Happy Thursday all! I haven’t been doing many specific ‘spiritual preparedness’ posts lately mainly because most Mondays have a quote that is generally of a spiritual nature. However, I would like to start discussing spiritual well-being on a more regular basis. This aspect of preparing our homes and families is of the UTMOST importance in order to keep us safe and at peace during these hard times, and I do not want to neglect it in any way.
The other day I was reading an article in a church magazine (the Ensign) called ‘Learning to Hear and Understand the Spirit‘ by David M. McConkie. It was just the thing I needed at the time I needed it. Part of my regular prayers is that I will be able to be close to the Spirit so that I can be guided in the things I need to be doing, and that I will know what those things that I need to be doing are. But I often wonder if I know well enough how to listen to the promptings of the Spirit. So this article was a great help to me as a reminder of the ways we learn to feel and follow the Holy Ghost. Please read the entire article for the full impact of the message, but I just wanted to highlight a few of Elder McConkie’s points here.
- In learning to hear and understand the Spirit, learn to listen with your heart. He quotes President Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve in saying that ‘The Spirit is a still, small voice–a voice that is felt rather than heard. It is a spiritual voice that comes into the mind as a thought put into your heart.” And he later continues, “While we may invite this communication, it can never be forced! If we try to force it, we may be deceived.” He also comments that inspiration comes more easily in peaceful settings.
So this means I need to spend some quiet time pondering each day to allow my spirit to be at peace and open to communication. It’s very difficult to hear/feel a quiet prompting when my day is go-go-go. I also loved the insight into not ‘forcing’ communication with the Spirit because we can deceive ourselves into thinking we have an answer or instruction from the Lord, when what we really felt was our own thoughts and desires.
- Elder McConkie also notes that learning to understand the way the Spirit speaks to us is a gradual process. In fact, at first it is only achieved through faith and taking that step out into the darkness as we trust in the Lord and follow the things He asks us to do. As we do that, we feel the Spirit more in our lives and become a little more familiar with how that feels. As we continue on in this process, Elder Scott teaches us that “Your confidence in the direction you receive from the Holy Ghost will also become stronger,” and “your confidence in the impressions you feel can become more certain than your dependence on what you see or hear.”
I love that last line. What a blessing to be able to have such confidence in your impressions that you trust them more than anything you would see or hear! Wow.
- It is a process, to be sure. But one of the last points I loved was that we are promised that as we work at it, “the Lord will help us to see the results, in our own life and in the lives of others, of our acting upon the promptings we receive from the Spirit. These experiences will strengthen our faith and give us greater courage to act in the future.”
If there was ever a time in my life that I wanted to make sure I was close to the Spirit and could understand the promptings I receive, this is it. (Well, now plus the time I was deciding whether or not to marry Hubby. :D) I’m grateful for these words of wisdom and knowledge that help me to continue on in seeking and following the gift of the Holy Ghost. I hope we ALL will, so that we can be guided in the way the Lord needs us to go!