Sunday, March 7, 2010

GC Recap #17 - Helping Others Recognize the Whisperings of the Spirit

Vicki F. Matsumori, Second Counselor in the Primary General Presidency gave a simple yet wonderful talk on the spirit. In which she gave three guidelines, that if followed will help others to recognize the whisperings of the spirit. The first, "Understanding the Doctrine". She said, "Whether we are in a classroom, a missionary discussion, or a family home evening, teaching the doctrine regarding the Holy Ghost can help others understand this important gift. We learn that while “the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil,” the right to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost comes as members are given that gift by the laying on of hands by those who have the proper authority."

She gave a few examples of what prophets have said the spirit feels like, but she said, which I too love, "My favorite description, though, comes from an eight-year-old boy who had just received the Holy Ghost. He said, “It felt like sunshine.”"

Isn't that so beautiful and vivid? The Holy Ghost really does feel like sunshine doesn't it?

The second guideline she said was to "Share Personal Testimony." She then said, "We can help others become more familiar with the promptings of the Spirit when we share our testimony of the influence of the Holy Ghost in our lives. Remember that some experiences are too sacred to relate. However, by sharing testimony of the Spirit in our lives, those who are unfamiliar with these promptings are more likely to recognize when they have similar feelings."

And the third guideline is, "Provide an Environment Where the Spirit Can Be Felt.
There are places where it is easier to feel the Spirit. Testimony meetings and general conference are some of those places. Certainly temples are another. The challenge for each of us is in providing an environment where the Spirit can be felt daily in our homes and weekly at church.

"One reason we are encouraged to pray and read the scriptures every single day is that both of these activities invite the Spirit into our homes and into the lives of our family members.

Because the Spirit is often described as a still, small voice, it is also important to have a time of quiet in our lives as well. The Lord has counseled us to “be still, and know that I am God.” If we provide a still and quiet time each day when we are not bombarded by television, computer, video games, or personal electronic devices, we allow that still, small voice an opportunity to provide personal revelation and to whisper sweet guidance, reassurance, and comfort to us."

I love these simple yet profound truths and suggestions that I have been reminded of while studying this talk. I have a testimony that if we strive to make our home one where the spirit can dwell, and if we consistently share our experiences with our children, they will come to know what the spirit feels like. In feeling this I know that they will be compelled to do what is right, so that that feeling will stay and the Holy Ghost will become their constant companion.

She closed with this, "When we come to understand the whisperings of the Spirit, we will be able to hear Him teach us “the peaceable things of the kingdom” and “all things what [we] should do.” We will recognize answers to our prayers and know how to live the gospel more fully each day. We will be guided and protected. And we can cultivate this gift in our lives as we follow those spiritual promptings. Most importantly, we will feel Him witness to us of the Father and of the Son." I also know this to be true.

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