Sunday, January 24, 2010

Spiritual Communication

Our Relief Society Lesson today, was about seeking spiritual guidance. It was based on a talk by Elder Scott, given at the October General Conference. Several people shared wonderful stories that had dramatic consequences because they listened to the spirit. I have very few of those stories in my life.

While sitting there, I had the feeling I get when I need to share my testimony, and I didn't raise my hand. I was completely sure of what the spirit was prompting me to share, but I let the opportunity pass, thinking it was nothing of significance to anyone in the room. But now I have been thinking about it for a couple of hours. And I realize I do this a lot. Because I get nervous speaking in groups, even friendly groups like my sisters in relief society - I don't like to. Even when the spirit is prompting me.

So I realized that I needed this lesson for many reasons. And I will be pondering this talk and the things I heard a lot this week. However, when I think of what I know I was supposed to share - my heart begins to race and I am hoping that if I write it down here - I can be relieved of this feeling of failure to follow the spirit.

Several weeks ago, I was kneeling in prayer, asking for help with one of my children. I didn't know how to help her. As I prayed, I used the same words I have said a thousand times, "please guide her. . . please guide me. . . please help me. . ." I distinctly knew that I was asking for the wrong thing. The spirit gently whispered, "I am always guiding her, I am always helping you. You need to pray that you will understand and follow the direction I give."

I was given a new understanding. And I have been striving to listen more and understand more.

Obviously, from my experience today in Relief Society, I am still working on this.

I love this part of my church. I love that we discuss gospel principles with each other. I love that I leave there wanting to try a little harder and do a little better.

This is my favorite quote that we discussed today. It helped me better understand how my fears get in the way of following the promptings I receive:

The inspiring influence of the Holy Spirit can be overcome or masked by strong emotions, such as anger, hate, passion, fear, or pride. When such influences are present, it is like trying to savor the delicate flavor of a grape while eating a jalapeƱo pepper. Both flavors are present, but one completely overpowers the other. In like manner, strong emotions overcome the delicate promptings of the Holy Spirit.
- Elder Richard G. Scott