experiences with the Spirit may seem best measured in micro-lumens rather than lightning bursts, but, especially in our darkest hours, the Spirit can amplify them to clearly light our way along the covenant path.”