By Alan on Aug 10 in Blog tagged darkness, enlighten, feeling, free, gift, God, Holy Ghost, light, Light of Christ, peace, power, prayer, prompting, promptings, pure joy, sensation, spirit, spiritual, still small, sun, truth, unspeakable, voice | 1 Comment
The Unspeakable Gift
Have you ever thought about the amount of light and energy generated by our sun? The amount is almost beyond comprehension. Yet the heat and light that we receive come as a free gift from God.
The light from the sun breaks through space, bathing our planet as it encircles the sun with life-giving warmth and light. Without the sun, there could be no life on this planet; it would be forever barren, cold, and dark.
As the sun gives life and light to the earth, a spiritual light gives nourishment to our spirits. We call this the Light of Christ. The scriptures teach us that it “lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” Thus, all mankind can enjoy its blessings. The Light of Christ is the divine influence that allows every man, woman, and child to distinguish between good and evil. It encourages all to choose the right, to seek eternal truth, and to learn again the truths that we knew in our premortal existence but have forgotten in mortality.
The Light of Christ should not be confused with the personage of the Holy Ghost, for the Light of Christ is not a personage at all. Its influence is preliminary to and preparatory to one’s receiving the Holy Ghost. The Light of Christ will lead the honest soul to “hearkeneth to the voice”.
The Holy Ghost is a personage of Spirit, a separate and distinct member of the Godhead. He is a witness or testifier of the power of God, the divinity of Christ, and the truth of the restored gospel. Many throughout history in all nations have sought diligently to commune with the heavens and gain the light of gospel truth. They have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost confirm the truth of the gospel.
“There is a difference between the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Cornelius received the Holy Ghost before he was baptized, which was the convincing power of God unto him of the truth of the Gospel, but he could not receive the gift of the Holy Ghost until after he was baptized. Had he not taken this … ordinance upon him, the Holy Ghost which convinced him of the truth of God, would have left him.”
The Lord calls the gift of the Holy Ghost “the unspeakable gift.” It is the source of testimony and spiritual gifts. It enlightens minds, fills our souls with joy, teaches us all things, and brings forgotten knowledge to our remembrance. The Holy Ghost also “will show unto us all things what we should do.”
It is the greatest guarantor of inward peace in our unstable world.
How great a blessing it is to have the ministering influence of a member of the Godhead.” Think of what this means, the ability and the right to receive the ministrations of a member of the Godhead, to commune with infinite wisdom, infinite knowledge, and infinite power!
As with all gifts, this gift must be received and accepted to be enjoyed. Scriptures warn us that the Spirit of the Lord will not always strive with man. The Holy Ghost will warn us of danger, and it will inspire us to help others in need. We watch. We wait. We listen for that still, small voice. When it speaks, wise men and women obey. Promptings of the Spirit are not to be postponed.”
I once had the opportunity to tour a large cave. While there, the guide turned off the lights for a moment to demonstrate what it was like to be in total darkness. It was an amazing experience. I put my hand an inch from my eyes and could not see it. It was frightening in a way. I was relieved when the lights were turned back on.
As light penetrates the darkness and makes physical things visible, so does the Holy Ghost penetrate the spiritual darkness that surrounds us and make plainly visible spiritual things that once were hidden. The Apostle Paul taught that the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Some are distracted by the things of the world that block out the influence of the Holy Ghost, preventing them from recognizing spiritual promptings. This is a noisy and busy world that we live in. Remember that being busy is not necessarily being spiritual. If we are not careful, the things of this world can crowd out the things of the Spirit.
Some are spiritually deadened and past feeling because of their choices to commit sin. Others simply hover in spiritual complacency with no desire to rise above themselves and commune with the Infinite.
If they would open their hearts to the refining influence of this unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, a glorious new spiritual dimension would come to light. Their eyes would gaze upon a vista scarcely imaginable. They could know for themselves things of the Spirit that are choice, precious, and capable of enlarging the soul, expanding the mind, and filling the heart with inexpressible joy.
More than ever before we need to keep the spirit of the Lord and it will lead us right. Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach you what to do and where to go. Keep hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it.
Do we turn away the still, small voice? Do we do things that offend the Holy Ghost? Do we allow influences into our homes that drive the Spirit from our homes? The type of entertainment that we permit into our homes will certainly have an impact on the power of the Holy Ghost. Much of the entertainment of the world is offensive to the Holy Ghost. Surely we should not watch movies or television shows that are filled with violence, vulgar language, and immorality.
I invite you to ponder individually in a humble and prayerful manner and ask yourself: “Do I have the Spirit in my life? Am I happy? Am I doing anything in my life that is offensive to the Spirit and preventing the Holy Ghost from being my constant companion?” Have the courage to repent, if needed, and again enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
Do we enjoy the influence of the Holy Ghost in our homes? Are we doing anything as a family that is offensive to the Spirit? Can we more effectively invite the Holy Ghost into our homes?
