Friday, March 16, 2012

Let the Holy Spirit Guide

The Unspeakable Gift of the Holy Ghost
I came to earth with power to choose.
Good choices bless me and my family too.
As a child of God I receive special light.
The Holy Ghost helps me to know what is right.

I love this primary song which teaches about two of my favorite gifts, agency and the Holy Ghost.

I received the gift of agency when I was born. I brought it with me. Agency was so important to our Heavenly Father’s plant that a war was fought in heaven so that we could have it here on earth.

I love the gift of agency, but making good choices is not always easy. To help me make good choices, after my baptism, I received the remarkable gift of the Holy Ghost.

The gift of the Holy Ghost is unlike any other gift I have ever received. I will never outgrow it. It will never wear out. It will never break. It will never go out of style. It is a gift that will last my whole life, and I can use it every day.

In the Doctrine and Covenants, the Holy Ghost is described as an unspeakable gift. “God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost.”

The Holy Ghost is so valuable that a wealthy man might pay to receive this gift if he understood its worth, but it is not for sale. It is only available through Priesthood Authority.

Personal Revelation
We believe in revelation. Our prophet receives revelation for the Church. Our Bishop receives revelation for the ward. Parents can receive revelation for their families. But there is more. We believe in personal revelation, through the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Personal revelation is just that. Personal. Because my needs are not like yours, revelation does not come in just one size. It comes tailor-made to suit our individual needs.

I can get revelation on my “to do” list, while you are getting revelation on your sick child. You can get revelation on your budget, while I am getting revelation about my health. You can get revelation about your calling, while I am getting revelation on my wandering child.

As a child, I sometimes wondered how we could each get revelation at the same time. How can the Holy Ghost talk to me and you at the same time? How can he be everywhere at once? I learned that the Holy Ghost can be compared to the sun.

The sun is not standing next to me, but I can see its light and feel its warmth every day. You can feel it too. All over the world people can be warmed by the sun. The Holy Ghost works in much the same way.

In our family we have a fun tradition. When someone in our family is baptized they receive a Holy Ghost Box. The box is decorated to look like a gift, and it contains objects that represent the Holy Ghost in some way. Some of our favorites are a flashlight, a compass, and a small piece of blanket material.

The Spirit Giveth Light
A flashlight is a handy thing to have when you are walking around in the dark. In life, we sometimes walk in darkness, because we don’t know what to do. We may also walk in darkness when we are confronted with evil.

“And the spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit.”

Most of us find the Holy Ghost helpful when making big decisions. Who shall I marry? Where shall I go to college? Which house should I buy? Should I take this job? I find that the Holy Ghost can help me not only with big decisions, but also with every day decisions.

One Sunday night, I was overwhelmed with the things on my “to do” list for Monday morning. It was tempting to get an early start on the laundry and housework, but I wanted to keep the Sabbath Day Holy.

I prayed for guidance, and the Holy Ghost gave me specific instructions on things I could do to make Monday go smoother, without breaking the Sabbath day.

All things Which You Should Do
A compass is a handy thing to have with you when you are hiking in the mountains. It can help you if you are lost. In life there are many kinds of mountains, and there is more than one way to be lost. The Holy Ghost can help us when we don’t know what to do.

“For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.”

One day I had a desire to go to the temple. I had an evening assignment for which I wanted to be in tune. I planned my day to include the temple. You can guess what happened. Everything went wrong. I planned to go in the morning. It didn’t work out. I lost my car keys. I couldn’t find my recommend.

I planned to go in the early afternoon. I got an urgent phone call. Someone needed my help.

By mid-afternoon, it looked impossible and I was wearing out. I needed a nap. I would not be able to go to the temple that day. Disappointed, I lay down for a nap, and was soon awakened by an urgent prompting. “Go to the temple, NOW.”

Now? I wondered. Is there even time? Barely. I hurriedly dressed and left immediately with just enough time to do initiatory and get back for my assignment.

In the temple, as my names were being prepared, I noticed a patron’s name on the wall. Cindy Jewkes. My college roommate was Cindy Jewkes. We had lost touch with each other. Could it be the same Cindy?

I approached a woman waiting her turn. It took a moment for us to recognize each other. We had changed a bit. We had just enough time for a hug and to exchange contact information before her name was called.

The window of time was narrow. Had I been five minutes earlier, or five minutes later, I would have missed her.

Our True Eternal Friend
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance…”

Because the Holy Ghost is the comforter, we include a small piece of soft blanket material in each Holy Ghost Box.

