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

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