Today I am doing the devotional again on the “Come Follow Me” app.

I am talking about the scripture in the Doctrine & Covenants that says:

Wherefore, whithersoever they shall send you, go ye, and I will be with you; and in whatsoever place ye shall proclaim my name an effectual door shall be opened unto you, that they may receive my word.

(D&C 112:19)

It got me thinking so much about “effectual doors.”

Effectual means “successful in producing a desired or intended result.”

Yeah, I want those doors opened up in my life!

So how do we open them?

Are we in charge of opening them or is God in charge?

Dave and I had a good discussion about this and came to the conclusion that when we move forward, we are opening those “effectual doors.” As we move forward, we are making connections. We are taking risks. We are trusting others. We are growing and learning.

I have thought of many effectual doors that have been opened in my life and in my kids’ lives. Sometimes it just feels good to look back and recognize those doors that have opened.

One that Dave and I were thinking about was the effectual door that opened for us when we decided to move to China for a summer when I was pregnant with Lucy.

Oh, it was crazy, that is true. And it wouldn’t be an effectual door for everyone, but for us, we felt drawn to that. So we followed. We moved forward. And that little door opened up so many others.

Opening our own doors does not mean we have to pick up and move to China, of course.

It could mean talking to someone new at school.

Or taking a new job.

Or even trying a new hobby we love.

Reading a new book that takes us to places we couldn’t go otherwise.

Being kind even when we really don’t want to be.

We have this saying posted in our homework area:

I love it in conjunction with these thoughts, because I think effectual doors are really, when you think about it, opportunities.

Opportunities are doors that open up when we move forward.

Some of the things I thought about that we can do to open our own individual “effectual doors:”

Take courage
Practice unconditional Love
Broken hearts (I know, interesting, but I have so many examples of when a broken heart has opened doors I didn’t know existed)
Hard work
Faith that things are in God’s hands.

Most of those things aren’t easy. They take work. But when we do them, effectual doors open.

Here are some screenshots from the devotional:

Go check it out if you’d like. The app is HERE.

I’d love to hear your thoughts to add to that list of what opens effectual doors in your life.


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  1. Thanks for your insightful comments and the Lincoln quote. I have always loved the effectual door as a metaphor for opportunities. I feel deeply that success comes when preparation intersects with opportunity, so we can always be working toward success by preparing, and expecting those opportunities to come. For every worthwhile cause, they always do!

  2. I love this! I firmly believe that God is in all things but nothing will happen if we stay within the confines of a pew (or bedside, or living room – wherever you are in prayer) no matter how hard we pray. I think of God through the Holy Spirit (my Catholocism is showing!) and the best I can conceptualize Him in that way is that we have to be in motion for the Holy Spirit to move through us. The things you listed all require some action (movement/motion) on our part – you cannot just decide to trust or repent or forgive and have it happen; you actually have to do something.

    As I’m not LDS I’ve never read Doctrines and Covenants, but I LOVE the idea of “effectual doors”. Sorry for rambling on – this really got me thinking this Sunday morning!

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