Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"That they may always have his Spirit to be with them."

Hey there Everyone!

Gahhh...Life has been so crazy since I've gotten transferred to Binghamton.  I'm glad I finally have some time to sit down and write a full blog post.  It's been a long time coming, so I hope it pleases you all.  As I stated in my last post, this one will be focusing on the Holy Ghost, and how diligence to the commandments brings the Holy Ghost.  It will also touch on the role the Holy Ghost plays in our lives and why it is so essential to our progression. 
To begin let's list a couple main roles that the Holy Ghost plays in our lives:
1. It sanctifies and purifies our hearts.  It increases the strength of our spiritual side, while weakening the natural man within us. 
2. It testifies of truth.
3. It gives knowledge and understanding to those who seek it. 
In this post I wish to focus on how the latter two roles bring about the first, which then in turn brings about the "immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39).
So last time I wrote a full post we touched on the subject of how diligence brings blessings.  That post leads right into the 3rd point above.  To those who diligently seek it, the Holy Ghost will enlighten your mind.  He will grant unto you rich stores of knowledge.  But this is not just a free gift.  Just as with any blessing from the Lord, our blessings will not be full if we do not recognize and give thanks to where the understanding comes from.  While talking with the leaders of the early Church, the Prophet Joseph Smith counseled them on the importance of taking notes when it comes to spiritual matters.

"Here is another important item. If you assemble from time to time, and proceed to discuss important questions, and pass decisions upon the same, and fail to note them down...for neglecting to write these things when God had revealed them, not esteeming them of sufficient worth, the Spirit may withdraw, and God may be angry; and there is, or was, a vast knowledge, of infinite importance, which is now lost." [Teachings, p. 73]

All understanding and knowledge is a gift from God.  It is prideful to glorify yourself and your ability to learn, when it was a gift from God that you are able to comprehend even the simplest ideas.  When you receive inspiration, of any form, I fully encourage you to kneel down at the next available time and simply say a prayer of gratitude.  Your Heavenly Father speaks to you daily, but sometimes we miss it because we have forgotten where the source of knowledge and understanding are. 
So now that you are working through your doubt by recognizing it for what it is, and studying it out.  Now comes the time when we fully rely on the Lord.  Diligent prayer and scripture study may take a fair bit of time.  Perhaps the Lord is waiting for your heart to be humble, or for your mind to be prepared for the answer he will yet give.  If you are currently waiting for an answer, I encourage you to keep working and being patient.  Do all you can until you receive your answer. 
Sometimes all that is holding us back from an answer is an ounce of uncleanliness.  The Spirit of the Lord will not abide in an unclean vessel.  If there are things amiss in your life, I would recommend that you humble yourself and repent in 'sackcloth and ashes'.  I echo the words of Jeffrey R. Holland when he said "I am asking you...men to be active and be clean. If required, I am asking you to getactive and get clean."  The Holy Ghost is the catalyst to conversion, and the guide that will lead us to Eternal Life.  Please strive to do all you can to be worthy of it's companionship.  (We Are All Enlisted, October 2011 Priesthood Session)

And if you feel you are doing all you can, like you couldn't give another drop of effort if someone wrung you out like a towel.  Keep that effort going.  Our God is a 4th Watch God.  He will let us toil and struggle so that we are sufficiently humble and grateful for the assistance we require.  Do not give up working because you're giving 110% and you feel like you're in the 15th Watch.  The Lord knows our limits, we barely understand our potential.  The Lord will not try you above that which you cannot handle.  In the words of Winston Churchill "If you're going through Hell, keep going".
The Lord has given his "good spirit to instruct" all of his children (Nehemiah 9:20).  Please take full advantage of that gift.  Pray for it and seek after the Holy Ghost.  Show the Lord that you love him and the blessings he has and will yet give.  I have taken a fair bit of time in dealing with doubts.  But it is for the purpose that they plague all of us.  I hope that I have managed to make sense. 
Since this little doubt-fest has taken a long time, I have a fair number of posts lined up.  I'm looking forward to writing on them, and I hope that they will be of worth to you and to your loved ones.  I love you all, and hope you have a wonderful week. 
Love, Elder Gailey

