Tag Archives: Spirit

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I found this short video to be very enlightening:

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Personal Revelation

Sometimes I wonder

Sometimes I wonder how I got to be who I am today.  The other day I was wondering about how all of the years went by so quickly… how did it end up that I am now 22 years old?  I’m sure twenty year from now I will still be wondering… how did I get to be so old?  Where has my life gone?  Have I lived my life continually doing the Lord’s will?

As I think about what is most important in life, I think about the Savior and my Father in Heaven.  I tell many people that what other people think doesn’t matter.  The only thing that matters is what Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ think.  They will never lead us astray.

I love my Savior and I love how I can be filled with His Spirit as I continually try to do His will and follow His commandments.  He is so merciful.

Being Poisoned by Degrees

Do you allow yourself to become poisoned by degrees?

Lehonti

I would like to relate the story of Lehonti that is found in the Book of Mormon in Alma 47: 8-19.  In this chapter Amalickiah, a wicked leader seeks power and honor, not by battle but by intrigue and cunning (perhaps the same way Satan gets a hold of each of us).  It goes as follows:

 “8 Now it was not Amalickiah’s intention to give them battle according to the commandments of the king; but behold, it was his intention to gain favor with the armies of the Lamanites, that he might place himself at their head and dethrone the king and take possession of the kingdom.

9 And behold, it came to pass that he caused his army to pitch their tents in the valley which was near the mount Antipas.

10 And it came to pass that when it was night he sent a secret embassy into the mount Antipas, desiring that the leader of those who were upon the mount, whose name was Lehonti, that he should come down to the foot of the mount, for he desired to speak with him.

11 And it came to pass that when Lehonti received the message he durst not go down to the foot of the mount. And it came to pass that Amalickiah sent again the second time, desiring him to come down. And it came to pass that Lehonti would not; and he sent again the third time.

12 And it came to pass that when Amalickiah found that he could not get Lehonti to come down off from the mount, he went up into the mount, nearly to Lehonti’s camp; and he sent again the fourth time his message unto Lehonti, desiring that he would come down, and that he would bring his guards with him.

13 And it came to pass that when Lehonti had come down with his guards to Amalickiah, that Amalickiah desired him to come down with his army in the night-time, and surround those men in their camps over whom the king had given him command, and that he would deliver them up into Lehonti’s hands, if he would make him (Amalickiah) a second leader over the whole army.

14 And it came to pass that Lehonti came down with his men and surrounded the men of Amalickiah, so that before they awoke at the dawn of day they were surrounded by the armies of Lehonti.

15 And it came to pass that when they saw that they were surrounded, they pled with Amalickiah that he would suffer them to fall in with their brethren, that they might not be destroyed. Now this was the very thing which Amalickiah desired.

16 And it came to pass that he delivered his men, contrary to the commands of the king. Now this was the thing that Amalickiah desired, that he might accomplish his designs in dethroning the king.

17 Now it was the custom among the Lamanites, if their chief leader was killed, to appoint the second leader to be their chief leader.

18 And it came to pass that Amalickiah caused that one of his servants should administer poison by degrees to Lehonti, that he died.

19 Now, when Lehonti was dead, the Lamanites appointed Amalickiah to be their leader and their chief commander.”

What a tragic story of one who allowed himself to come down from the high place of safety.

What we can learn

There is much we can learn from this story.  I think one of the main things is that we must never come down, even a little bit from the high ground, even if it seems appealing.  We also must be vigilant and not allow ourselves to be burdened by continually having attacks on us.  Lehonti resisted Amalickiah’s inquiry three times.  Then Amalickiah got crafty and went almost to the top of the mountain and Lehonti gave in.  Then Lehonti went all the way  to the bottom of the mountain with his guards, because of Amalickiah’s craftiness.