When Christ was on the earth he promised he would send
The Holy Ghost to comfort us our true eternal friend.

We all will have times when we need the comfort that the Holy Ghost can give. I remember a time in my life when I was very sad and worried. Something in my life had gone terribly wrong, and there was nothing I could do. It was out of my control. I desperately needed the comforter.

I prayed for Heavenly Father to send the Holy Ghost to comfort me. For many days, I had the comforting words of hymns come into my mind during the day. The words were sweet and meaningful. They brought peace into my heart.

Let the Spirit heal our hearts
Through his quiet, gentle pow’r.
May we purify our lives
To receive him hour by hour.

Please come back tomorrow for part 2 of Let the Holy Spirit Guide

Linda Garner

Let the Holy Spirit Guide part 2

Trust in that Spirit
And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit. (D&C 11:12)

The Holy Ghost can prompt us to do good things. Once I made several pies for something special. Without meaning to, I made an extra. As I looked at that extra pie, some words came into my mind. “This pie is not for you.”

It’s not for me? I wondered. Who is it for? I remember opening my front door and looking around. I tried to guess who I was supposed to give the pie to? Was it them? Or them? Or maybe them? No, came the answer.

Later in the day, a name popped into my head, and I was surprised to find out who the pie was for. It was for someone I didn’t like very much. I wasn’t very anxious to take over the pie, but I did. I didn’t know if I would be welcome, but I was. I was invited in. We had a good visit, and I made a new friend.

A Still Small Voice
The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. “We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”

The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit. Because he doesn’t have a body he can speak to us in a very personal way, spirit to spirit. He speaks to us through thoughts and feelings. “Yea, behold, 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.”

We speak of the whispering of the Holy Ghost or the still small voice. Much like the Liahona, he works according to our faith and diligence. We may not hear him if we are not listening. We may not hear him if we are disobedient. We may not hear him if we are distracted by the noises of the world.

It’s important to be worthy. Being worthy does not mean being perfect. Being worthy means being clean. We do our best and we repent often. The Holy Ghost can help us to know when we need to repent. He can help us stay worthy.

To Guide Me, To Save Me
Through a still small voice
The Spirit speaks to me,
To guide me to save me
From the evil I may see.

The Holy Ghost can warn us of danger. When my 15 year old grandson was a toddler, I had him with me in the car. We were turning left on a green arrow. The road was mostly clear. In the distance there was an approaching car. I had time to make the turn, but something held me back.

I didn’t feel a prompting. No words came into my mind, but I was not moving. That distant car sped up and ran a red light. We would have been hit, and probably in the very spot where my grandson was sitting in his car seat. The Holy Ghost saved his life.

You May Know The Truth of all Things
Moroni promises us “by the power of the Holy Ghost, you may know the truth of all things.” I learned some precious truths one summer afternoon while I was hiking at girls’ camp more than 40 years ago, when my friends and I made an unwise decision.

I was seventeen, and so were my friends. The five of us were soon to be seniors. We were so close to our independence we could almost taste it. We had taken the traditional hike with the others.

It was a long hike that led to a beautiful lake, where we ate our lunch and played in the water. Later, as we headed back to camp, we wanted to be on our own, and we found excuses to hang back from the group, letting the distance grow between us and the others. At last we were alone.

It was a happy time. We talked. We sang. We laughed. We relished the day, right up until the very moment that the trail disappeared into a bog.

We were surprised. We had forgotten about this part of the hike, the part where the trail ended. We had always been following someone else. We had never had to do this alone. Our leaders knew the way.

It was such a short distance to camp, how hard could it be? Were there other markers that our leaders had relied on? We searched, but found nothing.

We knew we were close, so we pressed on, and soon found ourselves wandering in completely unfamiliar territory. We were getting farther away. Were we wandering in circles? How long had we been lost?

Lost? It was hard to admit. Just a short time ago, we had been invincible.

We didn’t know what to do. Tempers flared. We began to argue. Everyone had an idea, but no one had a solution. Finally, someone became humble enough to suggest a prayer. I wish it had been me.

Five frightened girls knelt in an unfamiliar forest and prayed for help. Peace descended as softly as April snow. When we stood again, we knew which way to go, and we stumbled into camp some time later, tired, hungry, wiser, and yes, from the opposite side of camp.

That was the day the Holy Ghost became real to me. That was the day that I understood how much my Heavenly Father loved me. That was the day that I knew for sure that I really was his daughter and that I would never be alone. That was the day that my faith grew muscle and my testimony found its voice.

That was the day that the Holy Ghost became my best friend. I hope that He is your friend too.

Linda Garner