Me too. As I reflect on my 60+ years as a member in the church, I feel I have had occasional divine communication, but definitely not reliable nor consistent. Words to characterize my experiences include: unreliable, paradoxical, compassionate, beautiful logic and intelligent, but they are always comforting when the do come.Mom3 said:
Joseph Smith had a similar situation. This masterful vision in a grove. Life changing for him and many others. Yet three years pass and nothing. We rarely think about those 3 years. Did he pray? Was God silent? Who knows. On top of that, if the story is accurate, he didn't get what he wanted. He just wanted to know his standing before God. Instead he gets an Angel, a long lecture. Repeats of the lecture and whole new life.
My FC first crested shortly after college. I had just finished getting my masters but had gone a year without employment. I fasted, prayed my heart out, not just about employment but trying to build some sort of relationship w/ God. Anything. I got nothing. My pleading and begging were of no avail.
And I was struggling with the temple ceremonies trying to see what relevance they had to my relationship with God. I was particularly worked up about the signs & tokens. They just didn't make sense to me. Since my temple recommend was still current I decided to try it one more time. Though at the time I lived in SLC, I decided to drive to Manti where the crowds wouldn't be so great. I was grateful to get on a session that was a comfortable size, large enough to get lost in and small enough to not feel like a cattle heard. Throughout the session I contemplated my question until I got a response. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the words came clearly and distinctly to me "Don't worry about it. I don't understand it either, but don't reject the tokens for someday you will be glad you didn't." I was fully aware of the irony of that statement, but I had with it an unmistakable feeling of peace and comfort. My FC continued to deepen, but I never felt a need to question those ironic words, even as I went AWOL from the Church.
During this time my brother suffered a stroke, and was in recuperation for about a month. The day he was to return to work, he committed suicide. My sister-in-law was understandably distraught. A few days after the funeral, I felt prompted to visit her. As we chatted, I felt words of comfort and compassion for her and my brother flow through me. I was expressing thoughts I had never thought before, that flowed clearly and moved both of us to tears. We embraced, comforted that all was well.
Seventeen years later I was going for a walk and passed a Mormon church (in SLC still). I got a very distinct feeling that I needed to attend church. So Sunday I went to Church. Nothing significant happened, and nobody bugged me or tried to find out who I was. I went to church 2 more times, different wards to keep my anonymity. Then I got a strange prompting to call up my resident bishop. "Do what????" I asked. Just talk to him, I was told. So I made an appointment and soon found myself talking to a kind, understanding and amazingly patient man. I just shared my frustrations and agonies with organized religion, esp. Mormonism, and he agreed with most of my points. I met with him two more times, before a long time friend (who at the time was the RS Pres & Temple worker) decided to get married. She knew full well my feelings about the Church, and said she would be willing to get married any place I wanted. She had only one request: Would I ask the bishop what it would take for me to get a temple recommend. I wasn't wearing G's, paying tithing, nor attending church with any kind of regularity. But I agreed to ask.
My interview followed the pattern of our other discussions as we talked about the temple questions philosophically. Then he said: "I will ask you the formal questions. Please answer with only Yes or No:". I did, then he asked me to be patient while he petitioned God for guidance. Five minutes later he was filling out the recommend. He also asked me to resume wearing G's, attending church and paying tithing. He then counseled to get an appointment with the caution that the SP was a knee-jerk accountant by profession, so answer him with only a "Yes or No", avoid any discussions. I said "thank you" and took my leave. A few days later I had my recommend.
Two decades later, I have had my ups and downs with the Church. I am in ward many states removed from the Mormon corridor. I feel the good parts of Mormonism are divinely inspired (emphasis on education, healthy lifestyle, fellowshiping and aiding one another, the plan of exhalation, and the deeper parts of Mormon theology like "The God Who Weeps" by Givens). I still struggle with the anti-intelectualism, and dogmatism, that pervades the Church. Recently I have been learning great lessons from StayLDS about the value of allowing and appreciating TBM'ers opinions, just as much as I value mine. It's a tough lesson to learn to tolerate and be patient with the intolerant. But I am finding it to be very profound and perhaps a significant way for me to build bridges to TBM'ers while maintaining my own integrity. IMO it is better than giving up and staying home.
Nevertheless I feel a need to attending sacrament meeting, and teach the HP class whenever I can. For now that is enough. I may even feel comfortable saying I have a testimony. Such is my experience with Divine will in my life.