inspiration

Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-Day_Saints

I am amazed each time someone tells me that they have heard that visitors are not allowed to attend our church services.

I suppose that the confusion happens when they learn that not just anyone may attend our holy and sacred temples. It is true that not just anyone may attend the Temple of the Lord. Even some members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have not met the necessary requirements to attend the temple.

However – any one may walk into and enjoy the worship Services and/or Sunday school classes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

We do not have paid preachers, ministers or pastors. In fact, all those in leadership positions are called to their positions by prayer and revelation. All members volunteer their time. The organization of the church is marvelous and once you understand how it is organized you know that it must be inspired by our Lord.

Would you like to visit sometime and experience an LDS worship service? I’m scheduled to give a talk on this coming Sunday, the 17th.  Surprise me! I’d love to meet you!

Worship Service is at 9:30 a.m. most Sundays of the year. (4 times a year, we enjoy conferences set at later times). My ward address is 351 Glenridge Avenue, ST CATHARINES, ONTARIO L2T 3K6

If you do not live near St. Catharines, simply visit http://www.maps.lds.org  and enter your own address! You will find the nearest LDS church and meeting time. I love to use this website service when I’m travelling! No matter where I am, it’s very easy to find the nearest meeting place.

During our service, you may hear 3 or 4 people (ages 12+) speak. Once a month, (usually the first Sunday of the month) no one is actually scheduled to speak. This is when those who are able, fast (no food or drink for 24 hours) and pray (with intent), and are given an opportunity to bear their testimony of the truth of the restored gospel during the service.

Usually the speakers are assigned a topic. Since there was a bit of a mix-up this time around, I was given 3 options to choose from, each based on the following messages, each excerpts of powerful conference talks. So for the past day I have been seeking inspiration from the Lord to choose that topic which will best serve Him this week.

Which topic would interest you the most?

Click on the link to view short messages (about 3:00 minutes each)

Your Potential, Your Privileges

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf shares a humorous parable of a man who realizes he has been living far beneath his privileges.

Reclaimed

Just as a garbage dump can be turned into a beautiful park, a life of sin can be cleansed and changed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Choose This Day

Henry B. Eyring, a disciple of Jesus Christ, urges us to seek God’s help to overcome complacency and discouragement and find joy in serving Him today.

What can we do when we desire to receive personal revelation yet it does not come?

For several months I had been carrying on about being too busy. Bemoaning that I must cut something out of my week, my mind went in circles not able to figure out what that could be. I’d been praying for guidance so that my life would become balanced. For quite some time.

Afterwards I knew that I had not recognized immediately the answer that I’d been given. That answer -that I never would have thought to entertain- was to reduce my temple attendance.

You may understand why I resisted and did not receive this suggestion right away. The temple is where I get away from it all. It is quiet. There is peace. There is reverence there for the Lord and His work that I treasure. What activity can possibly have more import in life?

Very slowly the answer became apparent to me. Indeed I was greatly comforted by the Lord when He confirmed that my direction was correct. As soon as I had stated my intention to those people affected by my decision, those dear friends- some inconvenienced, expressed their delight at the change. I hope I wasn’t that much of a bear! 🙂

A huge weight lifted and I began to feel more energetic right away. This astounded me. I wondered why. I would not begin my new schedule for another two weeks, yet I felt differently.

I began to recognize that even though I was fitting the highest choice into my week that did not necessarily mean that it was the best one for me at this time. By letting go I brought balance into my life. And that has made the difference. Big lesson received.

 

 

What can we do when inspiration does not come right away?

Have you ever fasted and prayed and wondered whether you have been heard?

 

Here are some ideas:

  • We may have already been given an answer, but it is not what we expect or hope for.

If we insist on what we want, we may be closing off the Spirit’s communication. (I didn’t mean to be insisting on my own way, but that is what was happening.)

  • Be patient and continue waiting faithfully on the Lord.

We’re all familiar with this one. God does answer in His time. Practicing patience helps us grow spiritually and develop aspects of godliness.

  • Increase our efforts to be in tune spiritually

That we may be receptive and recognize when the Spirit is whispering to us.

  • Increase our efforts of scripture reading, study and prayer.

Perhaps we’ve not done this as long, or as faithfully or as honestly as we should.

  • Be more faithful in obeying the commandments

“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” Isaiah 59:2

  • Set the matter aside for awhile.

Sometimes when our minds are no longer consumed by the matter, flashes of inspiration come unexpectedly.

“Sometimes you may struggle with a problem and not get an answer. What could be wrong? It may be that you are not doing anything wrong. It may be that you have not done the right things long enough. Remember, you cannot force spiritual things. Sometimes we are confused simply because we won’t take no for an answer…

“Put difficult questions in the back of your minds and go about your lives. Ponder and pray quietly and persistently about them.

