To my Jessi (I love you! Be careful!)
Right from the start you need to know something. My wife and I only had girls. I had Jodi and we had two girls and for 25 years that was our family. One man and 3 girls!
This was in my eyes a very, very good thing! I wanted to have little girls and I will tell you why. After Jodi and I were married we moved to Rexburg Idaho to continue our schooling and, unbeknownst to us, to start our family. I had a distant acquaintance whose home I visited roughly once a month and he had a little 3 year old red headed daughter who was as cute as a doll. When he would walk into a room she would absolutely light up and run to embrace his legs. She adored her father and he adored her and I wanted a piece of that!
Now back to the original question. Can a woman know God?
I know God. I have been ministered to by His unseen angels without question. I have been rescued from death, consoled in my grief, taught amazing truths through direct revelation (as defined in the Doctrine and Covenants Section 8 verses 2, 3 “Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart. Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; …”), seen visions and dreamed dreams. For the time being I have come short of seeing Him and His Son face to face but I know Him as if He were my friend (and He is). But can a woman know?
When my oldest daughter Jessi was 8, I had the blessing of baptizing her as a new member into Jesus Christ’s kingdom. All the activities of the day had wound down, night had come, family prayers said, girls tucked into bed and I had settled down to relax a bit before going to bed with Jodi. I don’t remember all the details about what I was doing but I remember feeling the need to go back into the girl’s room. Jessi was sitting, propped up in bed with her pillow, and tears were streaming down her sweet little cheeks. I asked, Jessi what’s wrong and she responded, nothing Dad I just feel so happy. This opened up the opportunity for us to talk about the Gifts of the Holy Ghost and for me to confirm to her that, that is what she was feeling. She was feeling and receiving powerfully, for the first time in her young life, the comfort and joy that comes only from God. She was beginning to know Him.
About 2 years before, our family had lived in North Lauderdale, Florida. We had so much fun as a family while there. We chased alligators, bass, swam in the ocean and so many more things, together as a family. One day I decided to take my girls camping with a friend and his two children in central Florida, north of Orlando. The wives decided to stay home, so he packed up his kids and I packed up my girls. We strapped the canoe to the top of the Honda Accord and off we went. Interesting thing, I didn’t know the way and GPS was still a thing of the future so I had to make sure to stay close and not get lost.
As we made our way into the back roads there were so many twists and turns and so many cross roads that I knew I would never make it out alone but the views were amazing and we careened along having an amazing time.
We spent two nights and 2 days camping by a quiet lake, canoeing, fishing, hiking, roasting marshmallows, baking tin foil dinners, burning sticks, wrestling in the tent and not getting any but a wink of sleep both nights. When we were ready to pack up and head back home I was exhausted but happy. Before climbing into the cars Jessi said, “Dad should we have a prayer?”. I replied yes, Jessi will you say the prayer. We all bowed our heads, folded our arms and Jessi said a simple 6 year old prayer. The one thing I remember clearly though, was that she asked Heavenly Father that we be protected on the way home.
Off we went with me bringing up the the rear trying to not get lost. The road twisted through beautiful forests and lakes. Meadows came right up to the edge of the road with hardly a break in the terrain. The white center-line of the road flashing by, blink, blink, blink was mesmerizing and before I knew it I had fallen behind while enjoying the beauty.
I stepped on the gas to catch up before we were completely lost. I knew we had to gain sight of our leader before he came to the next intersection or we would not know which way to turn. We were approaching a rolling hill with a meadow on both sides of the road. The meadow was beautiful, so soft and even with the road. I thought, it looks so smooth that I could pull off the road onto the shoulder and we would not feel a difference. Immediately from behind the first rolling hill sprang a large Pepsi truck, too close to react and right in the middle of the road. It was past in an instant and as it past I realized that I had actually pulled off the road just a moment before and onto the shoulder with 2 tires in the grassy meadow. We were safe! Not a scratch or a dent. Carefully I steered the speeding car back onto the road and a flood of recognition of what had just happened swept over me. We had been spared by a miracle. Unbeknownst to me the spirit in that moment had led us into the meadow, at a speed I later admitted was unsafe, and the harm and possible death of my children and myself was avoided. I glanced at my watch, it was 2:30pm.
The spirit swept over me confirming my recognition of the guidance and protection initiated by a little 6 year old girls prayer. But, that is not the end of the story. Just over the hill and around the corner we caught up to our leader and arrived home 2 hours later, safe and sound.
At the same time, my mother was at home caring for her daily chores. Approximately 2:00pm she felt an un-rational fear for my family so she retired to her bedroom where she poured out her heart and her fear to her Heavenly Father. She then called home getting Jodi, sharing her concern and asking how everyone was. Jodi assured her we were probably on our way home and would have me call her as soon as I arrived.
Who told my mother we were in imminent danger? Only a loving and kind Father in Heaven whom she had come to know, recognize His voice and heed. Was it a coincidence? The circumstances beg otherwise and the spirit of God testified to me that it was no coincidence. He does love and hear His daughters and He wants them to know Him.
In my life I have learned that God is not a respecter of persons. He loves all of His children equally, man, woman, child, sinner, all are alike to Him. All that He requires to know him is:
- Effort (pray, read the holy scriptures, and strive to obey all His commandments. Look up “and him that seeketh so to do”)
- Be quiet and listen (your heart and your mind)
- Repeat (endure)
Knowing Him is a process like climbing a ladder. Line upon line, experience upon experience. It take repeated effort, diligence and never giving up, not on Him or on yourself.
Take the time to learn of the atonement, and trust in our Savior’s love for you. Never, ever, ever give up, and before long you will look back and realize that you know and love Him too.
This I know!