Many times in life we do allow ourselves to come down from the high place just a little bit; we just want to live and be accepted by others, right?  Thomas S. Monson said this about always choosing the right:

You be the one to make a stand for right, even if you stand alone. Have the moral courage to be a light for others to follow. There is no friendship more valuable than your own clear conscience, your own moral cleanliness—and what a glorious feeling it is to know that you stand in your appointed place clean and with the confidence that you are worthy to do so.”

Sometimes it is not easy to be the one always making the right choices, but we must do it.  We must be willing to stand on the higher ground of what we believe in.  We must not allow ourselves to come down off the mount to the lower ground where much danger lurks.  We must not allow ourselves to become ‘poisoned by degrees.’ 

Safety for the Soul

Following the Lord: not knowing beforehand what you should do

Listening

As we listen to and obey all of the commandments and words of the Lord, we are able to overcome the world and all of our trials and tribulations.  As we obey, the Lord is with us to bear us up and strengthen us.  He helps us to choose the right and to come unto Him.  He protects us from the evil influences of the world.  There is a scripture in 1 Nephi 15:24 in the Book of Mormon, which states:

“And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God; and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.”

It is vital that we cleave unto the word of the Lord.  As we do so we will be blessed beyond imagination.  I had an instance in my life where I decided not to listen to the Lord’s prompting voice because of my own desires.

Stitched Toes

I was about ten years old and had a really good friend who came to my mom’s daycare.  One day, while my mom was out shopping and someone else was watching the daycare, my good friend left with her mother who came to pick her children up.  I was disappointed that my mom wasn’t back, because I wanted to ask if my friend could stay the night.

A couple minutes after they left, my mom came home.  I was so excited, I could hardly contain myself.  I wanted my friend to stay over.  I was downstairs and started running up what we called the ‘long flight of stairs’ in my family.  I stopped when I got about three steps up.  I thought I had heard someone tell me to use the other stairs.

I turned around to look and see who was there, but there was nobody.  I stood there and thought about it for a bit, then decided to keep running up the stairs.  This was the fastest way to get to my mom anyway and I wanted my friend to come back over.

As I ran, I put my foot a little to close to the edge where the eight foot tables were stored, and my toes caught the metal edge underneath one of them.  I was going so fast that as my toes caught on the edge, they started sliding down.  Before I knew it, I was down five or six steps crying very loudly.  My toes hurt, and they were bleeding.

I couldn’t move.  Luckily my mom heard me and came running down to see what was wrong.  She quickly got a cold cloth to wrap my toes in and brought me to the car.  We went to the hospital, and I got stitches.

I learned a great lesson that day, and have since had it reaffirmed to me many times after.  That lesson is that when the Lord commands or prompts you to do something, you do it, even when you don’t see the logic behind it.

Not Knowing Beforehand

Nephi, in the Book of Mormon had this lesson brought to his attention as well as he was going back to Jerusalem to obtain the plates.  He says in 1 Nephi 4:6:

“And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things that I should do.”

Sometimes we do not know and do not understand the things that the Lord wants us to do.  We just need to move forward in faith and know that the Lord will always provide a way for us to do His will.  We can see the great faith that Nephi had of this principle as he states in 1 Nephi 3:7:

“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father:  I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save He shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which He commandeth them.”

The Lord’s Help

The Lord helps us to do His will, and as we obey and follow His commandments, He trusts us with more.  This is seen in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25 of the New Testament as the Lord gives the ones who increased their talents even more.  As we are given and obey more commandments and promptings of the Lord, He is able to trust us more.  In return, He blesses us greatly.

As we choose to follow the Lord, He allows us to fly higher and higher, to become better and better people.  I have seen in my life that rules and commandments and promptings of the Lord to live a certain way, do not restrict us.  They allow us to be free and safe.  By having safety for our souls by doing the Lord’s will, we are able to accomplish great things we never thought we could accomplish.

Dangers of wanting to be liked

Who makes your decisions?

Life for others.

