Monday, April 04, 2011

Some thoughts on Elder Bednar's talk

Ok, so I'm back, but I shan't get give you the next installment of my March of Dissipation today.

I've been thinking about Elder Bednar's Conference talk. Conference, by the way, was lovely as usual. I gladly trade the usual three hours in the Church building wrestling the youngsters in high heels, for 8 hours in my yoga pants in front of the TV, watching the GAs. (To be clear, I'm the one in the heels, but perhaps if I put the kids in heels and I wore Nikes, everything would be more pleasant and I wouldn't scowl.)

Anyhow, I was talking with my sister not too long ago about how the Spirit works for us personally, and then after that discussion, I started asking the same question of some other friends and family. And I was interested to hear that all of us were being taught somewhat differently.  I explained to them how the Spirit works for me: pray, then wait until I feel peace about my way forward. But many times my answer is no answer because the decision doesn't really need to be made yet. I feel sometimes that the Lord is telling me not to plan too far ahead, but to fill this time with what I already know I should be doing, keep my options open, and wait for further instruction, or for new, completely different things to be thrown into my path. Sometimes I feel like there are many ways I can go, and many of them acceptable to the Lord. Sometimes when I finally do get the calm, peaceful  feeling I'm waiting for, and move forward, my steps are still tentative. I don't always feel sure until I'm up to my neck in it. The Spirit also tells me when someone speaks truth because I feel tingling and pressure in my head (often I end up in tears). It confirms all truth, whether I am learning spiritual things, walking through some Indian ruins in the Painted Desert, watching a show about black holes on the Discovery Channel, or chatting with a friend. And also, very, very occasionally, I have heard an actual voice inside my head that is not my own, that gives short, meaningful instruction and intense comfort.

As I explained this to one friend, she seemed to think I was being a little laissez-faire, and needed to run a tighter spiritual ship. She said she needs more timely, specific revelation, and she gets it.

Another woman gets very strong spiritual confirmations for many questions she has, answers that leave her without doubt. She even has the Spirit tell her when someone else is struggling, or will soon struggle, many times with deeply personal issues. Sometimes these people are near-strangers. She feels the burden of acting on this knowledge, even though many times she doesn't really know how, because she doesn't know if anyone else will know to help.  She said she knows this isn't how it works for most people, that it some sort of spiritual gift, and she hasn't always had it.

Another friend told me she feels a burning in her chest, and thought everyone else did, too.

I don't know what exactly to say about all this, because I already understood that our communication with the Lord is a personal one, and so I shouldn't be surprised at the differing ways the Spirit communicates with us as individuals, but I guess I was...fascinated by the variety. And Elder Bednar's talk further clarified my thoughts. His analogy about light and the Spirit (most of the time the Comforter is slow and nearly imperceptible, like the rising sun, although it is occasionally intense and dramatic, like flipping on a light in a dark room), resonated with me. It reminded me that the voice of the Spirit, for me, and for most people, most of the time, really is still and small.

How does the Holy Ghost speak to you? (Feel free to post anonymously).
Is there a Conference talk you are still thinking about?


jennie w. said...

I have no TV and my laptop is too quiet so I listened to conference on my ipod. Consequently I have no idea who gave which talk. I did like Bednar's talk (we were wondering who that was.) I liked the talk on Sunday morning about bad things happening to good people (don't know who gave it). I think that's a subject that everybody deals with at some point.

Grandma Honey said...

Yes, I'm still thinking about Elder Holland's talk. I wish he could have spoke first to set the stage for the rest of the talks.It was all excellent. The best conf ever.

LisAway said...

I love these thoughts. Well expressed. Thank you for sharing some specific examples of what Elder Bednar was talking about.

heather said...

For me, it's usually a voice in my head, or a thought. More often than not, I'm uncertain whether it is my own voice or the voice of the Spirit, but I figure if the thought is a good one, and would bring me closer to the Savior then originating from me or from the Spirit -it would be the same. It took a long time for me to figure that out.

When the Spirit is prompting me to do something, it's less thought, more voice, and it's followed with peace, calm, and -when it makes me move out of my comfort zone- a pounding heart.

Barbaloot said...

I like what you said about not planning too far ahead, but doing what I should be doing now...or something along those lines. That rang very true to me and without having put it into words before, it's often how I feel. Thank you for that.

Often times, I don't necessarily realize the promptings when they come, it's after I've acted that I look back and see how I've been guided to make the right choices. And although it took me awhile to realize, I've finally come to recognize the "no" or "don't move forward" answers that I get.

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this post. I can't stop thinking about Elder Scott's talk. The obvious love between him and his wife is so beautiful it almost hurt, (in a weird, good way) to listen to it. It definitely made me want to work to be that kind of woman, both before I get married and especially after.

Jolene said...

I love your thoughts on Elder Bednar's talk. I always love to hear him speak. I have been thinking a lot about Elder Ballard's talk. I am trying hard to look for and appreciate the flecks of golf in my life and not stand around waiting for the huge nuggets to appear.

Jolene said...

That was supposed to say gold- I've got enough golf in my life already.