(This is an excerpt from 52 life-Changing Questions from the Book of Mormon by Brad Wilcox and John Hilton III.
Mormon spoke directly to the Gentiles of the latter days as he reflected on the Book of Mormon and its coming forth. He asked those who would live hundreds of years after his time, “Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God?” (Mormon 5:23). Mormon’s own life was in God’s hands, and he wanted to make sure that we in the latter days knew this was true for us as well.
Mormon literally depended on the Lord for physical safety. While we may not often consider it, our physical lives truly are in God’s hands. King Benjamin taught that God “is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will” (Mosiah 2:21).
The paths we take in our lives are also in the hands of God, and He can guide our steps. Elder Richard G. Scott said, “The Lord has a purpose for you, individually. . . . Discover it and fulfill it. It will likely not be revealed all at once but will be unfolded line upon line. As you pray and work hard, you will find threads of understanding that will lead you to the path the Lord wants you to follow for the greatest enduring, meaningful attainment, contribution, joy, and peace of mind. Faithfully and courageously follow those threads of understanding and direction.”
A woman was debating whether to take a new job. She loved her current work assignment, and taking the new position meant a lot of uncertainty. But as she prayed, she felt prompted to move to a new city and take the new job. It was a leap of faith, but her new job led to many opportunities, and her new location helped her ultimately find her husband. She was in God’s hands.
A home teacher was frustrated with a person who was willing to meet with the home teachers occasionally but showed no interest in the gospel. The home teacher’s frustration increased when he was assigned a new companion, one he thought would be difficult to work with. He considered not accepting the new companion, but he reluctantly scheduled their first visit. Imagine his surprise when he found that his new companion and the disinterested member they were assigned to teach connected on many levels. Soon they were having meaningful gospel conversations. The member was now more than willing to meet—because of the new companion. They were all in God’s hands.
Along with recognizing that we are in God’s hands, sometimes we need to realize that He needs us to be His hands. In 2005, Lawrence Kushner and Gary Schmidt wrote a beautiful little picture book called In God’s Hands.3 In it they retold a traditional Jewish folktale about a rich man named Jacob, who had lots of money, and a poor man named David, who had lots of hungry children. Jacob prayed and was directed to bake bread for God. He obediently did so and took the loaves to the synagogue. As soon as Jacob left, David came to the synagogue to pray for food to feed his starving family and discovered the freshly baked loaves. He thanked God and hurried home with the bread.
Throughout the following months, the same cycle was repeated several times. Jacob believed God was eating his bread and David believed God was baking bread for him and his family. Each man rejoiced to see God’s hand so clearly in his life.
Finally the rabbi, who knew what was happening, brought the two men together and explained that, indeed, God’s hand was being made manifest but not in the way the men had assumed. “Instead,” the wise rabbi told them, “your hands have been God’s hands.”
(John Hilton III and Brad Wilcox, 52 Life-Changing Questions from the Book of Mormon [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013], 213–215).