11 August 2013


What do you do when Heaven is silent? When God simply doesn't answer a prayer? We're taught in Church that God will always answer our prayers. That not one goes without consideration. Sometimes the answer is yes... you pray to find your keys, and the next table you look under, voila! there they are. Sometimes the answer is yes, but in the most frustrating ways... "Sure... I'll help you find your keys... keep looking, I'll make you remember this experience." This is probably the most common answer, at least it is for me. Sometimes we are so hurt and upset that we can't recognize His comforting hand on our shoulder, and I think that is common for everyone. Sometimes the answer is no, "Nice try... This is the tenth time this week. You're on your own kid." But what happens when there's silence?

About a year and a half ago, I was taking a Statistics class. I studied hard, and spent hours with tutors. But Math has never been my strong point, and I struggled with even the most basic concepts. The night before my final exam, I knelt down and prayed that I could pass... even telling Him that a C- would suffice (C 's get degrees after all...) But I felt nothing. Not a yes, not a no... just empty space. I didn't know what it meant, but I got up and went to bed anyway.

I failed my exam. With flying colors.

I personally believe that silence is the "answer" when our hearts are closed to what God could say. I limited God. I doubted His power and influence. If we doubt (consciously or unconsciously) that God can actually answer our prayers, then He'll be silent. It takes two to tango.

That doesn't mean that if we have perfect faith that God will answer our every prayer, that He will do so. I can't tell you how many times I have begged and pleaded with God to help me find my car keys. His answer? "You're on your own with this one kid... this is the 10th time this week." God doesn't answer our prayers in the way we want Him to... That's the beauty of it. He makes us think; He makes us learn. Our Heavenly Parents are just that... parents. They will help us learn. But sometimes, it means teaching us a lesson... and that lesson is to put your keys back where they belong, otherwise you'll be ten minutes late for work.

It's not just the general membership that have silent prayers every once in a while... It's the Brethren too. I used to work with a guy who is one of President Monson's grand kids. He asked President Monson one day if he and the Brethren had prayed about homosexuality in the Church. And they have. They pray in their room in the temple, and they haven't received an answer. Not yes, not no... just silence. Why is this? I believe that it is because some/most/all of the Brethren have a bias... They believe that they are already right, and that they don't need to be praying about it. But instead of getting the instantaneous "yes" answer that they are looking for... it's absent. Gone.

I don't know about anyone else... but it gives me hope.


  1. Wait. I'm LDS and I was taught that we should pray but that God doesn't always answers prayers....at least not immediately. I'm glad you are figuring that out though.

  2. Regarding the Sounds of Silence: Family friend, and my name sake, Harold B. Lee prayed mightily about homosexuality and got no answer.
    His supplications were in the face of excommunication proceedings for homosexuality of an eminent and beloved BYU and Rick’s College professor, and my own spiritual and intellectual mentor, Dr. Howard Salisbury. When the dust had settled and Howard was excommunicated, Elder Lee privately confided to Howard, who was a long time acquaintance, that on the issue of homosexuality, ‘the Heavens are sealed.”
    Lee Williams

  3. As an LDS person, silence was a very common thing, say, 90% of my spiritual life from the ages of 17-22. My mind writhed between various hurtful thoughts, such as that I was too unfaithful, that I was too unclean (read: bisexual, went through some traumas, intellectually focused, swore, fascinated with regular American culture), that the world around me was too evil, that my connection to God was being silenced by my inability to get closer to God despite all of my attempts...

    Silence has been much less common for me when I started worshiping/regarding all of the gods and forces and (Jungian) psychopomps I ponder about. I think now that silence comes when we are on the wrong road (let alone the wrong direction,) or that we're not thinking in the best perspective needed. I'm also no longer sold on a 100% eutheistic god.

    As regarding the above, I cannot believe that a heaven is sealed to anything: it limits its power and axes God's mercy to pieces. Applying a cultural white-wash to what we feel in my experience does not bandage. It poisons.

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  5. Heavens, no!!!! I just felt like I had been writing TOO many comments that were ALL TOO long and I did not want you to be afraid to blog because of all of my comments everywhere. That was all. Sorry. Forgive me? :) Duck

  6. 1. You never comment too much. Seriously.
    2. I'm never afraid of blogging... I just have a serious case of writer's block. I have a crap ton of ideas, but the words just won't flow.
    3. Forgiven. Just don't scare me again!!

  7. Thank you. :) In retrospect, when I deleted the comment, I should have left another one telling you why I did what I did. I will know better for the next time. :)

    Feel like writing about what drew you to Melissa? How you met each other, how long before you knew you were "whooped" on her, how the proposal went? Or, feel like writing more about your family and why you are all divorced from each other? What makes you angry about them? Or, write about if you could live anywhere in the world, or know any foreign language, what would it be and why? Or, just let your writer's block heal and then write when you can. :)

    It is just that I really enjoy your posts so I miss them when they are not around. :) Good night, Duck

  8. This is very interesting. :) It reminds me of a talk called "Red lights, green, lights, and personal revelation" by Brad Wilcox. I love listening to his talk, I have it on my ipod. He actually addresses this issue and what not. I highly suggest listening to his talk :)