Personal Online Journal

Thursday, February 26, 2015

To have a Personal, Private Spiritual Experience

Elder Todd B Hansen was the visiting area authority at our stake conference recently. At one point in his talk to us he had the 12-18 year olds stand up. He asked them what they thought was the single most important thing that would keep them converted to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. What would nurture the seeds of testimony? He didn't give the answer right away. He said that the church had spend considerable amounts of time and effort researching this question.

The answer was to have a personal, private spiritual experience. To do whatever it took to have the spirit of the Lord wash over them. What kind of things helps prompt that? Praying with real intent. Intent to follow what the Spirit tells you to do. Write it down. Have these experiences over and over. It gives us power over temptation.

It reminds me of this quote,
When a man has the manifestation from the Holy Ghost, it leaves an indelible impression on his soul, one that is not easily erased. It is Spirit speaking to spirit, and it comes with convincing force. A manifestation of an angel, or even of the Son of God himself, would impress the eye and mind, and eventually become dimmed, but the impressions of the Holy Ghost sink deeper into the soul and are more difficult to erase (Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., 5 vols. [1957–66], 2:151). (Quoted in Chapter 7: The Holy Ghost, Gospel Principles, (2011), 31–33)
It is important to note that not every experience with the Holy Ghost leaves an indelible impression. I have had some such experiences. More often than not, my experience with the Holy Ghost is like a portion of oil for my lamp. Over time you can see the results of my experiences. A full resevoir that can be drawn upon when needed.

I know others that have not felt the emotional manifestations of the Spirit. They experience it more as a clarity of mind.

It is important to recognize that many people experience the Holy Ghost in different ways. But it is vital that we become able to recognize the influence of God in our lives.

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