Waiting For The ‘Epithany’ (That May Never Come)


“One of the most remarkable events in the history of the world happened on the road to Damascus. You know well the story of Saul, a young man who had “made havock of the church, entering into every house … [committing the Saints] to prison.”Saul was so hostile that many members of the early Church fled Jerusalem in the hope of escaping his anger.

Saul pursued them. But as he “came near Damascus … suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

“And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”

This transformative moment changed Saul forever. Indeed, it changed the world.

We know that manifestations such as this happen…God hears and answers the prayers of His children.

Nevertheless, there are some who feel that unless they have an experience similar to Saul’s…they cannot believe. They stand at the waters of baptism but do not enter. They wait at the threshold of testimony but cannot bring themselves to acknowledge the truth. Instead of taking small steps of faith on the path of discipleship, they want some dramatic event to compel them to believe.

They spend their days waiting on the road to Damascus.” ( April GC, 2011, “Waiting on the Road to Damascus”, Dieter Uchtdorf).

I am presently involved in teaching someone about the gospel. They respect the church and it’s members. They believe the doctrines and it’s teachings. But when asked why they are not willing to be baptized they responded, “I am waiting for that moment…an epiphany, you might say!”. The sad thing is that they might wait for that “epiphany” forever and miss out on the many blessings that await them. What this person is wanting is a personal celestial manifestation, which can happen, but rarely does. The more probable definition of an “epiphany” is having a sudden insight into the reality of a truth, which usually comes from a common day experience. Sadly, this person is looking for the former experience, not the latter. So while the Holy Ghost might be testifying to them of the truthfulness of the gospel, this person might be ignoring it while looking for something more “grandiose.” Thus, as President Uchtdorf put it, they are found waiting on the road to Damascus for something that will never happen. While they wait and wait, they lose the blessings that come from acceptance and obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sometimes we are guilty of doing the same when it comes to our obedience to particular commandments or revealed principles. We want something “grand” to show us that what we are doing is right, when the testimony of our actions usually come in small ways. The obedience to many gospel principles is like planting seeds. It take months, years, even a lifetime to see the total fruits of our actions. But if we exercise our faith in the Lord and are steadfast, we will begin to see small sprouts breaking forth from the ground showing us that our labor is paying off.

Dieter Uchtdorf’s analogy of “waiting on the road to Damascus” is powerful. It should be a reminder to all of us that we need to press on, and not be weary in doing good. That “epiphany” or that “moment”, can happen on a continual basis, for each of us. But we must be willing to accept it in the manner in which it arrives. And that is usually through the power of the Holy Ghost. The Lord reveals himself on a constant basis through the whispering of his spirit.  Let us not overlook its influence in our lives as it testifies of the truthfulness of all things. Because if we do so, we might find ourselves “waiting….waiting….waiting,”, like my friend, for an ‘epiphany’ which might never come.  And while so doing, we, like him, might find that we miss out on blessings that come to the faithful followers of Jesus Christ.

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