Part Four and the last of this series, I’ve chosen to post four thoughtful comments. I’m grateful to each of  you for your contribution to this important topic. Thank you.

Readers, any additional comments or questions?

“Hi Lily,
I was thinking that maybe you should ask your friend, with respect, how he knows that the Saviour is in his life ? Or does he? After all he cannot see or touch Him.  Surely he must FEEL that presence.

Also D&C 9:8-9. Gives some clarification on how we know if the solution we have arrived at to solve a problem is correct. We know in our heart and mind.” Marilyn B

“Hi Lily,
If you can’t rely on your feelings, then what can you rely on? It seems like such a depressing way to go through life.

I guess my response in its simplest form would be that one of the purposes of the Holy Spirit is to testify of truth. The feelings I have when the Holy Spirit is communicating with me is different than when I just feel good. Joseph Smith once said, “When you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon; (i.e.) those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God, will come to pass; and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 151.)  I’ve felt that pure intelligence, and there is no mistaking the feeling is from God.” Graham

“I can understand the idea that depending 100% on feelings can lead to erroneous judgement. Some people are more emotional than others, people might not be emotionally stable, and it can be easy to misinterpret the feelings we have and what they mean… but they aren’t unimportant I think.

For me, when after facts have been examined, scriptures have been referenced, and study has been made, there can still be conflicting ideas. Your feelings can help to confirm something to be true. As in prayer, we puzzle out our problems first and make a decision then take it to the Lord in prayer. We don’t go in blind. Logic + Facts + Feelings = Truth” Krit


All true religion is a feeling. (Oscar McConkie.)

Yes, we study the Gospel intensely for true doctrine, but many times our concerns will be answered in the scriptures and through the written word. On occasion, the answers are not clear or clearly understood; therefore, we establish our best answer and then seek the Lord’s confirmation because all of us, for our stewardship, warrant revelation through the Spirit.

Numbers 11:29… “….Would God that all the Lords’ people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them.”

We believe that all of God’s children are entitled to that Spirit and revelation. No loving parent would ever send their children away without the opportunity to communicate and receive information from them. We need confirmation often from our loving Father in Heaven, and we can get that through the Holy Ghost.

D&C 121:33 “…As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri River in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints.”

Joseph Smith was asked by the President of the United States, President Van Buren, “…what is the one difference between your church and any church on the face of the earth. Joseph Smith said (paraphrased), “The gift of the Holy Ghost.”

We are directed to D&C 9:7-9.
Here Oliver Cowdery was trying to translate the reformed Egyptian and he wasn’t able to do it. He became frustrated because he could not translate the language. Then he was admonished as follows:

7. Behold you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.
8. But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it be right, I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel it is right.
9. But if it be not right, you shall have no such feeling, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given to you from me.

When we study any question intensely, we make our own decision and then seek confirmation through the Holy Spirit. We study the scriptures, or the latest research, for the truth’s sake. Our Christian friends have studied the Bible intensely …for hundreds of years… and have developed conflicting dogma because they do not believe in revelation and some do not believe in the Holy Ghost. Thus, we have thousands of Christian churches.

The Prophets through the ages have always sought answers to their questions through revelation and through the Holy Spirit. It has always been this way in Christ’s Church.

Oh, that all people ..God’s children…were like the prophets…seeking truth through the Holy Spirit.” K.C. & Marilyn


Last week, I promised that we would examine the effects of strong emotions and address how to recognize feelings from the Holy Spirit before we end this series on feelings.

In Part One I mentioned that a couple of the synonyms for ‘feelings’ were of interest:

“EMOTION is applied to an intensified feeling: agitated by emotion.

PASSION is strong or violent emotion, often so overpowering that it masters the mind or judgment: stirred to a passion of anger.”

I was surprised when I learned how important it is to keep these two aspects of feelings under control, for the power of the Holy Spirit to guide my life. Growing up in a French Canadian family did not lend itself to teaching me constraint with my emotions-glad or sad.

Strong emotions such as revenge, contempt, contention or fear will drive away the Holy Ghost. The Lord cannot communicate with us when our hearts are hardened, filled with bitterness, anger, resentment, malice or pride.

“Today, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts” Hebrews 4:7

As I’ve learned a little at a time to seek and acquire the strength, companionship and confidence of the Spirit of the Lord, the outcome is always much more superior than my past attempts of controlling outcomes (fear) and loud confrontations. “Strong emotion” and “passion”- I confess it’s a relief and very empowering as I’ve let go of such demonstrations.

“Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled …” 1Peter 4:10

Even to be enabled to write and share with you, the Lord reminds me to be at peace and calm in my body that my mind may have clarity and to be able to feel the Spirit’s promptings. I assure you, whenever I’ve become agitated, I may as well not bother typing a word. His inspiration and direction is that important to me. It is impossible to feel the Spirit and at the same time feel worried, unsettled, unhappy or afraid.

