As natural men, we all go through spiritual slumps. In my mutual days, I remember our Spiritual journey described as a roller coaster ride. Some days (or longer periods of time) we feel as though the world is on our shoulders and nothing we do is right, we are at the lowest low. But then, something changes and we keep moving closer to Christ and living righteously, we've reached the top. And, since we are imperfect, we inevitably come back down. Why? One reason: pride.
Heaven knows my imperfections and I attempt to work on them daily; sometimes that attempt isn't as successful as it should be and I always wonder why. A couple days ago I was feeling particularly low, then I got this gem (emphasis added):
How can I question without losing the Spirit? . . . All of us have questions at times in our lives on policies, procedures, or even principles. The best way to find the answers we seek is to search out the solution for ourselves."How do we go about it?"First and foremost, it is our attitude, or how we ask the question, that is very, very important. If it is a demand, one loses the opportunity for an answer."Second, if we have strong feelings about the way something should be and are unwilling to listen, we may lose the opportunity to get an answer." One only has to remember when wanted to take home pages of the Book of Mormon translation to show to others. Joseph Smith prayed to the Lord a number of times to finally be allowed to let the man do it. The Lord knew that the pages would be lost. But sometimes we want something so much and keep praying about it that the Lord lets us do it for our learning experience." Sometimes we are drawn into seeking and giving answers that bring recognition or notoriety to 'our' thinking and to 'our' opinion. Don't look for signs or answers that build you up. Humility and submissiveness to God will always be fundamental in receiving direction from Him.
Robert D. Hales, Gifts of the Spirit, Ensign, Feb. 2002, 17–18
Sometimes, when the right answer comes to us, we forget to listen. We forget to use the precious gift of the Holy Ghost because we think we know better. Pride enters and grabs hold. Like Martin Harris, sometimes the answer will come how we want it because the Lord wants us to learn and remember. Remember Him who is teaching us. Remember that He definitely knows better than we ever will.
Deeper learning and revelation only come when we strive to be like Christ and recognize that just in the striving we are becoming better. We are not asked to be perfect in this life, we're asked to do our best through being humble and following His ways.
To my fellow perfectionists out there, this is a good thing! His perfections make up for our imperfections; we just need to be humble enough to look to Him.