Divine Whispering and Touches of Heavenly Power…
I am a believer that God communicates to His children through dreams. No, I do not believe that every dream contains messages from God. Some of our dreams are just pure nonsense, manifestations of fear, imaginations of the working mind, or even a clearinghouse just to free the brain of the dust and muck that gathers throughout a day. However, I have dreamed dreams that I knew came from somewhere other than my mind, sharing with me truths that I otherwise would not know without divine whispering and inspired touches from heavenly power. Dreams of warning, dreams of inspiration, dreams of guidance through troubled tomorrows, can all come from God that we might see paths that He would have us take or receive comfort in our struggles.
I believe that God can speak to all of us through dreams, although we might not all recognize the source of our understandings as being divine. Receiving personal revelation through dreams is a gift of the spirit, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we will have the gift to interpret those dreams, and thus we may need to call on another to aid us in our understanding. Such was the case faced by Pharaoh of ancient Egypt when he dreamed a dream that so indelibly affected him that he sought guidance until he found it. He found his answers in one of the sons of Israel who had dreamed his own dreams, was able to understand them, and had helped others before Pharaoh.
“Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river. And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow. And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river. And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke. And he slept and dreamed the second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good. And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them. And the seven thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream. And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled” (Genesis 41:1-8).
By the power of God Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams as one, the seven healthy cattle and the seven good ears of corn represented seven years of plenty. The seven unhealthy cattle and thin ears of corn, that swallowed up what was healthy, represented seven years of famine that would plague Egypt and all of the surrounding countries. Pharaoh dreamed, Joseph interpreted and laid out a plan to prepare for the famine, and both Egypt and the house of Israel were saved.
Although as far as we know no such dream has been dreamt, nor plan has been prepared in our day in preparation for years of famine to come, but there are lessons from those years long ago that may be implemented in our own lives for us to be better prepared for financial hardships that may come. It is in our best interests during times of personal success or booming economies, even in times that might not be so good, to prepare ourselves for days of difficulty.
When I was a boy my father was very successful in earning a productive living for our family. Dad was really a brilliant engineer. He had one of those minds that could create beyond my understanding. With that kind of creative ability much success could be had financially, and much was. We were able to afford and build my mother’s dream home, have a farm, and live in a place where I could grow up happy and learn many life lessons. Unfortunately, even with my dad‘s many gifts, my parents often overextended themselves counting on things to work out as we expected they would. Add to that a terrible economy in the late 70s coupled with the dishonest and unscrupulous actions of business partners, and we were left by the mid-80s with overwhelming debt that could not be overcome without extreme measures. When crippling debt caused the loss of my mother’s home, a certain light left her eyes.
In reference to those days of Joseph and Pharaoh, President Gordon B. Hinckley taught, “I urge you to look to the condition of your finances. I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt to the extent possible. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from bondage. If you have paid your debts, if you have a reserve, even though it be small, then should storms howl about your head, you will have shelter for your wives and children and peace in your hearts” (General Conference, Oct. 1998).
“Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from bondage.”
President Gordon B. Hinckley
For the lessons learned in the eyes of my mother, being aware of the ever turbulent currents of economies, making my own share of financial missteps, and having witnessed the dishonest and hateful lying in wait to disrupt or steal away what once we felt rightfully ours but stolen nonetheless, I have tried to live a life of self-reliance, avoiding debt wherever possible, and not living beyond the means with which the Lord has blessed me. I have seen for myself many twists and turns in economic times, seeing how bad economies do not affect everybody the same, and for some bad is even good.
While we all make many mistakes in our financial decisions, we do not have to make any mistake at all to experience financial falls, as wealth or poverty can come with or without our specific worthiness. Yes, we understand that blessings are tied to commandments we have kept, but we cannot always understand or see the whole plan of God and His timing, the when and how His blessings will provide prosperity. Oh, prosperity will be had by the righteous, and the unrepentant wicked will be left destitute, it is just that time does not begin with birth or end with passing, and the Lord’s rewards will be had by the righteous forever, not just for this short sojourn here on Earth.
Since the rain falls on the wicked the same as the righteous, and so do the righteous suffer in famine as do the wicked, it is important for all of us to prepare every needful thing and be ready for the day when famine, betrayal, war or economic collapse will strip away some of those things which now provide support. As President Hinckley taught, we must limit our indebtedness, pay off our debts as quickly as we can, live within our means, and set aside in whatever way is possible for a day when we will need beyond what we can harvest in the season thereof. Those days will come and go in each of our lives whether by personal trial or widespread famine, we all have our days of need.
If we can learn to follow counsel, the counsel of a prophet, then we can be blessed, as were the people of Egypt and the children of Israel, to reap a sustained harvest through obedience to the guidance of a loving God. We will be sustained in our lean days, to enjoy prosperity in temporal matters, as in things spiritual. God will bless us. He will sustain us. I am grateful for the examples of Pharaoh and Joseph for following His voice in a dream and providing this lesson for us all.
I do believe that the Lord speaks to us through dreams. If we but open our hearts and obediently follow those counsels which we have received in our dreams, or in any of the ways we each hear Him, He will provide ongoing guidance to lead us through all the trials of life, that our burdens may be light, and we have the strength to endure all things in faith, that light may never leave our eyes. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.