Recognizing Feelings from the Holy Spirit

There are occasions when the Lord is manifest in miraculous ways through dreams, visions or visitations. Most often He is heard through a soft and gentle voice that comes into our hearts and minds. This ‘still small voice’, is accompanied by a deep peace in the heart and a quiet warm feeling in the bosom. This confirmation is a feeling, a thought, an impression that speaks deeply to our soul.

“Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32

President Ezra Taft Benson has expressed it this way: “We hear the words of the Lord most often by a feeling. If we are humble and sensitive, the Lord will prompt us through our feelings. That is why spiritual promptings move us on occasion to great joy, sometimes to tears. Many times my emotions have been made tender and my feelings very sensitive when touched by the Spirit.”

When we feel the Spirit’s influence, we feel content, relaxed, and serene. The Holy Ghost causes our feelings to become very tender. We feel more charitable and compassionate. We are calmer. We have a greater capacity to love. We feel comfort in His touch.

To determine whether or not it is His voice that we hear, we can ask ourselves, “Do I feel the emotions the Spirit would bring?” When goodness and positive emotions- the feelings of love, joy, peace longsuffering, gentleness, goodness and faith (Galatians 5:22) surround us, we can be sure the Spirit is near.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says” Revelation 2:11

Recently, my friend posted this marvelous quote on his blog: “The Greatest Guarantor of Inward Peace

“The Spirit of the Holy Ghost is the greatest guarantor of inward peace in our unstable world. It can be more mind-expanding and can make us have a better sense of well-being than any chemical or other earthly substance. It will calm nerves; it will breathe peace to our souls. This Comforter can be with us as we seek to improve. It can function as a source of revelation to warn us of impending danger and also help keep us from making mistakes. It can enhance our natural senses so that we can see more clearly, hear more keenly, and remember what we should remember. It is a way of maximizing our happiness.” James E. Faust, Ensign, May 1989, 32–33

“Behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask Me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong;” Doctrines and Covenants 9:8-9

There is never a time we feel closer to our Father in Heaven than when the Holy Ghost is with us. Oh that every one of Heavenly Father’s children would accept the glorious privileges that He bestows on His faithful children. His peace and joy, His love and comforting hand are the sweetest of all glimpses into an exalted life with Him. Meanwhile, these feelings bring us closest to experiencing a bit of heaven on earth.



Life Without Hope

I contemplated murder. For a day or so I deliberated how and when to kill ‘Chet’ -get rid of him- my mind engulfed with dark evil thoughts, anger and bitterness deadening my heart.

Frustration, rage and bitter resentful sensations replaced my previous feelings of warmth, affection, and the happiness I had shared with him. I no longer could speak with Chet. I wouldn’t speak to him. I became more locked into my miserable self made prison, completely blind to any goodness that resided in him. Suddenly one day, a glimmer of light shot through the dark and thankfully, I came to my senses and left him. It was that easy to stop short of becoming a real murderer.

No one but me and the Lord knows how close I came to acting out my (or were they mine?) thoughts and feelings. I left Chet-completely left town. For a long time I was haunted by the realization that I even got to that point in my heart and in my mind.

You likely think I’ve made this up. I’ve learned much from that experience. Because of this and other spaces I’ve been in, I’ve come to believe that most people that do not recognize the light of Christ, and haven’t the privileges offered by the gospel of Jesus Christ live absolutely the most wretched mortal lives.

A Christian Lacking the Promised Holy Ghost

Afterwards, I became a Christian. As I read my Bible I learned the differences between good and evil, truth and error. I learned how God wanted me to think and to behave. I learned that He loved me. I learned to trust Him. With all my being, desiring to honor, to serve and to please Him, I gave Him my all. That is what the lists of Feelings/Emotions in Part One  are all about. That is the plan I followed. That was a start.

When I’d left home I wasn’t affectionate, confident, happy, sensitive, warm or grateful about anything, or tender hearted. I barely knew what the word ‘tender’ meant. I had lots of work to do. I made every effort to rid myself of all negative feelings/emotions and thoughts and actions. I read my Bible. I studied. I prayed.

I was giving my best effort and still, 2 Timothy 3 spoke loudly to me. “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves…proud, abusive… ungrateful…unholy, without love, unforgiving…without self control, brutal…—having a form of godliness but denying its power.”

I focused on acquiring kindness, peacefulness, love, joy and happiness. And still, it seemed to me that I didn’t quite measure up with others’ ability to be gentle, kind and loving-at least not on the inside.

