The Immediate Goodness of God by Kyle S. McKay
Content by Kali Toone
I needed to realize this very powerful truth taught by Elder McKay – the immediate goodness of God! We have been taught many times that answers do come to prayers but there is a method to God’s timing and we most often do not receive immediate answers. I am part of this modern age where I prefer immediate answers, I need immediate solutions to my problems, and the faith of patience is not one I know well, so hearing words like “answers to prayers may not even come in this lifetime” have always been encouraging and frustrating at the same time.
Elder McKay points out a very important bit of doctrine that is not new. In fact, after reading this talk again I could think of several examples from scripture and in my own life of God’s immediate goodness. He says, “even while we are patiently waiting upon the Lord, there are certain blessings that come to us immediately”.
Blessings come in the waiting, too!
I think we sometimes forget that Heavenly Father is a parent and we are his children. Again, not new doctrine – this is the most basic truth we learn as children! But as a parent myself I know how I feel about my children and what I want to do when they are hurt, afraid, or discouraged. As the greatest example of a parent, God knows he shouldn’t save us from our trials. He knows that trials help us learn lessons we wouldn’t otherwise have learned, but as a parent He NEVER leaves us alone to figure it out on our own.
“The immediate goodness of God comes to all who call upon Him with real intent and full purpose of heart.”
So what does this look like? Elder McKay gives several brilliant examples in his talk. For Joseph Smith, sitting in jail, it came in the form of peace. For Paul, it came in the form of God’s “divine paternal love”. For Emilie, it came over her “a wondrous calm, courage, assurance, and love” and for Alicia, it came as she was “filled with an indescribable peace, love, comfort, and somehow joy”.
If you haven’t gone over this talk, please do so now! All of these examples are of people lifted up from the very bottom of the darkest pit. As I see it in my own life, I have been at the bottom of that dark pit reaching for any bit of light – and I do immediately see it. I am not pulled from the bottom of that pit. In some cases it has felt like the fight of my life climbing out of that hole, but there has always been that small bit of light getting bigger and bigger, motivating me as I do.
Do you have to be at the bottom of the pit to feel the immediate goodness of God? No! These instances come in all different forms and during different circumstances: comfort, peace, hope, love, joy. Maybe God reminded you of the people who truly care for you or maybe He gave you a moment of silence to take a break from the overwhelm. Maybe He helped you realize what you do have with a heart of gratitude or maybe you just needed to know He was there listening to you all along. For me, it more often than not, comes in the form of reassurance as the Spirit says, “you can do this!”
God is very literally our Heavenly Father. I do know that He loves me and He loves you.
FAITH IN ACTION
This week I want you to write in your journal! If you’re anything like me, you might have to dust it off a bit, but please write down ways that you have seen the immediate goodness of God in your life. Maybe it was more recent and maybe it was many years ago.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul invites us to “examine yourselves” when speaking about faith. Elder McKay also talks about how sometimes finding answers to our prayers means exercising faith in the form of patience. In your families this week, talk about how God’s immediate goodness helps strengthen our faith or provides us with patience.
This week’s talk highlights some basic, but very important truths. Sometimes understanding these truths means seeing it with a different perspective in mind. Print out this talk and highlight some of your favorite doctrines or powerful quotes and write down some of your thoughts/testimony to give to at least one of your ministering sisters.
I am preparing a talk for sacrament meeting about how God wants to bless His saints. You put into words exactly how I have been feeling and hoping to share. I love your analogy of a pit and not being pulled but given that boost of hope and strength. Thank you for giving me this boost to continue writing and preparing!