Sometimes we don’t understand the spiritual promptings we receive. But Joseph Smith’s example shows us that as we trust and follow those promptings, we can know for certain that we are doing God’s will.
We all have desires, many of them righteous ones. You may want to serve a mission to the country of your ancestors, spread a message of truth to the world, find the right person to marry, or start a successful career so you can support your family.
Occasionally, the desires we believe are right are achieved only after great difficulty. Even when these God-given desires do not seem to be realized right away, they may still be fulfilled eventually, in God’s own time.
Sometimes these desires have been nourished by a loving God who you know wants you to succeed in a specific endeavor, and yet it seems difficult to achieve. You keep trying, reaching and stumbling as the thing you desire—the goal you know you should work for—repeatedly slips out of your grasp.
Joseph Smith Jr. knew this feeling. He desired to do God’s will, yet events often did not work out the way he hoped they would. For example, God commanded him to raise a voice of warning to the world, and Joseph obeyed by submitting a letter to the newspaper American Revivalist, and Rochester Observer. Yet for all of Joseph’s effort, only a quarter of his original letter ended up being published. Joseph felt “quite anxious to have it all laid before the public for it is of importance to them” (italics added).
Although Joseph performed the task assigned to him, things did not go according to plan. Even when things do not work out how or when we think they should, as we move forward and trust God, in the end, all things shall work together for our good (see D&C 122:7).
Read Joseph Smith’s full letter that he hoped to have published.
Read Joseph’s bold complaint to the editor that only part of his letter was published.
Source: The Joseph Smith Papers
—Charlotte Noelle Champenois, Mormon Insights
Find more insights
See other documents written in Joseph’s own handwriting.
Photo courtesy of Lynda Giddens
What a great reminder! We don’t always see the results of our efforts straight away. But thankfully the Lord notices our efforts. I think he has a much different view of time than we do. And he’s much more wise than we are, so it’s important to remember to trust that he’s looking out for us and that blessings will come.