"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." - Darrell Royal
Question #92455 posted on 07/14/2019 4:42 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How do you recognize a negative answer from God? I feel like we hear a lot about how to recognize when something is right, and I have some personal experience that helps me understand how I feel that kind of inspiration, but I am at a loss in a current situation. I am trying to decide if a certain course of action is right for me and my family. For awhile I was feeling good about it, but then we had a minor setback and now I just keep going back and forth. I don't know if this is an indication from the Lord that it's not for me, or if it's just my brain being my brain and overstressing about everything as usual.
I know the answer to this question varies from person to person, but I would love to hear some thoughts.

Thanks!
Dorothy

A:

Dear you,

Personally, I feel like God is fine with us making our own decisions, and for many decisions, there isn't just a simple right-or-wrong dichotomy, rather, either option is acceptable.

But since you are wanting some guidance with this, I'd recommend checking out this D&C lesson from a couple years ago, "I Will Tell You in Your Mind and in Your Heart, by the Holy Ghost."

One of the class discussion points is this:

How can we recognize when God answers “no”? (Answers could include that we will have negative feelings, confusion, feelings of unrest and uneasiness, or a “stupor of thought” [D&C 9:9]. Invite class members to share experiences with receiving such feelings.)

To me, though, it sounds like the decision you are trying to make is one that is totally fine. I have decision anxiety at times, and it is hard for me to make a decision, or to stick with it. When I actually make a decision and hold to it, though, it is often a huge relief. And in the moments I am still struggling to make a decision, it helps me to identify what, exactly, the anxiety, fear or worry is holding me back. At these times, it is helpful for me to pause, contemplate, and name the fear confronting me, and to name it.

Maybe the reason I don't know if I want to move is because I'm actually afraid that if I do move I will lose access to friends and family, and I am afraid I'll be lonely forever.

Maybe I am afraid to take a job is not because it's a salary difference, but because I feel like the company is irresponsible environmentally and I can't morally support that.

And maybe sometimes I just fear mistakes, and the future. And that's okay.

Whatever your decision, rest easy knowing that even if things turn out differently than you expect, you will have new opportunities to learn, grow, and decide.

Suerte,

--Ardilla Feroz

posted on 07/15/2019 11:34 p.m.
I love what Ardilla Feroz said, and just wanted to add a story my stake president shared once. He was out driving with his brother when suddenly his brother excitedly pulled over on the side of a bridge and made my pres get out of the car to watch a sailboat. He didn't understand what captivated his brother so until the brother noted the direction of the wind. The wind powered sailboats were traveling /against/ the wind, and making progress.
My president used this to underline that all too often we take set backs or challenges to be signs we shouldn't go forward with something, when we have been equipped with the triangular sails and tools required to go where we want. Food for thought. :)
-C.S.