Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Influence of the Holy Ghost

Usually I have a general topic in mind and some sort of plan for what I'll convey, if vague. But today, I'm wingin' it. I know that the Spirit will guide my words.

The Spirit. Yes. That is what I'll talk about.

The Holy Ghost has several names: The Spirit, Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost, Comforter, just to name a few.

Who is the Holy Ghost?
The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit, without a body of flesh and bones. He is often referred to as the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, or the Comforter.   -Holy Ghost, Study By Topic

What does He do?
The Spirit has many roles. He comforts us when we are weary. He answers our prayers. He testifies of truth when it is taught. It is through his witness that we can obtain a testimony of God the Father and Jesus Christ. He also can guide us. When we are about to make a decision, the Spirit can help us to feel which way is right. This can be a matter of choosing whether you will obey your parents, which class you should take with your two leftover credits, which college to go to, or any decision. The Holy Ghost can also protect us. He does this by warning us when we are about to make a wrong choice or if we are in danger.

How do I know if I am feeling/ have felt the Holy Ghost?
This is difficult to answer. Everybody feels the Spirit a bit differently. Most people describe hearing a "still small voice" or feeling a warmth. Some people cry when they are feeling the Spirit very strongly; they cry in a good, happy way. Sometimes you will feel at peace. Sometimes you will feel elated and jubilant. Other times you will just feel still and calm.
Often, it takes a lot of practice to figure out when your feeling the Spirit verses over-analyzing your own thoughts. Sometimes it's very obvious, sometimes it's not. You can strengthen your ability to realize the promptings and feelings of the Holy Ghost by praying for help and putting yourself in situations that are conducive to the Spirit.  Ponder the scriptures after you read them. Sit in a few moments of silence after praying so you can feel God answering your prayers through the  Spirit.

How can I feel the Spirit more in my life?
Start off by reading your scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon, daily. Pray daily with real intent and a sincere heart. Do not place yourself in places or situations where wickedness and crudeness abound. Participate in wholesome activities. Keep the commandments. Take the sacrament and keep your covenants.

I know that the Holy Ghost is real. He most definitely is! I have felt his wonderful, powerful influence in my life. Many nights I have almost cried myself to sleep, but then I have been filled with stillness, peace, and joy by the Holy Ghost. He loves us, just like Heavenly Father loves us and Jesus loves us.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

And All His Creations of Which I'm a Part

Today in my biology class we were talking about the diversity of the creatures and species on the earth. My teacher told us that only 20-30% of all the types organisms that have ever existed on this earth are currently alive. Just think about that! There are more species in existence currently than scientists could even begin to discover. Now think of the other 70-80% of creatures that we've never even heard of because they're extinct! That's a lot of animals! And then there are tons of plants too! There is so much life and beauty on this earth! As my teacher kept talking, my mind marveled over the vastness of it all! And then I remembered that Heavenly Father made all of these beautiful things for our joy and happiness. He did it for us because we are worth so much to Him! God created these wonderful creatures,organisms, plants, natural phenomenons, rainbows, scenic valleys, majestic mountains, breathtaking jungles, and so much more because He loves us!
As I sat in class, the implications of all of Heavenly Father's masterpieces hit me. He has made worlds without end. If there is so much on our earth, there's that much more on each other world He has created. And we can inherit all of His wonderful gifts for us if we keep His commandments and keep our covenants.
The Spirit was with me so strongly as I pondered over all the works of the Lord's hands in my class. I almost started crying. I truly felt of God's love for me.
Here are some images for your viewing. If you so desire, you can ponder of God's wonderful, perfect, glorious goodness while you see pictures of some of the things His holy hands have made. (pictures courtesy of lds.org.)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

An Easter Declaration

Easter is a special time of year. It's a time of remembrance and pondering of the sacred atonement of Jesus Christ, our brother. His infinite atonement applies to every single person in the universe, including you.  He loves you and me with such an infinite love. It's because of His love for us that He suffered an unimaginable amount of pain, just so that we can live with The Father and Him again in heaven.

I know that my Redeemer lives. What comfort this sweet sentence gives. My knowledge of His love for me helps me get through the toughest trials. I love Him, and I know He loves me.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

You Can Be Better

I've been going through a lot of hard times lately. I've had health issues, lots of health issues, and everything that accompanies them. Through these trials, I've been struggling to identify why I was in the pain I was in, and why I felt the way I did, physically and emotionally.  I knew trials and hardships are in life to "polish us", but I felt like I was a bad person because I had trials. As if, I wasn't good enough because I had to be polished.

Then in General Conference, as I was pondering these things, the words came into my mind:

"You are always good enough for me, but these trials are an opportunity I'm giving you to become better."

Then, I began see the trials I'm facing as a gift, a privilege, and an honor. These trials are hard, but that means that Heavenly Father trusts me with difficult tasks. He loves me enough to give me opportunities to grow. 

These next months of my life are not going to be easy. Before, I would have faced the future with fear. But now, I can take bold leaps into the face of tomorrow because I know that Heavenly Father loves me and that He knows I can accomplish these tasks He has placed before me. By viewing my trials as privileges instead of pain, I can have courage to beat them and learn something from them. I will not let Satan get the best of me by using self-pity and self-doubt. I can be, and will be stronger than these trials that shroud my current life.

"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I awill go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no bcommandments unto the children of men, save he shall cprepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."