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Saturday, September 11, 2010

FOOD FOR THE SPIRIT--Small Answers

I was at my brother's house tonight and for some reason picked up their copy of the "New Era," which I hadn't read yet. I was so touched and moved by the First Presidency Message by Elder Bednar, entitled "Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept." The article started out with a question which I have OFTEN asked myself: “How can I tell the difference between my emotions telling me what I want to hear and the Holy Ghost telling me what I need to hear?”

I would highly suggest that you read this deep, informational article, but I would also like to share some key quotes that helped me understand this principle better:

". . . we tend to believe the Lord will give us A BIG ANSWER QUICKLY AND ALL AT ONE TIME. However, the pattern repeatedly described in the scriptures suggests we receive “line upon line, precept upon precept,” or in other words, many small answers over a period of time."

"Most typically we receive a series of seemingly small and incremental spiritual impressions and nudges, which in totality constitute the desired confirmation about the correctness of the path which we are pursuing."

"Remember, Nephi tried several different approaches before he was able to successfully obtain the plates of brass from Laban (see 1 Nephi 3–4). And he did not learn how to build a ship of curious workmanship all at one time; rather, he was shown by the Lord “from time to time after what manner [he] should work the timbers of the ship” (1 Nephi 18:1).

"As described by Elder Richard G. Scott: “When we receive help from our Father in Heaven, it is in response to faith, obedience, and the proper use of agency” (“Learning to Recognize Answers to Prayers,” Ensign, Nov. 1989, 30)."

"If you and I would distinguish our personal emotions from the impressions placed in our hearts and minds by the Holy Ghost, then we must desire and seek, ask and discern, hear and obey, and then again desire and seek and ask and discern and hear and obey. Our faith and diligence and obedience are ongoing invitations for additional spiritual knowledge and insight. Faith leads to obedience, which yields wisdom and an even greater desire for added light and truth."

"It is not just that we have grown older, nor have we simply become smarter and had more experiences on which to draw, as important as those experiences are. Rather, the Holy Ghost has over time been expanding our intellect, forming our feelings, sharpening and elevating our perspective, such that we increasingly think and feel and act as the Lord would under similar circumstances. In short, we have made steady progress in obtaining “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16)."

"As you ponder the principle of 'line upon line, precept upon precept,' you will be able to discern more clearly the consistent help from heaven you have received in your lives. And your faith in the Savior will be stronger, and your hope for the future will be brighter."

Good stuff, right? Here's the link to the article: http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?locale=0&sourceId=07d3321a03faa210VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=024644f8f206c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

2 comments:

jnkeller said...

Elder Bednar has always been one of my favorite teachers of gospel doctrine, even before he was made an apostle. I was very privileged to take a religion class from him and I have to say that he always floored me with how easy he made the doctrine seem to understand and follow. He definitely helps push us in the right direction when we need it.

K Walton said...

I'm so jealous! He's an incredible speaker and a worthy example of Christ-like living. I would love to meet him face to face someday!