My topic of study today will be about the talk from Elder Craig C. Christensen titled An Unspeakable Gift from God. I can’t remember for sure, but it seems like this was the talk where my little C (7) started crying.
I feel this section is the most touching of the entire talk (at least what I’ve read so far):
Recognizing that this was likely the first time our young son had felt the influence of the Holy Ghost in such a powerful way, I knelt down on the floor next to him. While other visitors stepped around us, Ben and I spent several minutes, side by side, learning about the Holy Ghost together. I was amazed at the ease with which we were able to discuss his sacred feelings. As we talked, it became clear that what was most inspiring to Ben was not what he saw but what he felt—not the physical beauty around us but the still, small voice of the Spirit of God within his heart. I shared with him what I had learned from my own experiences, even as his childlike wonder reawakened in me a deep sense of gratitude for this unspeakable gift from God—the gift of the Holy Ghost.2
Not only do I like this because I’m sure C has felt it before too, but I also like how he says it wasn’t what the little boy saw but what he felt. In family home evening last night we talked about this too – about being true to ourselves and how this makes us feel peace inside. B talked about how impressed she has been with C’s improvement in school and how she can see that he’s trying hard to be true to who he really is – a child of God.
On Sunday he gave a talk about how he’s preparing for baptism. The coolest thing was that HE wrote it. I helped him get it all together but he told me what he’s doing to get ready for baptism.
We invited Ray and Amy and also Mandy to come. We went 2 for 3 with Amy and Mandy both coming. Mandy later told us she almost started crying when she heard him talk about being true since she knew he’d been working on that. Hopefully it rang true to her as well since we all know and feel that this is something she’s having a hard time with, possibly without even realizing it.
…the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit who communicates to our spirits through feelings and impressions.5
I remember having lots of these “impressions” when I was dating B. I remember feeling like I should do things, which, after the fact, turned out to be really good ideas that led to our marriage.
One thing I want to be sure of is that I’m worthy of that spirit now, on a day to day, minute to minute basis. I felt like this morning wasn’t the best use of my time. I saw one funny Youtube video, which led to another and then another. It seemed as I kept watching more and more videos came that weren’t the best. I eventually stopped watching but know that none of that time was used to invite the Spirit into my life.
The primary purpose of the Holy Ghost is to bear witness of God the Father and of His Son, Jesus Christ,7 and to teach us the truth of all things.8 A sure witness from the Holy Ghost carries far more certainty than a witness from any other source.
I like this section too: I’ve heard Mandy talk about “proof” that the scriptures are true. “Evidence” is what Luke seemed to ask me as well – examples that solidified my faith and conviction. The biggest “evidence” I’ve had about the truthfulness of the Gospel is through the Holy Ghost testifying to me, through feelings in my heart, that what I’m reading and teaching is true. No one can deny or dispute that. They CAN, however, deny, dispute, and argue tangible evidence, even if we all think it’s legitimate. I mean, look at the Jews – they had evidence right in front of them that Jesus was the Savior but they denied Him anyway and most still do to this day.
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 the truth can be imparted by personal contact even with heavenly beings.”9
The other day, when I was going to study this talk, I felt inspired to write down what I’d felt at Lorriane Morgan’s funeral. This quote is a testimony to me that what I was feeling was the Holy Ghost as a comforter:
The Holy Ghost is also known as the Comforter.10 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,”11 helping us feel “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding.”12
I feel this quote is the one that scares other religions the most about what we teach:
The Holy Ghost is a teacher and a revelator.13 As we study, ponder, and pray about gospel truths, the Holy Ghost enlightens our minds and quickens our understanding.14 He causes the truth to be indelibly written in our souls and can cause a mighty change to occur in our hearts. As we share these truths with our families, with fellow members of the Church, and with friends and neighbors in our community, the Holy Ghost becomes their teacher as well, for He carries the message of the gospel “unto the hearts of the children of men.”15
In fact, it seems I’ve heard Mandy even say that they warned her about what we’ll have her do and how she may feel something, but that that isn’t factual evidence…or something like that. Isn’t it ironic that prayer and pondering aren’t things they rely on to find truth? After a bit of research, here’s a perfect example of what I mean:
Since Mormonism is not based on true facts, then they have to appeal to “feelings.” It is one of their most effective tactics. Here are some examples from the above-mentioned book.
“Mr. & Mrs. Brown (the sample name they used for the person they are talking to), what you are FEELING right now is the Spirit of the Lord TESTIFYING to you that we are teaching you the truth. You are beginning to receive your own testimony of the truthfulness of this message.”
“I’m sure you have a reason for FEELING that way, Mr. Brown. Would you mind sharing it (FEELING) with us?”
“Do you FEEL we do not need divine guidance today?”
When the missionaries give their testimony as to why they became Mormons, feeling will be the most important ingredient.
Since the LDS Church doesn’t want people to think, it has to get them to believe that you can determine truth, not by reasoning and investigating, but by this un-described “feeling.” If you buy into this idea of determining things by “feeling,” then you have bought into Mormons!
Back to the talk about the power of the Holy Ghost:
For me, the most vivid examples of heeding the promptings of the Holy Ghost in the service of others come from the life and ministry of President Thomas S. Monson, who said: “In the performance of our responsibilities, I have learned that when we heed a silent prompting and act upon it without delay, our Heavenly Father will guide our footsteps and bless our lives and the lives of others. I know of no experience more sweet or feeling more precious than to heed a prompting only to discover that the Lord has answered another person’s prayer through you.”16
How Does the Holy Ghost Speak to Us?
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. President Boyd K. Packer has taught: “The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you feel more than you hear. … While we speak of ‘listening’ to the whisperings of the Spirit, most often one describes a spiritual prompting by saying, ‘I had a feeling … ’.”18 It is through these sacred feelings from the Holy Ghost that we come to know what God would have us do, for this, as stated in scripture, “is the spirit of revelation.”19
As I reflect back on my experience with Ben in the Bountiful Utah Temple, I have many sweet feelings and impressions. One clear recollection is that while I was absorbed in the grandeur of what I could see, a small child near my side was recognizing the powerful feelings in his heart. With a gentle reminder, I was invited not only to pause and kneel down but also to heed the Savior’s call to become as a little child—humble, meek, and ready to hear the still, small voice of His Spirit.
I’ve felt this feeling. I know that God speaks to His children through the power of the Holy Ghost. I know that the gift of the Holy Ghost can be with me at all times as I keep myself worthy.
I know that through the power of the Holy Ghost, I can teach my children, I can help them recognize truth, and I can be guided in all my decisions – both temporal and spiritual.
I’m grateful for the time I made today to study and stick with my 6 month plan.