Our homes need to be more Christ-centered.
We should spend less time in the pursuit of pleasure. We should lower the noise level in our homes so that the noise of the world will not overpower the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost. One of our greatest goals as parents should be to enjoy the power and influence of the Holy Ghost in our homes. We should pray and study the scriptures. We could sing the hymns to invite the Holy Ghost into our home. Regular family home evening together will also help.
In these perilous times, we need this unspeakable gift in our lives. We need not live in fear of the future. We have every reason to rejoice and little reason to fear. If we follow the promptings of the Spirit, we will be safe, whatever the future holds. We will be shown what to do.
We can distinguish the gift of the Holy Ghost from all other spirits, for “it will whisper peace and joy to their souls; it will take malice, hatred, strife and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness and build up the kingdom of God.”
A friend of mine once told me about his experience in coming to know and understand the gift of the Holy Ghost. He had prayed often and longed to know the truth.
Although he felt at peace with his beliefs, he had never received the certain knowledge for which he hungered. He had reconciled himself to the fact that he might be one of those who would have to walk through this life relying upon the faith of others.
One morning, while pondering the scriptures, he felt something surge through his body from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. “I was immersed in a feeling of such intense love and pure joy,” he explained. “I cannot describe the measure of what I felt at that time other than to say I was enveloped in joy so profound there was no room in me for any other sensation.”
I urge you with all the tenderness of my heart—do not resist the truth any longer. Give place in your hearts to this heavenly light. Have faith, repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and you too shall receive this unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost.
If we would open our hearts to the refining influence of this unspeakable gift, a glorious new spiritual dimension would come to light.
Our Heavenly Father lives! Jesus is the Christ!
Taken from a talk given by:
By Alan on Jul 22 in Daily Inspiration tagged chose evil, corrupted, country, destruction, for good, Get NoiZ, good, government, happiest people, heading, laws, noisy, numerous, open mouths, stand up, the people, turn the world around, voice, world, Zion | Comments Off
Where Is Our Country Heading?
“For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted.” Helaman 5: 2
It is time to GET NOIZ (Noisy) and to
open our mouths and stand up
for the good in this world!
Let’s TURN THE WORLD AROUND!
When we do . . . “NOIZ” will also turn around
! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
“The Happiest People that ever lived!”
“And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.
And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.” 4 Ne. 1: 15-16
By Alan on Jan 23 in Blog tagged attorney, get noi-z, money, prison, profit, reachout, solved, spek out, stand up, victim, voice | Comments Off
Become a Zion People!
To: The Family.com. I’d like to “Get Nio-Z”!
In 2003, my sons estate was part of the 4000 kids who brought a lawsuit regarding the juvenile justice system there. They are asking 40% of the kids involved to settle for 7500 dollars each with 25% for attorney fees plus costs.
The attorneys claim that they have exhausted all other avenues for revenue as the judges assets are seized by the federal government and the County has been deemed exempt.
When my son went to a hearing the judge Civarella could not find him guilty of what he was accused of so because I said he was late for curfew the judge sentenced him to three months in his cash making prison. I told the attorney that this broke my relationship with my son and because he died I can never recover that piece of our lives.
The attorney said they did file a motion for the breakup of families but it was dismissed and is not appealable.
Still lots of people making money, but not the victims, even when they cant speak for themselves!”
His Father’s comments: ”It seems that our society will do whatever it takes to prevent any high profit problem from being solved continues to be stifled no matter how many other nations praise it.”
A Follower’s Voice
For The Family
By Alan on Jan 13 in Blog tagged accuse, advice, attention, body, ear, Family, feelings, foul, head, hear, heart, interrupt, judge, language, late, lectures, less, listen, mistake, mouth, music, opinions, prayer, strategies, talk, thoughts, tone, voice, words | 2 Comments
From the Publisher: Families today are so busy trying to pack into each day so many things that they become distractions and really are not that important when it comes to having a successful family and a loving home.
I have invited some good researchers that are “Of One Heart” in “Strengthening Families to provide their research and tested information to help us have better communication among ‘The Family’.
- – - – -
Many sounds in our world compete for our attention. As parents, life can become so hectic that we fail to truly listen to others, especially those closest to us–such as our children. The words of an anonymous author teaches a profound lesson about listening:
A wise, old owl sat on an oak
The more he saw, the less he spoke.
The less he spoke, the more he heard.
Why can’t we all be like that bird?
The ancient Greek philosopher Zeno of Citium said that we have been given one mouth and two ears that we might hear more and talk less.