“The answer may not come as a lightning bolt. It may come as a little inspiration here and a little there, ‘line upon line, precept upon precept’

“Some answers will come from reading the scriptures, some from hearing speakers. And, occasionally, when it is important, some will come by very direct and powerful inspiration. The promptings will be clear and unmistakable” Boyd K. Packer

I am deeply grateful for many experiences that prove that Heavenly Father is mindful of me. And I know that is true for you. You are not alone or forgotten-ever. He is perfectly mindful of you at all times.

You may have other ideas. We’d be glad to read your comment.

“I’d be interested to see more references in scripture that talk about listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I’ve met many people who claim to follow these promptings and then do ridiculous things and even horrible things and say the Holy Spirit told them it was right…which then makes me wonder if it is happening at all…”

One of my friends wrote this comment last week on Facebook. I answered him some of what you’ll read here and at the same time realized that he had given me my topic for this week’s post.

Before I list any scriptural references, I’ll mention a few considerations that I have learned and that are important. There may be more points to make than these, but these are most basic.

First and foremost, in order to receive Him, one must have the indwelling of the Holy Ghost conferred by the laying on of hands by those in authority to do so.

“…the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.” Acts 8:16-17

Secondly, the heart must be pure and the hands clean. (James 4:8) And we must be humble. Very humble. We don’t call the shots. “God resists the proud…gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6) Obeying the commandments, (John 14:21) repentance and keeping the covenants (promises) we make with God are all important as well. If there is sin in a person’s life, the Holy Ghost will leave that person.

“We cannot have the companionship of the Holy Ghost-the medium of individual revelation-if we are in transgression or if we are angry or if we are in rebellion against God’s chosen authorities” Elder Dallin H. Oaks, (“Teaching and Learning by the Spirit,” Ensign, Mar. 1997, 9)

“Let him that is ignorant learn wisdom by humbling himself and calling upon the Lord his God, that his eyes may be opened that he may see, and his ears opened that he may hear; For my Spirit is sent forth into the world to enlighten the humble and contrite” D & C 136:33

And thirdly, we receive revelation for our own lives and those that we are responsible for. I may be prompted by the Spirit for myself or concerning a situation with my family. The Bishop of a ward may be led by the Holy Spirit regarding the care of one of his members; however, he would not receive revelation pertaining to the direction of the whole church.  That is not his area of responsibility.

“Behold, verily I say unto you, that there are many spirits which are false spirits, which have gone forth in the earth, deceiving the world” D & C 50:2

Lastly, I would say that if you feel folks “do the ridiculous and horrible” then you are able to recognize or discern that it cannot possibly be a truth. Remember the fruit of the Spirit? None of these fruit lead one to feel repelled or disgusted.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians 5:22-24

Here are some Scriptural References about listening to promptings or receiving personal revelation:

John 16:13-15 “When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears and He will tell you what is yet to come” (A favorite I’ve had marked for very many years)

Acts 8:29 “Spirit said unto Philip, Go near…”

Acts 10:19 “The Spirit said unto him…”

Acts 11:28 “and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world”

1 Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly”

Galatians 5:18, 25 “led of the Spirit”

1 Kings 19:12 “a still small voice”

2 Peter 1:21 “men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”

Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4 “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God”

Psalms 12:6 “The words of the Lord are pure…as silver-purified seven times”

Job 33:14 “God speaketh”

John 10:4 “sheep know His voice”

John 14:21 “I will love him and manifest Myself to him”

John 14:26 “The Holy Ghost shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance”

Hebrew 3:7, 15 and 4:7 “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts”

1 John 5:6 “it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth”

Galatians 2:2 “I went in response to a revelation”

Isaiah 58:11 “The Lord shall guide thee continually”

1 Nephi 11:11 “Spirit…spake unto me as a man speaketh with another”

Jacob 4:13 “for the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not…”

Doctrine and Covenants 8:2-3 “I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart”

Heavenly Father desires us to receive revelation.  Many times in the scriptures we are reminded to “Ask, and ye shall receive”.

“Ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, He will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. Moroni 10:4-5

I feel privileged to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints -to have come to the place that indeed does have the authority to confer that precious gift of the Holy Ghost.

“I am He which searcheth the reins (desires and thoughts) and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works” Revelation 2:23 

There is much to ponder as we read and study the scriptures. The condition of our heart is important when we consider our relationship with God. Searching all the scriptures that mention the condition of the heart may teach us much about purity and humility.

Jesus Christ lived, died and is resurrected. He lives. He has done what He said He would do. There is a connection between obeying His commandments, repentance when we do not and the guidance and inspiration from the Holy Spirit that we long for. He freely gives as we grow in righteousness.

How have promptings (personal revelation) helped you in your family and church responsibilities and other areas of your life? 

Why would personal revelation be so very important in our day?