Solving Problems

It’s funny — when I sat down at the computer to type this blog post, I couldn’t remember what last Sunday’s self-reliance topic was! I assumed it was because I felt that I was already doing a pretty good job of doing it. I was right.

I have been much more focused on checking in with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ about my plans as I go throughout each day. I am such a headstrong person that I naturally take the lead when there is one needed and no one else steps up. I also tend to shut down when there’s another leader — unless I am given some idea of what needs to be done. I won’t just step in and do something because I don’t want to be seen as taking over. So, I am much more concerned with consecrating my life, turning my plans over for approval and being ready to adjust what I had thought I needed to be doing on the fly.

Problem-solving, on the other hand, comes naturally. Long before he died, my dad identified me as a natural troubleshooter. I taught that way. As I matured, I learned to parent and lead that way. Gather as much information as possible,  consider the realistic options, and get something done or decided. It’s really that simple.

So, what slows us down? What is it that can paralyze us and keep us from being able to move forward?

  • FOMO: The fear of missing out on a better option can stop us dead in our tracks. We spin our wheels with the concern that we’ve haven’t found the best option.
  • Perfectionism: Closely realted to FOMO, perrfectionism paraslyzes us because the possibility of failing remains.
  • Feeling Small: We feel like the problem is just too big for us to handle, so we avoid trying to solve it.


How does the gospel help?

We know that the Lord is aware of us and is concerned with the details of our lives. We know that problems, trials, adversity — whatever we wish to call it — are allotted to us because of the growth and learning that they bring with them. We know that the Lord will send the inspiration we need when we need it: after all, Nephi had no clue how to build a boat that would cross an ocean, but he stepped out in faith and received the knowledge he needed as he needed it.

Remember the counsel of Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

“What do you do when you have prepared carefully, have prayed fervently, waited a reasonable time for a response, and still do not feel an answer? You may want to express thanks when that occurs, for it is an evidence of His trust. When you are living worthily and your choice is consistent with the Savior’s teachings and you need to act, proceed with trust. … When you are living righteously and are acting with trust, God will not let you proceed too far without a warning impression if you have made the wrong decision” (“Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2007, 10).


Do you have a story of the Lord helping you to solve a problem? Share in the comments!