ALL IN – 28 August 2019
Both the hostess, Morgan Jones, and the author, Robert Millet, discussed a few points in this podcast that struck me. I want to mention only those today, and explore what they mean for me, personally.
“I believe sometimes as Latter Day Saints we are like fish who discover water last. We are so immersed in the element that we are unaware of its presence. We have been immersed in the revelations of the Lord in this dispensation. No dispensation can compare to this one. It is possible to be given a gift and receive not that gift.”
Remember in the Sacrament prayer that we hear every week? The Lord makes a promise to us.
“‘Always have His spirit to be with us’ – that is a powerful statement. We hear it every Sunday, and maybe we don’t appreciate what it’s talking about.”
We are promised that gift! Why, then, is there a worthy Young Woman in our ward who testified that she’d never felt the Spirit before girls camp this past summer? And why did my dear friend confide in me that she doesn’t feel the Spirit anymore at church? And why do I, unwittingly, list in my journal “times” when I have had the Spirit with me? Is it not promised us, every Sunday, that we will ALWAYS have His Spirit to be with us – not just at “times”?
“I’ve wrestled with this for years. It’s the question of the ‘constant companionship’ of the Holy Ghost…
It is a phrase that is used a lot. Elder Eyring. President Nelson.
One of the things I came to appreciate is this: You can have the Holy Ghost with you and not necessarily feel the Holy Ghost at that time, as much. It is beyond feeling. It is one thing to HAVE the Spirit, it is another thing to FEEL it.”
This is something that I have not intentionally taught my children or discussed with my husband. But this is a principle that changes my understanding of the gift of the Holy Ghost.
“There will be times when it’s quiet, almost imperceptible. But it is still working.”
How do I distinguish between my own thoughts and the voice of the Spirit? Simple. Practice.
We discussed in another blog post the option of putting ourselves in a place to learn courage – to practice courage. Likewise, let’s put ourselves in a place to learn to understand the Spirit. We can give ourselves the opportunity to practice understanding the Spirit and differentiating the Spirit from other influences. We can:
- Raise our hands to speak up in class.
- Accept callings.
- Respond to even very small promptings.
- Pray for others and then act on any impressions.
- What else? Think about this. Create opportunities to practice this.
In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, the faithful servant was praised by the Lord: Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.
Likewise, when we act on small promptings, when we respond to small things, He will “make (us) ruler over many things”.
How do we discern the Lord’s communication to us – the language of the Spirit? Morgan shared an analogy. In learning Spanish on her mission stateside, she never got fluent. She struggling. But once she knew an individual better, she could understand them better – she knew where they were coming from, what their fears and their dreams were, what themes they tended to repeat, and where they were likely going with the conversation. I think anyone with an experience with another person or people who spoke another language can relate! When we were called to the Deaf Branch, the only Sign Language I had been taught by my husband was “I am a sexy reindeer”. Poorly done, Bryant. Ha ha!
But, with some experience with the language, and with even more experience with the individuals, after some years, I was able to communicate to, and receive communication from most of the members of the Deaf Branch. The stronger my relationship with the individual, the more easily I recognized what they were communicating to me.
Likewise, the stronger our relationship with the Lord, the more easily we recognize what He is communicating to us.
We know where He is coming from, we recognize themes He tends to repeat, and we can deduce where He is likely heading.
Robert Millet closes with this challenge:
“Never do anything that would cost (us) the influence of the Holy Spirit.”
How would my life be different if this were my motto? What would that look like?
- The thoughts I think
- The food I ate and the way I treat and care for my body
- The music I listen to
- The books I read
- The people I surround myself with
- The way I spend my time