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"That they may have his Spirit to be with them: An Introduction"

Hello Everybody, I apologize early for the shortness of this post.  Some crazy things have happened this Monday and I ask your forgiveness for the length of this weeks blog post
As I intended to do this I want to speak a little bit on the gift and power of the Holy Ghost.  But since I'm on a major time crunch currently I'm going to assign some homework for next week when I'll have more time to write.  In preparation for next week's installment I would ask all of you to read a Devotional given by President Henry B. Eyring titled "Going Home".
This devotional is largely the basis for what will be in next week's blog post.  I pray that you will read and study this devotional.  It spoke on a very deep level to me, and I know it can do the same to you.  I can't wait to write out my thoughts and experiences on the Holy Ghost.  But this will suffice me for this week.
Here is the link to the devotional:

I hope and pray that you all have a wonderful week. 
Love, Elder Gailey

Monday, March 2, 2015

Diligence Brings Forth the Blessings of Heaven

Hey there everyone, hope you all had a great week.

This week I wanted to move forward into the next portion of how I have come to work through doubts.  As I said last week this next portion will be focused on how diligence in scripture study and prayer will open the windows of heaven and give you great gifts of knowledge to help you work through your doubts.  

To open I want to share a small section out of Preach My Gospel - if you don't have a copy I'd highly recommend it, it's a wonderful study guide for the basic principles of the gospel.  This particular passage comes out of Chapter 6 under the section of Diligence:

"Diligence is steady, consistent, earnest, and energetic effort in doing the Lord’s work. The Lord expects you to work diligently—persistently and with great effort and care."

My favorite part of the definition of diligence is that it is an energetic effort.  The energy that you display in your study and in your approach to solve your problems will have a massive impact on how you receive your answers.  By studying with full purpose and heart you show the Lord that you value the knowledge that is available and that you have faith that he will enlighten your mind.  Think of it kind of like a task at work.  If your boss sees you sluggishly moving around he likely won't offer much in the way of benefits.  If your boss sees you sprint around for an hour and then stop for the rest of the work day he isn't likely to help you as well.  

Diligence can be seen as a triangle, with each of the three points representing an adjective to describe your work.  These points are:

  1. You must work steadily.  
  2. You must work smart.
  3. You must work hard. 
If you work steadily and hard but not smart, you're going to waste your time.  You're not going to find an answer on temple marriage by studying the word of wisdom.  If you work steadily and smart, but are slow to do the job, you're just dragging things out.  And if you work hard and smart, but don't work steadily you will reap inconsistent blessings and miss out on many pieces of knowledge.  

If you take away one of those points you no longer have a triangle, and your growth and increase in knowledge will suffer to some degree.  When it comes to studying the scriptures and prayer you need to work with this triangle in mind so that you can have that balance in all things.

In my study for this post I read a scripture in the 123rd Section of the Doctrine and Covenants.  In verse 15 we are given some council from the Lord pertaining to seemingly 'small' things.  

"Let no man count them as small things; for there is much which lieth in futurity, pertaining to the saints,which depends upon these things."

Scripture study and prayer may seem like small things.  But we often do not see how they are the basis for all of the future blessings that are in store.  Those future blessings are amazing, and are built and earned based on the principles of diligence in this gospel.  The small and simple things of this church are able to work mighty miracles.  

It is my hope that you will have faith in the words of prophets and apostles, both modern and past.  Learn the basics, learn them over and over.  If you are a master to the basics of the gospel, then the blessings of heaven will be available unto you.  

I love you all, and can't wait for the opportunity to continue this mini series, which will end with a post based on the power of the Holy Ghost.  It will cover his role, power, and importance in our everyday lives.  I hope you all have a great week.  

Love, Elder Gailey