During my recent reading of The Book of Mormon, a verse in 3rd Nephi touched me. Jesus tells the people of ancient America, “But now I go unto the Father, and also to show myself unto the lost tribes of Israel, for they are not lost unto the Father, for he knoweth whither he hath taken them.” (3 Nephi 17:4) (Emphasis added.)
In the past, this verse has been evidence to me that Christ visited more than the American people after his resurrection, and it still does bear that witness. However, the phrase “they are not lost unto the Father” took on broader meaning for me – broad in the sense that it applies to all of Heavenly Father’s children regardless of being in a literal tribe of Israel or not.
Heavenly Father always knows where you are physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You are never lost to Him.
When Joseph Smith was a prisoner in Liberty Jail, the rest of the saints were going through unspeakable horrors. Feeling lost and abandoned, Joseph cried out to Heavenly Father,
How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries?” (D&C 121:1-2)
Heavenly Father responded,
“My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.” (D&C 121:7-8)
Even Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Restoration, has felt incredible loneliness and feared Heavenly Father had turned away from him. But Heavenly Father had not abandoned Joseph or the early saints; He could see the bigger picture and had a plan. The same goes for us. However, Joseph had to pray to Heavenly Father first, then Heavenly Father answered. The same also goes for us.
I have felt this way before too. I have asked Heavenly Father if he is still there, aware of me. “Why Me?” has escaped my lips before. I have even expressed to Heavenly Father my frustration in praying for strength to endure the same situation over and over again when I just want it to be fixed! And Heavenly Father has answered those prayers, not always in the way or timing that I want or expect, but He did and still does answer. He has been mindful of me, and he loves me. I know he feels the same about you.
It’s common to feel lost in the world. Maybe you feel lost in your family. Maybe you feel lost in your ward. You might feel lost at work, or school, or even in your own home. But you are never lost from Heavenly Father. He knows where you are. He knows who you are. He knows where you are going, and He knows how to help you. Turn to Him, and you will find Him.
Have you felt lost, and then found God’s love and guidance? If you feel comfortable doing so, please share your experience and testimony in the comments.