At this point is where I believe we get stuck. We try our best and still, remain confused and powerless. We feel bad whenever we fall short. Our thoughts (if we examine them) betray our standards. Or should I say, God’s standards for us. Our feelings in motion speak loudly to everyone around us, of our lack of humility, perfection and holiness. The extent that Satan uses our ignorance and weaknesses to his advantage is atrocious. This creates confusion in our lives. Of course the adversary prefers that we don’t know this truth.

I didn’t understand it then. Now I do. Yes, I had come a very long way from the young woman that had harbored thoughts of resentment and murder. But I still experienced harsh thoughts and feelings in some situations. I still was too familiar with feelings of impatience, guilt, pride, and anxiety.

There still remained a certain amount of hardness- areas that lacked feeling in my heart. I could not erase or remove these on my own, no matter how hard I tried. No matter how much faith I had. No matter how many times I read my Bible. A thorough cleansing had to occur.

Today, this is the way I see it: I believe that these experiences are very close to where one begins to feel that feelings are undependable. On our own (without the benefit of the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, that Jesus Christ promised to send) we don’t recognize His magnificent gift. We must flounder.

“I baptise you with water for repentance. But after me will come One who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with Spirit and with fire…burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:11

The Companionship of the Holy Ghost

With the indwelling of the gift and personage of the Holy Ghost, a new promising world opened up to me. First, I began to cry almost every time I knelt in prayer. A lot. Some days, I cried so much, the amount seemed ridiculous, even to me. I cried for forgiveness. I cried with pain. I cried when I felt the promised comforting hand of the Lord.

I cried especially when my heart began to be soft enough to actually FEEL the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I cried when His love overflowed the capacity of my heart to contain it all. I cried for joy and happiness.

I didn’t understand all those tears at the time. But I knew it had something to do with the hand of the Lord. And what was happening? My heart was being cleansed of any remaining darkness and pain. The rock hard section that I had not succeeded in wearing off with my own effort was being sanctified by the working of the Holy Ghost, provided by the gift of the Atonement.

I knew it one day on the phone. I was surprised to hear a soft tone in my voice that I had never recognized in myself. It was confirmed by my friend’s surprised response.

Here is my explanation for confusion regarding our feelings. We all have thoughts every waking hour. The Lord can prompt us with thoughts (the still small voice). And then, once we believe and recognize the possibility of that, it becomes important to know that Satan will also make every effort to inject his not so quiet thoughts into our minds and hearts as well. If we are not taught and when we do not recognize this- yes, there will be immense confusion. Our feelings will then definitely be undependable.

“From the beginning God chose you to be saved

by the sanctifying work of the Spirit

and through belief in the truth.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13


How do we learn to differentiate these voices which prompt our thoughts and affect our feelings? That is where the power of the Holy Spirit is meaningful. This is where the importance of a sincere heart and real intent come in.

Let me give you an example. One day, as my Bishop gave me advice, I felt a weight settle on my heart even while my mind accepted what he said. I promised to go home and pray about the matter–to consult with the Lord what I should do.

As I drove away, my thoughts instantly ran wild. “(You) don’t belong in this church.” “(You) should leave and never come back”. “This is all wrong”.  I had not gone a block and just as suddenly, I recognized, “Hey that’s not how I think. These are not my own thoughts! Where did that come from?”

As a new member of the Church of Jesus Christ I had been thoroughly thrilled and felt privileged to belong. I’d been given a powerful testimony of the truth of the restored gospel and I had never had a doubt of the veracity of the teachings. I loved my Bishop and I trusted that he had been prompted by the Lord. When I did approach the Lord in prayer, He did let me know that indeed, the Bishop had been correct in directing me thus.

Does this example show you what I am trying to explain? Because of the companionship of the Holy Ghost, because of His sanctifying power, and because of the tremendous feelings of love that Jesus Christ had poured into my heart, I was able to recognize a different foreign feeling. Because my heart had no doubts about my church and no malice towards my Bishop, (my thoughts & feelings were pure) I was able to recognize that this was not my ‘voice’.

If I would have had any negative feelings towards the church, if I would have lacked confidence in my decision to belong here, or if I would have held a grudge against my Bishop, do you see how these thoughts might have created confusion in my heart and in my mind? If I had not had the benefit of experiencing gentle loving thoughts and feelings from Christ, delivered by the Holy Ghost, I might have believed that Satan’s thoughts originated with me. The outcome might have been entirely different.

I know that “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” is the only true church on earth today. I know that Jesus Christ died for all of mankind and lives today. He is doing what He promised and empowers His faithful children when we accept His gift.

“Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.” Helaman 3:35 (BOM)

Continued in Part Three, we will briefly consider the effects of strong emotions and recognizing feelings from the Holy Spirit.