I stared at my suitcases as I sat at the foot of my bed, with the scariest thought in my head. ‘Oh dear, it’s going to be real. I’m going to study in China. I’ll live alone. I might not be able to find a church. I don’t know a speck of Chinese. Oh dear.” To be honest, if I had been given the chance to cancel the flight, give up the opportunity and just stay, I would not have thought twice. I was burdened by countless worries, most especially the crippling worry that I would not be able to have a church community around me as I had previously had all my life. But I felt the Holy Ghost whisper something to me.
As I knelt to pray, the only thing I could do was to pour out all my worries to God and try to find confirmation that the road I was about to take was the road He wanted me to take. I had asked this many times before, and the answer had always been the same-that indeed it was the right thing for me. But I was not too sure. This time, I wanted assurance. However, He gave me something else that I needed: courage. The Holy Ghost whispered to me, “You’ll be fine.” Oddly enough, I truly felt that I would be fine.
Looking back at that short moment of struggle, the Holy Ghost’s reassurance gave me a strong push in the direction I knew He wanted me to go. There will be times in our lives when we will go through changes, be stripped of everything familiar or be thrown far from our comfort zones because it is necessary. In all our pursuits, tough as they may seem, if we keep the Holy Ghost as our companion, we will truly be fine.
RECEIVING PERSONAL REVELATION
When I was first introduced to the idea of going to study in China, I dismissed it immediately. I did not even entertain the idea. The little knowledge I had about China told me to steer away and choose another path. I thought, “China? Facebook, Youtube and Google are blocked there. Why on earth would I go to such a place?” However, my mother counseled me to ask the Lord if it was still a good opportunity for me.
Day by day, I prayed and patiently waited for an answer. I asked again and again, “Heavenly Father, should I go? What should I do for me to know if this is really the right decision or not?” It took me a whole month to receive an answer. It was during General Conference, last October. Particularly when Elder Neil L. Andersen’s spoke about President Nelson’s quick response to prophetic counsel:
“President Spencer W. Kimball challenged all present to lengthen their stride in taking the gospel to the entire world. Among the countries President Kimball specifically mentioned was China, declaring, ‘We should be of service to the Chinese. We should learn their language. We should pray for them and help them.’”
I thought it was a funny coincidence, but I knew it was the Lord giving me an answer. Elder Nelson’s talk wasn’t even about this solely, but I felt as if the words were spoken specifically for me to hear. It was a personal revelation, from Him, through the Holy Ghost.
President Russell M. Nelson could not have described what it means to receive personal revelation better, “Pray in the name of Jesus Christ about your concerns, your fears, your weaknesses—yes, the very longings of your heart. And then listen!… As you repeat this process you will “grow into the principle of revelation.”
THE HOLY GHOST IN ALL OUR PURSUITS
Personal revelation comes in many forms, but it will always come because we have the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I was taught by this experience of mine, that in everything that I do-in all my pursuits- the Holy Ghost should always be present. Then will we be guided spiritually no matter what we do, no matter where we are in the world.
Of course, even after receiving a clear answer, I still worried about not being able to go to Church every Sunday. There were still things that I was afraid of, unfamiliar with and anxious about. However, a month after I arrived, I was able to find a local Mormon congregation in a country where the LDS church is not
Truly, “the Lord will assist us in all our righteous pursuits, through the revelations of the Holy Ghost,” as President Nelson said. President Nelson continues to encourage us to “to stretch beyond [our] current spiritual ability to receive personal revelation” and if we do so, we will be given the “knowledge and understanding [we] seek.”