People Sitting on Benches in Waiting Room

The Illusion of Waiting

Although we may have to wait for some blessings, we need not stand still.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all had to put our lives on hold in one way or another. However, pandemic or not, at times we may feel perpetually stuck in the waiting room of life, waiting for the Lord to bless us with what we have worked and prayed for so diligently. Despite our feelings of being stuck, waiting can still involve reward and growth.

"The personal growth one can achieve now while waiting upon the Lord and His promises is an invaluable, sacred element of His plan for each one of us." –M. Russell Ballard

Photo by Felipe Cespedes

One example of the benefits of waiting is the Stanford marshmallow experiment. The children participating had the option to either immediately eat a marshmallow placed in front of them or wait 15 minutes and receive an additional marshmallow. The children had to sit there and do their best to not think about what was right in front of them. They had to trust that if they were patient, the reward would come.

Although it’s easy to feel like we’re sitting there waiting for our second marshmallow, President M. Russell Ballard asserts in his talk “Hope in Christ” that “waiting upon the Lord does not imply biding one’s time. You should never feel like you are in a waiting room.”

Instead of waiting around, President Ballard suggests that we look for opportunities to serve. He promises that “the personal growth one can achieve now while waiting upon the Lord and His promises is an invaluable, sacred element of His plan for each one of us.”

Elder Ballard acknowledges that although we may not know the precise time and manner we will receive the blessings of exaltation, our confidence in these promises is rooted in our faith in Christ. We have the assurance that no matter our circumstances, the Lord will consecrate the work we do to move forward, even if that movement is not in the direction or the manner we initially envisioned. This assurance is the basis of our hope in Christ. 

Read or watch President M. Russell Ballard’s general conference talk “Hope in Christ” to learn more about developing hope in Jesus Christ. 


—Liana Sowa, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights 

Read or watch President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s general conference address “Continue in Patience” to learn more about waiting for the Lord’s blessings.

Read “Waiting on a Green Light from God,” a Latter-day Saint Insights article by Renee Stevens, to learn more about navigating life with God’s guidance.

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