Spirit

Such a glorious and amazing weekend! We’ve been well fed, satisfied and grateful for our witness of the tremendous truths of the gospel and those lessons intended for our ears, at the 182nd Semi-annual General Conference! If you would like to know about the General Conferences of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, click here.

Most of us received a spiritual feast, but not all– I’ve learned that our friends ‘down under’ wait another week yet.  Wow, you have patience!

Originally, I had planned to post my favorite quotes from each of the speakers. As I prepared my notes, I realized that you would not likely desire a tome of thousands of words, no matter how rich their meaning.

Here’s what I’m choosing instead. I’ll give you my overall basic view. Then, I’ve focused on one speaker for the purposes of my blog because his complete talk was about the Holy Ghost-a lot of important information! I’m reining in my enthusiasm-hard- to not give you the whole of His talk either! If you’d like to listen to it, click here.

For several months I have pondered-often wondered -why it is that the General Authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints today, are most sweet, loving and gentle in their approach, in particular when they are addressing the church or/and the world.

Not that I dislike this, however, in most of our scriptures, the language and speeches of the prophets and even of Jesus Christ can be forthright, blunt and certainly to the point- No mincing of words.

I do appreciate that perhaps, because they are this way, the Spirit is magnified and therefore we each can feel the messages the Lord intends for us.

This time, I felt a change- a definite seriousness, firmness and intensity in our leaders that I have rarely noted. (Let’s not include Elder Holland here, okay!) Throughout each session, I felt that the messages strongly impressed a sense of urgency-a feeling that we are running out of time and we must get our act together. Study and know our scriptures, communicate with and obey the Lord, and do whatever we must do before it’s too late.

Was it just me, or did this conference feel different to you than those in recent years?

We’ve been taught and counselled to ask questions of Heavenly Father in preparation for conference. He, knowing our heart’s desire responds during the tutelage of His servants. As has happened in the past, a couple of the talks felt directed to me, so powerfully did I feel the influence of the Spirit. Grateful, and with extra attention I intend to return to those for my own benefit.

Craig C. Christensen of the Seventy’s talk is perfectly suited to a post on this blog. If you get an opportunity you’ll no doubt enjoy hearing it again and again.

  • …deep sense of gratitude for this unspeakable gift from God-the gift of the Holy Ghost
  • The Holy Ghost … knows our thoughts and the intents of our hearts.
  • The Holy Ghost wants us to be happy.
  • Since He knows the challenge we will face, he can guide us and teach us all things we must do to return and live with our Heavenly Father once again.
  • He communicates to our spirits true feelings and impressions.
  • He has the unique responsibility of being an agent through which revelation is received.
  • In scripture, the Holy Ghost is often referred to as the “Holy Spirit”, “the Spirit of the Lord”, “the Holy Spirit of promise”, or simply “the Spirit”.
  • The primary purpose of the Holy Ghost is to bear witness of God the Father and of His Son Jesus Christ, and to teach us the truth of all things. A sure witness from the Holy Ghost carries far more certainty than a witness from any other source.
  • President Joseph Fielding Smith taught that the Spirit of God speaking to the spirit of man has power to impart truth with greater effect and understanding than that truth can be imparted by personal contact, even with heavenly beings.
  • The Holy Ghost is also known as the Comforter. During times of trouble or despair, or simply when we need to know that God is near, the Holy Ghost can lift our spirits, give us hope and teach us the peaceable things of the kingdom, helping us feel the peace of God which passes all understanding.
  • The Holy Ghost is a teacher and a revelator-enlightens our minds and quickens our understanding.
  • We all have experiences with the Holy Ghost even though we may not always recognize them. As inspired thoughts come into our minds we know them to be true by the spiritual feelings that enter into our hearts.

“The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you feel more than you hear. While we speak of listening to the voice of the Spirit, one most often describes a spiritual prompting by saying ‘I had a feeling’. It is through these sacred feelings from the Holy Ghost that we come to know what God would have us do for this- is the Spirit of revelation.” Boyd K. Packer

  • Before baptism, all honest and sincere seekers of truth can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost from time to time, however the opportunity to receive the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost and the fullness of all the associated blessings are available only to worthy baptised members who receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands through those holding the priesthood authority of God.
  • Through the gift of the Holy Ghost we receive:
    •  added capacity and spiritual gifts
    •  increased revelation and protection
    •  steady guidance and direction
    •  the promised blessings of sanctification and exaltation in the celestial kingdom
  • All these blessings are given as a result of our personal desire to receive them and come as we align our lives with the will of God and seek His constant direction.
  • …the gift of the Holy Ghost is Heavenly Father’s precious and unspeakable gift to all who will come unto His Son, be baptised in His name and receive the Holy Ghost through confirmation in His church.

What was your favorite moment or quote at this General Conference? I truly would like to know.

