When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Know For Yourself

Sometimes, it feels to me, like Heavenly Father must be busy somewhere else.  I am sure that He is often needed elsewhere, and I know the world does not revolve around my needs.  Still, it is so hard to do what I am supposed to do when I don't see or understand the blessing.  Have you ever felt that way?  Are there times in your life when you question His purposes.  Are there times when you doubt that He hears your prayer?  Or doubt that He remembers you are there and you are suffering?
I think we have all felt that way.  It is so easy to get the "poor me" attitude.  It is so easy to forget who we are.  I have discovered in my life that the spirit is always around me.  It is not a case of Him not hearing me, it is a case of me not hearing Him.  Of me not recognizing the sound of His voice in my life.  I have found some things to do that help me feel the spirit and recognize the still small voice in my life on a daily basis.
The first one, is to never let a general conference go by without using it as an opportunity to hear the spirit testify of the truth.  I had a very wise seminary teacher a long time ago, who taught us that we should always pray to know for ourselves of the truthfulness of those things we hear during conference.  The Lord will answer those heartfelt prayers and you will Know of the truthfulness of the talks and messages given.
The nice thing about doing this, is that it helps you to be more aware of what the spirit feels like.  I have done this simple exercise twice a year for over 35 years now.  It is amazing how much that simple task means to me.  I never go through a general conference without feeling the spirit or getting a witness that the President of the Church is truly a Prophet of God.  Now, after so many times of that influence in my life, it makes it much harder for me to believe that the Lord is not mindful of us.  It gives me a slight spiritual edge.  It takes away the doubt and fear.  I KNOW He is here.
The second thing is relatively new for me.  Each day, for the past couple of months, I have prayed that I may have the Holy Ghost to guide me in my choices.  I pray for that each morning before I do scripture study with my family.  I have found as I struggled with remembering to do this everyday, that I am calmer, more peaceful, more loving, and my ability to feel that spirit has increased.  The spirit is easier for me to recognize and it is also easier for me to follow the promptings instead of talking myself out of it.
Now, I am so far from perfect.  I struggle through many things.  I still don't understand why tramadic things happen to my family.  It has been a very rough year for my family.  Both last year, and this one.  I honestly don't know why some of the things are happening.  But taking the time to pray about it and knowing how to listen for the answer and the comfort, has made it bearable.  I don't question as much as I did before.  I am praying to learn the lessons He wants me to learn instead of asking "why me?" or "Why my family?"

Richard G. Scott, in the last General Conference stated: "Father in Heaven knew that you would face challenges and be required to make some decisions that would be beyond your own ability to decide correctly. In His plan of happiness, He included a provision for you to receive help with such challenges and decisions during your mortal life. That assistance will come to you through the Holy Ghost as spiritual guidance. It is a power, beyond your own capability, that a loving Heavenly Father wants you to use consistently for your peace and happiness.
I am convinced that there is no simple formula or technique that would immediately allow you to master the ability to be guided by the voice of the Spirit. Our Father expects you to learn how to obtain that divine help by exercising faith in Him and His Holy Son, Jesus Christ. Were you to receive inspired guidance just for the asking, you would become weak and ever more dependent on Them. They know that essential personal growth will come as you struggle to learn how to be led by the Spirit.
What may appear initially to be a daunting task will be much easier to manage over time as you consistently strive to recognize and follow feelings prompted by the Spirit. Your confidence in the direction you receive from the Holy Ghost will also become stronger. I witness that as you gain experience and success in being guided by the Spirit, your confidence in the impressions you feel can become more certain than your dependence on what you see or hear".

Our Heavenly Father does answer prayer.  He is aware of you.  He knows your needs.  He is there.  It is up to you to learn to hear His voice above all the other noises and distractions in the world today.
What are you doing to find Him?

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