I Am As One Crying In The Wilderness


Have you ever been alone and lost in the woods?  I’m sure, if you are like me, that you have experienced it on more than one occasion. One such occurrence happened while I was hiking in the mountains near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.  Many years ago, I was on a Boy Scout hike and somehow I took a wrong turn at a fork in the road. I went for about a mile before I realized that I was lost. I looked around and didn’t recognize where I was. I became a little scared and so I started to shout out in hopes that someone would hear me.  I stood and shouted for a few minutes without success. I wandered aimlessly and by sheer luck came across the trail and was able to find the troop. I wasn’t lost for very long so no one gave a thought as to my disappearance. But what I remember most from that day was “crying out,” and having no one hear me.

I have often heard the phrase, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness…” (Mark 1: 3), and in my mind I have always  related it to John the Baptist. It seemed logical to me that he would be described as such, because he was raised and taught in the desert, or wilderness. However, I have since discovered that, while John did preach in the wilderness, the meaning of this phrase goes much deeper. In the Doctrine and Covenants, section 88, it reads:

“Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you… Behold, that which you hear is as the voice of one crying in the wilderness—in the wilderness, because you cannot see him—my voice, because my voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth; truth abideth and hath no end; and if it be in you it shall abound.” (Vs. 64,66).

This scripture gives a whole new meaning to this popular phrase. I stood in the mountains of West Virginia, alone, as a boy that day, and it was clear to me that no one could see me or hear me. I could shout till I was hoarse and wave my hands till they fell off but it wasn’t going to do any good.  So it is with the Lord. He says, “I am as one standing in the wilderness, you cannot see me, you cannot hear me!” For most of us, in this life, we will not ever see Him, nor will we ever hear his voice. How then do we know that He is real, that He exists and where to find Him? The answer is that we do so by the Spirit! He says that “my voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth”. Because the Lord is “as one in the wilderness”, we can only hear him via the Spirit. His Spirit is charged with communicating to us His whereabouts, and how to find Him. Because His voice and image are not directly revealed to us, it is important to not only receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, but to live our lives in such a way that the ever steady sound of His Spirit is guiding us towards Him. Answers to our questions become more difficult or impossible to comprehend without His Spirit because His Spirit is “truth” and it “abideth and hath no end.” And if we live worthy lives, the truth “shall abound” in us. And then this promise:

“And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things”. (D&C 88:67). What a magnificent promise we are given in that we will be able to “comprehend” all things! So, in this life, we walk by faith, not seeing, not hearing, but being able to comprehend all through the Spirit. Let us live our lives so that His Spirit will be our constant guide and compass in leading us back home.


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