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Dear Gramps

Throughout my life, I have had several priesthood leaders who have wanted me to change the direction of my life, like finishing my college degree and changing my vocation, etc. I can understand their perspective and the reasons that they might say these things. My question is that on several occasions I have had my priesthood leaders come down hard on me, looking only at our outward circumstances and not my heart. I have told two bishops and two high priest group leaders over the last several years that I would willingly obey their counsel as my priesthood leaders if they would be willing to fast and pray with me and ask Father if I am not doing HIS will. To date not one has ever been willing to understand me; and ask Father’s will, concerning my family and me. I feel so much of their judgment even when it is not verbally expressed. I love these men and sustain them and do not judge them but feel very separated from these men that hold one of God’s greatest gifts, His priesthood. Gramps what would you do? Would you continue to obey the promptings of the Spirit and years of God delivering miracles in your life, or would you deny these promptings and do what they are telling you when they want you to walk away from what you know in your heart is of the Father and have been directed by His spirit, in light of their unwillingness to fast and pray with you, or even considering your patriarchal authority?.





Dear Randy,

You seem not to want your priesthood leaders to change the direction of your life, yet it seems to me that you are quite anxious to change the direction of their lives. You want your priesthood leaders to pray and fast with you seeking for their confirmation of your point of view. I’m sure that you would not want any consideration for yourself that you would not be willing and anxious that your priesthood leaders would give to all the other members of your ward. There are probably on the order of about three hundred adults in your ward. Your priesthood leaders would soon starve to death if they were to give to other members of the ward the same consideration that you demand of them.

Let me let you in on a little secret. The way of the Lord in His Church is that he will never inspire any member in a manner contrary to the inspiration given to the member’s leaders. Otherwise only chaos would result. Inspiration and direction flows down from higher to lower authority–never from lower to higher authority.
You bring up the question of your patriarchal authority. It’s true that in that light you have the final decision on those matters that are part of your personal life, but if the Lord would desire to give you direction He could inspire you personally, or He could instruct you through those who preside over you. If there is a difference between your desires and the direction you receive from your priesthood leaders, if it were me, I would understand that there is a problem with my perspective, and that the Lord is trying to tell me something.

I am closely acquainted with a person who was a stake clerk and was preparing to further his education by enrolling at Brigham Young University. He announced his attention to the stake president in ample time for a replacement to be called and trained. But the call never came. Shortly before this person was to leave for school the stake president told him that he should postpone his education for two years, remain as stake clerk and then go to school. The person immediately agreed. He later reported that he was blessed in major ways in his academic career, beyond his expectations. He soon received his PhD degree, and excelled at a state university, following which he became the chairman of the German Department at BYU, and with his wife, was one of the first missionaries to serve in East Germany behind the iron curtain. You may be missing out on great blessings by demanding of your priesthood leaders that they do it your way, instead of listening to their counsel and advice.








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