Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Like a ray of sunshine through a bank of clouds

Tonight at Institute I had some interesting thoughts. That often happens in Institute. Sometimes I even get the impression that I should not only record my thoughts, which I often do, but record them on my blog, which I usually do not. Granted, many of my thoughts are very personal and wouldn't be appropriate to write anywhere but my private journal, but sometimes I get the feeling that someone else who may read it could also benefit from the inspiration that I've been blessed to receive.

The class, incidentally, was on the topic of inspiration. This is quite possibly one of my favorite gospel topics to discuss, right up there with the atonement, charity, and faith. Truth be known, it is one of the things that really puts a clear demarcation between my church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and all other Christian denominations.

And it is one of the most wonderful ideas I've ever heard. I've been through some rough times in my years on earth. I've been through confusing times and frustrating times and times when I knew I needed to change or wanted to help but didn't know how. And I know I'm far from alone in this. I think it pretty much describes a basic part of the human condition. And I can't tell you how much comfort and confidence it has given me over the years to know that I have the privilege of receiving comfort, support, confirmation, and specific guidance from my Heavenly Father, if I want it badly enough to do the things necessary to receive it.

This, I think, is a major component of being made alive in Christ, as Paul puts it. When we are reborn, we have the opportunity to literally open a connection between ourselves and heaven, giving us the incredible privilege of not only being able to talk to God through prayer, but being able to have Him speak back- how amazing is that? I have a hard time fathoming what life would be like without that line of support. The beauty of it is that God offers it to everyone- He stands at the door knocking, it's up to us to answer the door.

One of my favorite aspects of personal revelation is the way that it can be such a powerful tool for God to bless the lives of His children who need some help, some encouragement, or just to know that someone cares. There are few things more amazing than to know that God chose to use you as the instrument to bring someone else much needed comfort or counsel. One of the talks that we used in class tonight, which was geared towards youth, spoke about how we must train ourselves to listen- and respond- to the voice of the Spirit so that as mothers and fathers, our children will not suffer because of our bad habits. I can think of few positions in life that require more revelation than that of parenthood.

Few things convince me more that my Heavenly Father loves me than knowing, and experiencing, His direction in my life. I'm not a pro and there are times for sure that I spend extra time on my knees asking for clarification or some kind of guidance. But so often it comes, like a ray of sunshine into my soul, confirming again and again what I already know- that I am a child of God and He is watching over me. And that can give you a lot of confidence to keep going.

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