Monday, May 6, 2019

The Holy Ghost

Choice and Accountablity #5

Throughout my life, I have countless times prayed for direction as I make decisions. Sometimes, I must move forward with the choice I have mentally worked out will be best. Other times, I have been given clear direction about which way I should go from the Lord via the Holy Ghost. Many times, I have felt a nudging or a gentle stillness that sat more fully with me in thinking on one course of action over another. And then there have been times when every action and option feels wrong. In those times, I have learned to wait.

Perhaps it will be best if I just share an example of being led by the Spirit in a decision being made.

A couple of years ago I was leading the children's organization for my congregation (ward.) We sponsered a cub scout pack and had joined with another ward several years earlier to increase the number of boys in the program and split the work between the wards. Over the years our wards had grown in size and there were lots of boys in the scout program. There were still a few age groups with only 2-4 boys from each ward but most had at least 4-5.

Basically, we could have run the program combined or seperate sucessfully. We had stayed joined for a number of factors that were all great reasons including how much we loved having the boys get to know the kids their age from other wards so that they would know each other when they went to middle and high school together.

But the schools made a change in their start and end times and it left our two wards wanting to hold the scout den meetings at different times. I felt pretty strongly that the time the other ward wanted to meet would not be great for the families in my ward. But I also really appreciated the benefits of being combined.

I talked to the president of the other ward's children's group at length. She also felt strongly about when they had decided to meet. I studied out all the factors in my mind. I prayed about it. I still hadn't come to a clear answer.

Then I met with my presidency (2 counselors and a secretary.) We discussed all I had been mulling over and the my discussions with the other president. As we talked through the issue, it was as if a golden thread of peace and direction wove into our discussion and led us all to feel pulled into separating the two wards into separate dens. This peace settled on us so profoundly that I had no hesiation in calling the other president and telling her we had finally received our answer.

There were benefits that came from that decision. There were also some things lost. But in the end I know that spliting was right.

Oh that all decisions had answers that became so clear...


Choice and Accountability #4

The times in my life that I have most desperately needed to repent, I have gone back to remembering that it isn't some complicated thing. Repentance is change. But, change is rarely ever an easy thing. It is hard if it is forces upon us when our spirit is unwilling and it is sometimes even harder when our spirit is willing but our flesh is so darn weak.

I find that to really change ourselves, we need something more than the idea and knowledge of what we should do or be. We need help. Sometimes, we can find a motivating factor like fear or guilt or love is enough. Maybe we love our parents enough to change to be more the person they raised us to be. Or maybe we are scared enough of getting in another accident to transform our driving habits. Maybe we have enough guilt over watching some dumb show that wastes our time to stop.

But, often we need something more. Often we need the Savior's help to change. Certainly to fundamentally change our nature, we need the Savior. He is the one who can change the metaphorical water that we are into wine fit for a king. I have felt His changing power work in me. I have felt it in BIG ways that fundamentally change me. More frequently, I have felt it in the purification of the Spirit and the filling of my soul with love for all mankind and a desire to be all that He would have me be and show His love for others everyday in every way.

If only that feeling could last my whole life time. But we do not live in that kind of world. In our world, things always change. And those pure moments of transcendence degrade once more into chaos and it is our job as humans to work to change once more.

We must keep showering. The clean feeling after a shower only lasts so long before change happens and we are dirty and stinky once more. And so, into the shower we must go once more. This life is a perpetual cycle of change.