I know that God has the power to show us visions through dreams as well as warn us, direct us and teach us what he wants us to know.
In the scriptures there are many accounts written of prophets being instructed in dreams. Most of those dreams were visions of the future, warnings to leave or find safety, and instructions to pursue another goal. An example of this is Pharoh's dream that was interpreted by Joseph. The Lord was warned Pharoh in a dream that there would be 7 years of plenty that would be followed by 7 years of famine. (Genesis 42:1-7) Because Pharoh heeded the warning, countless lives were saved. In the New Testament, Joseph was told in dreams that it he was not to be afraid to take Mary for his wife, and later, that he was flee into Egypt with the baby, Jesus. (Matthew 1:20, 2:13) The Book of Mormon prophet, Lehi, was told in a dream to send his sons back to Jerusalem to get the Brass Plates (1 Nephi 3:2), and later he had the marvelous vision of the Tree of Life in a dream. (1 Nephi chapter 8)
I feel that it is important to pay attention to our dreams, especially if they keep on recurring. I believe that God has the power to send revelation to us through dreams and teach us things that are important for us personally. And, so long as we are worthy of the Spirit, we have a free channel open to receive revelation.
When I was on my mission in Toronto, Canada, I once had a dream that I was on a bus with my companion heading to an appointment with an investigator. I was sitting by the window and looking out. As the bus stopped at a traffic light, we were in front of a club with its double doors open wide with a heavy, blaring music coming out. Inside the club it was pure, pitch black so I couldn't see anything. As I looked around I saw great pollution and garbage getting scattered by the wind on the streets--like random papers and other junk getting tossed around. And as I look up I saw 3 women with big ratted hair and caked-on make-up outside, smoking their cigarettes. And they were not wearing anything except high heels on their feet. They appeared to be standing next to a man who had the eyes of a ravenous wolf looking upon them. Even in my dream, I was shocked at the scene before my eyes. I was thinking to myself how could these women go outside without their clothes on. Then I realized that they did not care who looked upon them because they were strip dancers. Just then the bus began to go again and the vision before my eyes disappeard.
I've had many other dreams, but this one was very clear for some reason. I was sure that God was sending me a message. I had this dream almost 5 years ago and I can still remember it like it was yesterday. And this is why I believe I dream it.
A few months after I dreamed this, I had a health complication and had to come home from my mission for several weeks to have surgery. While I was home, I had the chance to visit with some of my dear high school friends. One of these friends, I'll call her Susan, was different; it wasn't the Susan that I remembered. I hadn't heard from her at all while I was out on my mission. Now, she had a darkness about her. I even felt uncomfortable sitting next to her and was unsure of what to say to her. She brought her new boyfriend with her. I was shocked to see her with a new guy because she had been engaged to a great guy before I left. I asked her what happened, but she was very brief and hesitant to talk about it. So I let it go. But while she was speaking my mind reviewed something another friend had mentioned to me on the phone a few days earlier. We were remembering high school friends and she said the last time she saw Susan was at a neighborhood party, and she noticed that when Susan was filling out the get-to-know-you card, she put "dancer" as her occupation. I had the feeling at the time that it didn't mean ballet dancer. Just then it all came into place in my mind. The Spirit helped me to remember and understand what was really happening here. She was a strip dancer and she was sitting on my couch making up some story about her being a waitress at a local club. I don't know how, but I think I was blessed with the spirit of discernment and I could see the truth. Shortly after, I returned to my mission and complete my service. I thought a lot about Susan, and prayed for her. When I returned home, I invited Susan to my homecoming and it was then that she finally told me the truth about her profession.
As I think back to that dream, I know that the Lord was sending me a message about my best friend, Susan. He was preparing me for the future and it all made sense. I felt very sad that my friend had completely abandoned her Mormon faith. I felt so helpless and I did not know how to pull her out of this junk. I was thinking about going from place to place and getting job applications for her and helping her fill them out so that she could leave this job and let go of this dreadful past. Then, I realized that I should back off. She was no longer my Susan; she chose to submit herself to the things of the world and it felt like we were worlds apart in our morals and values. I knew that all I could do was pray for her. My mission has taught me that I cannot control or force people to do anything. They must choose for themselves. We are all agents unto ourselves. But it reminds me of a scripture in the Book of Mormon: "Oh ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you! ...ye fair ones, how is it that ye could have fallen!" (Mormon 6:17, 19)
I know that the Lord hears all prayers and I know that he will hear my supplication towards my friend Susan. The power of the Atonement is real, if she will just turn to Him and allow the Savior to heal her. I know that her road will not be easy, but I will be there to welcome her back when she returns.