My whole life I have basically lived for other people.  I have never wanted to make people feel uncomfortable or unhappy.  I would much rather be unhappy than having somebody else be unhappy.  The thing I hate doing most is inconveniencing people.

Dangers

I like making people happy.  I always have.  But there are dangers in living this kind of lifestyle.  I have definitely learned as I have been going through life.

  1. Ignoring promptings of the Spirit:  As a child, when I was around eight years old, I was invited to a friend’s house for a sleepover.  I agreed to go, but I felt uneasy about it.  I did not want to hurt my friend’s feelings or make her feel unhappy.  As a result of ignoring a feeling from the spirit, I was left in a sticky situation.  I ended up doing things that I never thought I would.
  2. Forgetting Heavenly Father:  In college, when I was dating a particular boy, I wanted more than anything to make him feel happy.  He made me feel good most of the time.  The relationship progressed quickly and soon I was again doing things I never thought I would have because I wanted him to be happy.  By doing this I ignored my Heavenly Father and what would ultimately make Him happy.
  3. Not relying on Christ:  Another incidence in college was when I was dating a different boy.  I also tried to make him happy.  I obviously had not learned my lesson yet.  In fact, I think I am still learning.  I relied on him and we talked a lot.  I loved it.  I had a great friendship and I trusted him.  But, people often fail you, and later we drifted apart.  As a result we hardly talk anymore.  We must remember to confide in the Savior.  He will never leave us.
  4. Losing boundaries:  By seeking only to please others, we sometimes lose sight of our boundaries, of what we will and will not do.  This has happened at times as I have striven to make my friends happy and have them like me.  The crossing of the boundaries that we used to have do not have to be large.  Sometimes they are as simple as forgetting to say our prayers because we were up to late trying to help a friend.

As we continue to try and please other people, dangers can occur.  If these dangers and warning signs are not recognized, we can end up in a completely different place than we planned on going.  As we seek to please others and make them happy we are in essence allowing ourselves to be acted upon rather than deciding our own actions in life.  

Identity

I have realized that as I have lived only to please others, I have never really been able to figure out who I am as an individual.  I have always tried to play a part or a role.  I tried to be the perfect student, who accomplished projects to teachers’ expectations.  I tried to fit the role that each of my friends wanted me in.  I tried to be a good daughter and sister.  But I was forgetting a huge part.

I was forgetting to think about how Heavenly Father viewed me.  Was I striving to please Him and make Him happy?  or was I only trying to please my friends and other humans?  Is this what you do?  

Our self worth does not depend on how other people view us.

     

Avoiding Dangers

We are able to avoid dangers as we discover who we are as an individual.  As we come to know and recognize that we are sons and daughters of God, we live better and more fulfilling lives.  I was once told that:

“In the end what ultimately matters is whether or not you are making Heavenly Father happy.  You are able to do this as you follow His will for you and Christ’s perfect example.”

That was huge for me.  It was a completely new way of switching my mind around.  I don’t know why I hadn’t thought that way before.  It follows the two great commandments to first love God and then love your neighbor.  Do we put Heavenly Father first in our lives?

I know that as we put Heavenly Father first in our lives and show our love to Him through obedience, we are able to avoid situations that we never thought we would find ourselves in.  The things that have helped me to avoid the dangers of making other people happy have been:

  • Putting Heavenly Father first
  • Living in a way to have the spirit of the Lord
  • Recognizing when I feel uncomfortable or uneasy and acting on the feeling appropriately
  • Reading the scriptures daily
  • Praying morning and night
  • Making decisions and setting boundaries for myself early and sticking to them
  • Relying on the Savior and His atonement.

I hope you know that your Heavenly Father does love you.  He wants you to be happy.  As we strive to make choices that please our Heavenly Father, we will ultimately be helping others to be truly happy as well.  We do not need to trust in the arm of flesh.  The Lord says this in 2 Nephi 8: 12 in the Book of Mormon:

“I am He; yea, I am He that comforteth you.  Behold, who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of man, who shall die, and of the son of man, who shall be made like unto grass?”

