Sunday, January 24, 2010

To Acquire Spiritual Guidance

Today at church, I got to teach Relief Society. I used to teach when I was in my singles ward in Utah, and I LOVE it! I love thinking about a lesson for a few weeks and getting to prepare and give a lesson. The lesson this time was from the Ensign and was entitled, “To Acquire Spiritual Guidance.” It is an EXCELLENT talk and I highly recommend you read it if you haven’t before (it’s good for even non-LDS people, too). We were only able to get through half of the lesson b/c it was so good and everyone was making comments and participating.

IMG_2745One of the things that Elder Scott focuses on is writing down spiritual impressions when they come to us. So, I found these cute little notebooks at the dollar spot at Target and got one for all of the ladies so they could write down any promptings they got during the lesson and then take the books home to use. I love how it said on the the books, “Little girl, big dreams.” I had a “spiritual journal” I used to keep in college and it has been such a strength and comfort for me to go back and read some of the spiritual experiences I’ve written down. They are a special help to me when I am struggling or having a hard time. Going back and reading those experiences reminds me that I am a daughter of God and that He wants what is best for me. Anyways, like I already said, the talk is excellent but I wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes that had a profound impact on me.

  • Father in Heaven knew that you would face challenges and be required to make some decisions that would be beyond your own ability to decide correctly. In His plan of happiness, He included a provision for you to receive help with such challenges and decisions during your mortal life. That assistance will come to you through the Holy Ghost as spiritual guidance. It is a power, beyond your own capacity, that a loving Heavenly Father wants you to use consistently for your peace and happiness.
  • Have patience as you are perfecting your ability to be led by the Spirit. By careful practice, through the application of correct principles, and by being sensitive to the feelings that come, you will gain spiritual guidance. I bear witness that the Lord, through the Holy Ghost, can speak to your mind and heart. Sometimes the impressions are just general feelings. Sometimes the direction comes so clearly and so unmistakably that it can be written down like spiritual dictation.
  • I am convinced that there is no simple formula or technique that would immediately allow you to master the ability to be guided by the voice of the Spirit. Our Father expects you to learn how to obtain that divine help by exercising faith in Him and His Holy Son, Jesus Christ. Were you to receive inspired guidance just for the asking, you would become weak and ever more dependent on Them. They know that essential personal growth will come as you struggle to learn how to be led by the Spirit.

There are so many other ones I want to share, but then it would just be like posting the whole talk, b/c it’s all so good. I especially liked that last quote about having to struggle a little. I don’t like having to struggle and sometimes just want answers right away. However, I know that it’s true what that quote says…when we struggle we are able to have essential personal growth. I was so thankful that this was the opening talk given in the October general conference. We’re always counseled to listen to General Conference with a question in our heart and mind that we want to have answered. This talk was the answer to that prayer I had. I needed to know how to gain spiritual direction and how to follow that direction once given. I was struggling w/ a major decision in my life at that time, and after this talk I knew what I had to do and was able to make my decision.

I think having spiritual guidance is such an important thing, b/c we’re not always going to know what to do in every situation we have in our lives. But, if we allow the Spirit to prompt us and give us direction, we can have peace in following that guidance and knowing that we are doing what Heavenly Father wants us to do. When we want to communicate w/ God, we pray. When He answers us, it is through promptings of the Spirit…that is how He communicates. And each of our situations is so different from what others are going through, that we need the personalized direction from Heaven.

I am personally thankful to know that I don’t have to try and figure out this life on my own. It is a huge comfort to know that Heavenly Father has a vested interest in my life and that He will give me guidance through the Holy Ghost as to what I need to do. And yet at the same time, He’s not going to force me to do anything. I still have my agency to choose what I ultimately do. When I look back at my 30 years of life, I can think of specific times where Heavenly Father has prompted me and guided me. Anyways, take the time to read this talk…you won’t regret it.


analyn said...

Thanks for your congratulations and kind words. Your daughter is gorgeous. Best to you too.

Rachel said...

It sounds like an amazing lesson. I'm so sad I couldn't be there! I will definately be reading the talk.

Marilyn said...

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