Here it is, Friday evening and I’m three days behind with a new post. Had you noticed?

Hazy, lazy days of summer? Nope. I spent last week up north away from internet access for a Family Reunion. Got home somewhat worn out. A day or so to recuperate and sure looking forward to August’s more laid back schedule. That was the plan.

Till this morning. In the night, my 95 year old Father-in-law passed away. I get to retrace my tracks this weekend, 8 hours north to celebrate his tremendously full life, with family and friends.

In this post, I’ll share a couple of unrelated quotes that caught my attention this past couple of days.

This first one resonated with me for various reasons…one of them being that I happened to squander my valuable free time yesterday caught up in reading a couple of atheists’ debates. (Very. Not. Worth. It.)

Dan Peterson’s First Rule for the Study of Other Religions:

“If a substantial number of sane and intelligent people believe something that seems to you utterly without sense, the problem probably lies with you, for not grasping what it is about that belief that a lucid and reasonable person might find plausible and satisfying.”

More in line with this blog’s theme, the following quotes come from the latest Ensign article I read. These truths inspire me and lift me up with faith and hope.

“The Spirit can have an even more powerful effect on us than our physiological senses.”

 “We cannot hope to receive personal revelation unless we conduct ourselves like faithful disciples of Christ. Respecting the covenants we have made with God qualifies us to receive the companionship of the Holy Ghost, who enlightens our intelligence and causes our spirits to blossom.”

Have you a recently discovered quote you’d like to share with us? Your comments are always welcome.

A few days ago, I discovered this great little article in June’s Ensign.  The excerpts below are from a speech given by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

At the time, I made a note of sharing it with you in a few weeks if and when I run out of something to say. It happens. 🙂

Then, Sunday morning in our Relief Society class a sweet sister referred to this same list. I quite like it and just cannot wait another day to pass it on to you. Besides, it follows my last post quite nicely!

Elder Oaks said, “My purpose in suggesting this classification and in giving these examples is to persuade each of you to search your own experience and to conclude that you have already received revelations and that you can receive more revelations because communication from God to men and women is a reality.

President Lorenzo Snow declared that it is “the grand privilege of every Latter-day Saint . . . to have the manifestations of the spirit every day of our lives” (CR, April 1899, p. 52).

Every day of our lives“. Isn’t that a marvelous promise?!

Eight Purposes of Revelation

To testify: The Spirit can witness that Jesus is the Christ and that the gospel is true.

To prophesy: Within the limits of one’s areas of responsibility, a person may be inspired to predict what will come to pass in the future. The prophet, patriarchs, and even we can receive prophetic revelation.

To comfort: The Spirit can comfort us as He comforted Joseph Smith  in Liberty Jail: “Peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment” (D&C 121:7–8). Comfort also comes in connection with priesthood blessings, visions of departed loved ones, and forgiveness of sins.

To uplift: The Spirit can lift us up from depression, feelings of inadequacy, or a plateau of spiritual mediocrity. He comes as we read scriptures or enjoy wholesome music, art, or literature.

To inform: On some sacred occasions, information has been given face to face from heavenly personages. Other times, needed information is communicated by the quiet whisperings of the Spirit.

“A child loses a treasured possession, prays for help, and is inspired to find it; an adult has a problem at work, at home, or in genealogical research, prays, and is led to the information necessary to resolve it; a Church leader prays to know whom the Lord would have him call to fill a position, and the Spirit whispers a name. In all of these examples—familiar to each of us—the Holy Ghost acts in his office as a teacher and revelator, communicating information and truths for the edification and guidance of the recipient.”

To restrain: This form of revelation will deter us from things we should not do. It often comes by surprise, when we have not asked for guidance on a particular subject.

To confirm: You can receive a confirmation through the Spirit after proposing a particular course of action and praying to know if it is the right choice.

To impel: This type of revelation is not sought after but comes to call a person to some action not proposed. This type of communication from the Spirit is rare but, therefore, significant.

To enjoy Elder Oaks’ complete talk and examples from his personal experiences, here’s the link.

President Harold B. Lee taught:

“Every man has the privilege to exercise these gifts and these privileges in the conduct of his own affairs; in bringing up his children in the way they should go; in the management of his business, or whatever he does. It is his right to enjoy the spirit of revelation and of inspiration to do the right thing, to be wise and prudent, just and good, in everything that he does.” [Stand Ye in Holy Places (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1974), p. 141–42]

I do enjoy the gifts of revelation and of inspiration. I testify that the truth of the restored gospel can be known by each of us through the direct personal line of communication to our Heavenly Father.  My greatest desire is that you too may experience this grand privilege and the sweetest of blessings.

Do you believe that it is possible to have “the manifestations of the spirit every day of our lives”?

What experiences have taught you that Heavenly Father does interest Himself in our affairs?