Thursday, May 15, 2014

I Hear Voices

     I hear voices. Every day...all day....I hear voices. It usually only takes a couple hours before I have a headache from all of those voices. These voices are the voices of family, friends, and loved ones who try to offer advice on my "current situation." Who I should date, what job I should have...the list goes on. I know everyone is trying to help, and I am truly grateful. But there is just one question I have, and I think it's time to use "lit therapy" to answer it: "Which voice do I listen to?"

     If you've read my blog before, you know that I believe that the answer to every question that every person has ever had already exists in a book. So, I do the work and figure out which book answers which question.To answer this question I was reminded of a story about a voice that actually comes from my very favorite book: The Book of Mormon.

    That won't be a shock to most of you who know that I'm LDS (Mormon), but I hope you won't stop reading because even if you aren't LDS I promise you'll be able to get something out of this.

    My second favorite story from the book is when Christ comes to visit the people in the Americas. Much like what occurred in the Bible, God speaks to introduce his Son before He comes. What's interesting is that the people don't understand it. Read this little part:

"And it came to pass that while they were thus conversing one with another, they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard;" -3 Nephi 11:3

    I remember first reading this story and thinking that something so monumental was about to happen, Christ was coming, and the people didn't understand the voice of their own Father? The voice of the very God that gave them life. It just seemed so sad and so wrong. But, can I tell you? I understand. At times, I feel the very same way. We can't hear an audible voice from God telling us what to do, but I do believe that He can communicate with us. I also know that I sometimes have a hard time picking out that "voice" above all the others. 

    But maybe it was a trick question because I already know which voice is the one I'm supposed to listen to, God's voice. I just need to work on the "how." How do you recognize and follow God's voice when so many others seem to speak louder than His? I think the key comes from the third time when the people did understand his voice:

And again the third time they did hear the voice, and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came." -3 Nephi 11:5

     As my phone is ringing right now, I sometimes think that in our world the trick is tuning out the audible voices and "opening our ears" and our hearts so we can hear the one that isn't audible. It takes practice more than anything and also a conscious effort to turn off the noise sometimes (whether that be the TV, the phone, the music, whatever.) It's not always easy to hear His voice, but can I promise you something? God lives and He speaks. And in the end, His voice is the only one that really matters.

Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name --- 
hear ye him
-3 Nephi 11:7

Writing Music: "Voices" by Chris Young and "This is the Christ" by Mormon Tabernacle Choir