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Exercising Faith Helps Me Heed Prophetic Teachings and Live More Wisely

Before braces

“Have you thought about getting braces?”, was my dentist’s question. “No”, I said. 

That was the end of the conversation during my regular dental cleaning. At the time, our family was young and living in Arizona. My teeth did not look picture-perfect, but I did not see the need for braces.

Fast forward six months and I sat in the same dental chair for my routine cleaning. My dentist said, “Have you considered getting braces?” My response was the same as before, but this time I felt a little annoyed. Why would I impose on myself the physical discomfort, the financial burden, the social ridicule of being a thirty-year-old with braces? I did not see the need for braces.

It felt like Groundhog Day six months later–the same chair, same dentist, and same question. “Did you give any more thought to getting braces?” Perhaps my repeat answer prompted the dentist to say, “If you do not get braces, your teeth will quickly decay, and you will lose them at a young age.” He explained how losing baby teeth as a child that were not replaced by permanent teeth left problematic gaps. The gaps allowed my existing permanent teeth to shift and tilt, making flossing and brushing more difficult. Tooth and gum decay were already happening. I suddenly saw the need for braces!

Soon after braces

I immediately called the orthodontist’s office and was wearing braces in a matter of weeks! 

Listening to and following the wise counsel of my dentist did not automatically make things easy. Restoring my teeth to a healthy position demanded a lengthy and intense treatment plan. I had temporary anchor devices screwed into my jawbone to stabilize my other teeth while the tilted teeth were straightened up over time. I wore my braces for 3 years and it felt like an eternity. A gingivectomy procedure removed uneven tissue from my gumline. I was not wrong about the financial cost, social impact, and physical pain that resulted from following my dentist’s advice. 

Before braces removal

Nor did following my dentist’s expert counsel eliminate subsequent issues. Though I work hard to take good care of my teeth, in the 12 years since my braces, I have experienced my fair share of cracks, crowns, and receding gums associated with the passing years. Even so, trusting the view and expert knowledge of my dentist helped me avoid a host of dental disasters by restoring those teeth that shifted so long ago. 

Elder Neil L. Andersen said, “Spiritually, seers see the wider view. They see what we sometimes cannot see. Their words and counsel help us see the larger view. If we heed their counsel, holding fast to the iron rod, we will be safe.”

I acknowledge it can be challenging at times to listen to and follow prophetic counsel. I chose to exercise my faith in the informed counsel of my dentist and the skills of my orthodontist. I exercised my agency and chose to endure the physical and financial discomfort and my mouth experienced a significant transformation. This mighty change of teeth restored my health, enhanced my future options, and gave me more confidence in my future health. I want to retain the benefits of this mighty change so much that I wear my dental retainers nearly every night! 

I am grateful for prophetic teachings to expand my view and help me live more wisely.

Twelve years after braces removal

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3 comentários

27 de mai.

Love that. Reminds me of Sister Dew’s talk, prophets see around corners. They are seers, as you mentioned. Great analogy with your dentist seeing around corners for your dental health. Listening to seers really can improve our spiritual health.


07 de mai.

Beautifully written and such a great concept. Thanks for sharing!


I like that you mentioned the care that is still required after the big procedure of going through having braces. I find that often times in my life, it's those small, regular, "maintenance" types of faith building activities that can so easily slip. I love that we get regular reminders from our prophets and apostles to stay on track with those small things.

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