The Lord loves you.  He is the one who comforts you.  He is the one who we are forever indebted to.  Let us show our love to Him, by thinking first of Him as we make our decisions through life.

When and where peace comes…

When Peace Comes

A Need for Peace

So much is thrown at us day in and day out.  How do we balance it all?  Is life too busy?  Where can I go for needed peace?  The world is full of choices and different things and people competing for our time and attention.  Now more than ever it feels like life is on a fast drive.  Life is speeding by on the highway.

Perhaps, for you it isn’t even your life that is speeding by at exorbitantly high speeds, but your thoughts.  Is your mind crowded with thoughts that try to take over your brain?  Where are these thoughts coming from?  How can you watch your thoughts?  How do you find peace with so much going on?  This scripture in Mosiah 4:30 of the Book of Mormon explains the importance of watching our thoughts as it reads:

“But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe to keep the commandments of God and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of the Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish.  And now, O man, remember, and perish not.”

Satan tries so hard to cloud our reasoning and to grab our attention by pushing out of our lives or our minds any truly good thing.  He tries to lure us in by making things appear to be good, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  So, as Satan is constantly nagging at you, how can you have any rest or peace?  How can you take time out to even breathe?

Do you allow peace into your life?

Some of us thrive on this busy lifestyle, and it is when we have a break from the rush that we feel ‘off’ a little.  We get so used to going at 125% that when we are down to 75% or even 100% we feel as if something is wrong with us.

I believe such was the case with me.  In fact, it is the only outside influence that I can think of that could have possibly had something to do with my depression.  Before I transferred to BYU-Idaho, I attended school at Millikin University pursuing a Theatre Administration degree.  While at this university, I took 18 credits almost every semester, as well as working a job 20-30 hours a week off-campus, and two on-campus jobs 5-10 hours per week.  Along with these things I was highly involved in service at church and had weekly game nights with a group of individuals from church around my age.  I also made cookies for those games nights.  There seemed to not be a pause or stop button to my life.  It just kept going and sometimes I felt that I did not even keep up with the own pace of my life.

But I loved it.  I was able to accomplish things and I felt worthwhile.  There were a few occasions where I just needed to breathe, but I enjoyed the pace for my life.  As I transferred to BYU-Idaho, I kept the rigorous course schedule as well as participating in campus activities.  Once again, I kept myself very busy.  I eventually found a job and was able to work and go to school.  I actually transferred in time to take classes in the summer, right after I had completed my last year at Millikin.  Needless to say, I was busy.

Then came fall.  I did not have classes because I was only scheduled to take classes in the winter and the spring.  I had a job, but that was not much.  Eventually, I became despondent and depressed.  I am not saying this is the reason for my depression, although it is probably one of the factors.  I did not truly allow a fullness of peace into my life.

Where Peace Comes From

While peace does not come only from having time to rest in your day, it is important to allow yourself time to reflect and ponder on your life, your goals, your day, or your beliefs.  Ultimately, peace comes from the Savior.  He shares His peace with us through the Spirit.

We can recognize that we are feeling the Spirit of the Lord in different ways.  It is specific to each person.  It may include a burning in the bosom or a feeling of truth.  This article explains more ways we recognize the Spirit in our lives:  Have I received an answer from the Spirit?

When Peace Comes

When peace, or an added measure of peace comes into your life, please allow it in.  I plead with you to recognize the opportunity that this peace is for you to come closer to the Savior of the world.

In my experience, my body rejected the change in routine.  Start now, to allow time for the most important things in your life.  Start now to allow the peace that comes from the Savior into your heart.

I am not asking you to completely change your lifestyle, I am just asking you to start small.  If there is something you can sacrifice in order to have the Savior more a part of your life, DO IT.  Do not wait.  Start this moment to accept and allow into your life the peace and happiness that the Savior waits to give you.