“…Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these twelve whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you, and to be your servants…” (3 Nephi 12:1)
I am a seeker. I always have been. I struggle to not dive deep into study and research to discover things for myself. It’s why, sometimes, I am not as productive as I could be with daily life. I love to learn and I really appreciate being able to come to my own conclusions instead of just accepting what others tell me is fact/truth/right.
But, there have been a few times in my life where I have immediately followed an admonition or challenge without questioning. The first was in college when President Gordon B Hinckley suggested that having more than one piercing was one way in which we show disrespect for the gift of our bodies. I had never thought much about that – I’ve never cared how many piercings or tattoos someone has. And at the time, I had a ring in my belly button and multiple piercings in my ears. As soon as his talk was finished, however, I immediately removed all my piercings. In that moment, I wanted to be strictly obedient to a Prophet of God.
I’m not sure what blessings came from that other than I no longer have to deal with infections from my body rejecting the metals. That had long been a problem for me and then it just wasn’t. What that experience did teach me is that I can choose to follow the Prophet.
Over the past couple years, President Russell M Nelson has presented many opportunities for us to follow a challenge or change or admonition. He became the Prophet shortly after my return to participation in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When he was announced as President of the church, I gave myself my own challenge – to be mindfully obedient to the challenges he would issue.
Read the Book of Mormon between October and the end of the year? Challenge accepted.
Come Follow Me at home with my family? I cried first, but then just did it.
Flood my social media with #GiveThanks? I’m always up for spreading goodness.
Church at home? Shhhh, I might have enjoyed this one for a while and sometimes wish we could do it again.
Do a 10 day social media fast? Thank you for that peace for 10 days.
Participate in a worldwide fast? Well, that’s really hard, but I’ll try.
Have I experienced direct blessings from taking the Prophet’s challenges? Some yes and some no. When I made a conscious effort to be thankful every day, I immediately experienced a brighter countenance and my mental health improved. Come Follow Me with my family has helped us to create some consistency with gospel discussions. Participate in a worldwide fast for relief from a pandemic? In a time where I could have felt fear and chaos, I have actually remained pretty unshaken.
But, I believe it is the compensatory blessings that have come as an indirect result of being obedient to a prophet’s counsel that have had the most impact on me and my family. Each time I choose to follow the Prophet, I walk away with a deeper faith. When things come up that seem to rattle others, I have been able to stand immovable. I have realized that listening to the world has on me and have been able to take steps to remove the voices that don’t matter in my life. I have learned how to love others better and accept where they are on their own journey. My family has been happier at home and in a time where others experienced great anxiety, I actually saw improvements in my anxious children.
Most importantly, I have learned that I can be both a seeker and be unquestionably obedient at the same time. Taking on the Prophet’s challenges has always brought light and goodness to my life. Through the process of completing those challenges, I have also been led to seek answers to some of my most burning questions.The fruit is good and therefore my desire to follow has been strengthened.
“A prophet does not stand between you and the Savior. Rather, he stands beside you and points the way to the Savior.” (Neil L Anderson)
Following the guidance of a Prophet has always grown good fruit in my life. And that good fruit moves me closer to the Savior.
Artwork by Doc Christensen
Audra is our Content Manager and Creative Director. She and her husband have three children.
Audra is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. If you were to drop by her house, you would most likely find her in a favorite pair of leggings with a book in one hand and a cookie in the other.
Audra loves inspiring others through public speaking and writing. She has been featured on several podcasts, including This is the Gospel podcast and Spiritually Minded Mom. She has written articles for communities such as Work + Wonder and A Voice of Gladness.
Audra has also been a local presenter at Time Out for Women in Raleigh, NC. Other interests include baking, photography, and fitness.
Audra created and hosted a retreat for Christian women in North Carolina which allowed her to combine some of her favorite passions – unity, friendship, and developing personal relationships with the Savior.
Audra currently resides in North Carolina, USA.
You can connect with Audra on Instagram or on any of A Worldwide Sisterhood platforms.