Along with the peaceful direction we receive from the Holy Ghost, from time to time, God powerfully and very personally assures each of us that He knows us and loves us and that He is blessing us specifically and openly.
- Elder Neil L. Anderson, “Spiritually Defining Memories”
Four times in this talk, Elder Anderson talks about how the Lord knows us and loves us. It is important to recognize the relationship between those two attributes. God knows us. He knows all of our weaknesses, our failings, our faults. Despite all that knowledge of our handicaps, He still loves us. That love is likely because He also has full knowledge of all our strengths, capabilities and potential.
That knowledge of who we truly are and who we can truly become allows Him to bless us specifically and in a way individualized for each of us. In the talk “Spiritual Capacity” Sister Michelle Craig discussed how Nephi, the brother of Jared and Moses all had a similar problem – to cross a large body of water – but were each given “personalized direction, tailored to them.”
Sometimes that direction we receive is unexpected and we need to have faith to move forward. It is in those times that we can reflect back on our previous experiences and leap forward with faith. Those spiritually defining memories can help us feel strengthened and encouraged as we encounter any new challenges.
In the BYU Hawaii Devotional, “Bread or Stones: Understanding the God We Pray to” S. Michael Wilcox says, “Somewhere in the past of your life, experiences have been placed by a wise and foresighted Father in Heaven to prepare you to face the very things that you are facing.” I have frequently focused on that quote to help me through difficult experiences. I have felt the small bits of direction and encouragement from the Spirit to help me overcome those struggles. If you struggle to remember those experiences, say a prayer and ask specifically to remember those feelings.