Always accessible to those who seek Him

This post is part of the General Conference Odyssey. This week covers the Saturday Afternoon Session of the April 1980 Conference
In this session, Elder F. Enzio Busche gave a talk called "Do We All Believe in the Same God?" It did NOT go where I was expecting it to. I expected the answer to be a gentle, "Yes! We have more things in common than we realize! And when we have disagreements, let's just remember that we all believe in the same God!"

The half-truths of men, often mingled with scripture, are sometimes strong enough to fulfill the expectations of the people for a season or for a generation, but they can neither bring them along the path of exaltation and eternal life nor bring satisfying answers to the demanding problems of mankind in these days.… 
The men of the world feel secure with the question “Don’t we all believe in the same God?” The answer to the question is “No.” The deceiver has initiated all kinds of philosophies and religions to lead people astray, to make them feel happy and safe in their man-made rationalizing and wickedness.
Well! Perhaps Elder Busche didn't know that I have a terrible fear of this already—a fear that somehow the picture I've constructed for myself of who God is, will turn out to be…completely wrong! Of course we can learn of Jesus from the scriptures, but there are so MANY scriptures that show different sides of Him, and I'm sure I sometimes choose to especially notice the ones that seem more in line with who I already think He is! So I do sometimes wonder, when pondering God's character, if I've got even a somewhat accurate conception of Him!

But Elder Busche explains:
When we really follow Christ in his true restored church, it will be manifested in our lives. The fruit will follow. The Holy Ghost will lead us to make uncomfortable decisions, to develop true love and faith by learning to sacrifice and to discipline ourselves. Our abilities will grow and will bring satisfaction and joy and happiness. Through the instrument of an ongoing communication with our Heavenly Father—a constant prayer in our hearts for direction in the many little decisions in our lives—we feel the softness of the yoke of Christ…We will be led to live our lives his way and not the world’s way.
So it sounds like (and of course I wrote about this last week too!) that if we want to know who God is, that knowledge comes as we have "ongoing communication" with Heavenly Father, trying to follow the Spirit and become like Christ. Okay. That reassures me a little. Even if I don't know perfectly what Jesus Christ is like, I won't be allowed to get TOO far off in my thinking, if I am trying to follow His commandments. Which I am.

And then I thought this talk by Elder Marion D. Hanks had some additional insight:
Each of us will enjoy all of God’s blessings that we are willing to receive.
But how do we manifest that willingness? …
We know and choose him and enjoy his blessings through serving him, through qualifying for his friendship, and by keeping him always in our hearts and minds. In our afflictions and gropings and forebodings we turn to him for comfort and support. He is always accessible to those who seek him.
Or maybe that is the same insight, restated. We come to know God by "turning to him for comfort and support"—particularly in (and I love this part) "our afflictions and gropings and forebodings"! I may not always know how to harmonize the varying scriptural glimpses of Christ. But groping toward Him hopefully? I can certainly do that! Seeking Him and His comfort? Thinking about Him often? Yes! All of that. I do it without even meaning to! When I am most afraid or confused, my spirit just cries out for someone to help me, comfort me, and explain things to me! It cries out for a closeness with God. So I am glad that this is a way for me to "know Him and choose Him."

And I do know, also, who God has been TO ME. I think (hope) that that's a little different than the "man-made rationalizing" Elder Busche was talking about, where we decide God is merely what seems rational to us. It makes me cringe when I hear people say things like, "A loving God would never…[whatever]," or, "The God I worship isn't ever [whatever]." I always think, "Who are YOU to think your mortal mind can encapsulate or prescribe all that God should be? If we could intuitively know exactly how a loving God should run things, what would we even need Him for?" But, that said, my own experiences with God have left me with at least SOME idea of how He speaks. What His presence feels like. Glimpses of what He likes…about ME! I know He speaks differently to different people, so it's not a FULL picture of Him, but it's still…something. And it's a something that is getting more vivid and more real to me as time goes on.

And it reassures me that God WANTS us to know Him. He has commanded us to try! So when we are seeking and reaching for Him—I think He will let Himself be known.

Other posts in this series:


  1. Oh! Interestingly enough, when I read these words that you write to me in that last email:

    “The fact that you have cried and pleaded and struggled over it doesn’t make you LESS faithful! It means you are willing to follow God if it KILLS you!”

    Both times when I read your email, I just accidentally read “follow God” as “know God”. And then reading this post this morning makes it feel like “Well yes! That fits too then! The following Him and reaching for Him and pleading for his help IS somehow bringing us to know him!”

  2. Powerful stuff! I often wonder what God is like in my children's minds . . .


Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top