I read your answer to someone’s question “How can people receive opposite personal revelation and both say it came from God?” and it got me thinking of another similar question. Two people are engaged to be married in the temple and one person says they got the revelation that they should be sealed for time and all eternity, and one says they got the revelation that they should break up and not be together. How can both of them get opposite revelation? Could it just be cold feet?
Thank you for this follow up question that adds to the previous answer provided. In my college years I had a friend who was engaged to be married. They both had prayed, and both had initially felt this was the right thing to do. On the day of the wedding, in the temple, the young lady begin to feel really nervous. After discussing her nerves with one of the patrons it was confirmed to her heart and mind that this was not the right thing for her to do.
In this scenario I am able to think of two possibilities (maybe you could come up with more): 1) She had cold feet and because of her cold feet the Lord then witnessed not to move forward (even though it was right), and 2) The initial confirmation was simply that he was a good man and she wanted to be with a good man, but she always felt uneasy but rejected the feelings of uneasiness until the feelings were too strong in the temple (where the adversary is not able to tempt).
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland provided the following thought in his speech, “Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence,” when he said the following confirming the possibility of #1,
“Lesson number two is closely related. It is that in the process of revelation and making important decisions, fear plays a destructive, sometimes paralyzing role. To Oliver Cowdery, who missed the opportunity of a lifetime because he didn’t seize it in the lifetime of the opportunity, the Lord said, “You did not continue as you commenced.”
Sometimes, even when the Lord confirms something important, we may fear, and our fear results in the loss of something good.
I think it important to note also, that two revelations can be received (like with politics) depending on the question we are asking. Our desires and personal goals can and do affect the outcome of our prayers. For example, if one person is praying to know which person will be the best president who served in the military, while the other is praying to know who will simply be the best president the answer from the Lord may be different. What if the one is deciding if the individual will be able to fulfill their goals in life? What if the other is praying simply to know if this is right and a good choice? Both of these answers could lead to opposite confirmations. A person may have everything the one individual desires and wants, while the other person is not sure but knows the person is a good person. These also will most likely lead to different revelations.
In my early years in college and experiencing the “oh so wonderful” dating life, I read the following advice given from a man who knew he wanted to be a teacher. When he determined he wanted to be a teacher he decided that it was important to know if the young lady would be able to live and support a meager lifestyle — as to things of this world (before he went to the Lord asking if this was right). Now, growing up I also heard the following statements from some women in the Church, “You can love a rich man as easily as a poor man. Marry the rich man.” So, if this man was dating a young lady who was taught this by her mother, and when dating this man her mother provided her thoughts, this young lady might well indeed receive a different answer (due to her mother’s thoughts) when praying to know if this was right (even if she felt she could support a teacher’s salary and lifestyle). That is an easy, extreme, way for people to receive a different revelation according to their personal desires and goals in this life.
Our personal goals, our personal desires, our personal fears and confidence will largely affect the outcome of our answers.