By Nicole Hilton, September 1, 2019
With great trials come tender mercies. They remind us that we are not forgotten after all. They can be a lifeline in the worst storms. The crueler the storm, the more tender the mercies can be. You deserve them, so seek for them and hang onto them.
Last night, I knelt in prayer before going to bed. My heart was heavy. I had gossiped behind a family member’s back, and I knew better.
I opened my heart up to the Lord, and said how sorry I was. Then, I decided to really open up. I wasn’t just going to say I was sorry and promise not to do it again because I knew it was “the right” thing to do. I was going to put down all facades.
“The truth is, Father, I don’t actually know what’s right. Do I open up to my friend and tell him these things so he won’t feel so lonely? Cause that’s what I did, and I feel some good came of it. I also felt better having someone to hear my story… Or, do I keep my ‘secrets’ to myself? Or do I give them to the Savior, and ask Him to take them—then give others the chance to grow and improve, while I completely bury the hatchet? Is it a combination of all these things? If so, how is it done? I don’t know if life is so cookie cutter anymore. I’ll do whatever you tell me to do.”
I climbed into bed, sending out an invitation for any heavenly beings who wanted to come and hold my hands while I fell asleep, but I didn’t demand it or expect it.
Then, after about 20 minutes of lying there, I felt a heavenly hand grasp my right hand. I was comforted.
Then something amazing happened. Heavenly sensations struck both my arms, and my arms started floating across my mattress. These were the same sensations I had felt all over my body while I was in a padded cell in 2012. It had been seven years since this had happened to me…and now it was happening again?!
I’m just going to say this: do whatever you can spiritually to be able to feel this gift. The feeling is unlike anything else in the entire world. If you combine all the love from the people you trust most, the best massage you’ve ever had, a warm blanket, plus the sensation of floating through clouds and soft white feathers…that’s the feeling I felt in both my arms.
It isn’t a baptism of fire sensation—it’s different. It’s more like a “putting to bed with as much gentleness and love the Gods can conjure up” sensation. I think it’s a terrestrial experience, and you have to be able to access a different dimension in order to feel it.
I felt so happy today, just knowing how much God loves me. And I remember how hard I had to fight to merit this feeling last time. I had read the scriptures out loud, fasted, sang hymns, and prayed for four days straight while I was abandoned in that padded jail cell—after all that, it had happened. But, comparing that with right now? Well, it shows me how far I’ve come in my journey. I didn’t have to be locked up or desperate. It was on a normal day, like any other day.
There’s something else, too. This experience is a promise. A promise that my past joys aren’t one-hit wonders. I believe they were only a taste of the Heavenly things that are to come.