Careful listening is one of the best ways parents can influence their children for good. It is one of God’s primary ways of influencing us. He has said, “Be still, and know that I am God.” He listens and responds to every heartfelt prayer.
Head and heart listening requires that we attend to more than mere words. To understand the full meaning of what a child is saying to us, we have to “listen” to tone, inflection, feelings, and body language. By truly listening, we are saying to our children: “You are a person of worth. I love you, respect you, and want to understand you.”
Unfortunately, we are often so eager to get our own point across that we interrupt our children with our own ideas and don’t pay enough attention to their thoughts and feelings.
For example, in the movie “Are You Listening,” a father is awakened in the middle of the night by loud music. He arises angrily and heads downstairs to find his teenaged son slumped on the couch, oblivious to the music’s volume. The father steps over to the stereo and switches it off. He then begins a tirade, rebuking his son for being up too late, listening to foul music, putting himself at risk for bad grades and impaired hearing, and every other mini-lecture he can come up with. The son repeatedly tries to explain himself, but his father interrupts and overpowers him each time.
How often as parents do we make a similar mistake?
The goal of listening is to hear, understand, and accept the other person’s feelings and views. Parents need to set aside their lectures and opinions and strive to truly understand their children’s point of view. No one can understand at the same time they’re giving advice.
Anytime we want to truly grasp our child’s thoughts and feelings, we have to give up lecturing (“What you need to do is . . .”), talking about our own experiences (“That same thing happened to me when I was a kid”), and playing down our child’s concern (“Everyone feels that way once in a while”).
Strategies for listening to your children with both your head and your heart include:
- Give your children your full attention. Put aside lectures, reactions, feelings, perceptions and judgments. Eliminate distractions such as the newspaper, TV or radio. Put yourself in your child’s shoes and try with all your heart to see the world through his or her eyes. The attitude and spirit you adopt is probably the most important aspect of listening. You can go through the outward motions of listening but not really be hearing anything if you don’t have the attitude and spirit of true listening.
Physically, you can give your child full attention by turning and leaning toward him or her to show involvement and concern. You can also watch carefully his or her eyes, where emotions are often communicated.
- Acknowledge your child’s feelings. Sometimes we try to deny our children’s feelings (“You don’t really hate school”), give advice, judge, and accuse. We try to get them to see what we see or feel the way we do, and in the process we prevent them from fully understanding their own experience. As psychologist Haim Ginnott said, “Many people have been educated out of knowing what their feelings are.” Acknowledge and respect your child’s feelings and views.
For example, suppose your child returns from school and says, “My teacher yelled at me and everybody laughed!” It would be easy to miss the feelings behind this statement and instead ask, “What did you do to make your teacher so upset?” A better response might be: “That must have been embarrassing for you,” or “It can hurt when people laugh at us.” After acknowledging feelings, you can help your child come up with solutions to avoid the same problem in the future.
Some parents think that if they show understanding, their children will think they’re condoning bad behavior. But showing understanding doesn’t mean you agree with their behavior. Rather, it shows you care about their feelings. Children need to feel they are understood before any advice or correction can sink in. The following exchange between a father and daughter, given in Haim Ginnott’s book, Between Parent and Child, shows a father truly listening to his daughter and understanding her feelings:
Daughter: My turtle is dead. He was alive this morning.
Father: Oh no. What a shock!
Daughter: (Tears in her eyes) He was my friend.
Father: To lose a friend can hurt.
Daughter: I taught him to do tricks.
Father: You two had fun together.
Daughter: I fed him every day. . . .
Father: You really cared about that turtle.
- Invite more discussion. Sometimes acknowledging a child with a sincere “Oh . . . hmmm. . . I see” is enough to invite more discussion. When coupled with a caring attitude, these simple sounds invite children to explore their own thoughts and feelings, and, if they’re trying to solve a problem, possibly come up with their own solutions.
Show understanding by paraphrasing. Paraphrasing means to restate or reflect what another person has said–but without parroting it word for word. Paraphrasing can be especially useful when you’re trying to help someone get to the heart of a problem.
Remember the example of the father who blasted his son? In the movie, this same scenario occurs a second time, but this time the father reacts differently. As he enters the room where his son is listening to blaring music, the father calms himself, then notices a disturbed look on his son’s face. Instead of launching into a lecture, he turns the stereo off and asks his son, “What’s going on?” At first the son hedges, “Dad, you don’t want to hear this.” But his father persists, and the son ends up pouring out feelings and fears common to young men. As the father truly listens, he understands, and he’s able to help point his son in the right direction in a way that lectures and commands can never accomplish.
Written by Stephen F. Duncan, Professor, School of Family Life, Brigham Young University.Portions adapted from Dr. Duncan’s article, Communication: Building a Strong Bridge Between You and Your Children , published by Montana State University Extension Service.