RS/MP Lesson 4: “Strengthened by the Power of the Holy Ghost” (Lorenzo Snow Manual)
Posted by kirkcaudle on February 9, 2013
The link to the full lesson can be found here.
As I read through this lesson I found a strong emphasis on the need for personal revelation and friendship. We all go through trials in our lives and we are all searching for answers in our lives,”Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” (John 16:13). The Holy Ghost can help us make tough decisions and find answers to the difficult questions in our lives. Lorenzo Snow relates, “There is a way by which persons can keep their consciences clear before God and man, and that is to preserve within them the Spirit of God, which is the spirit of revelation to every man and woman. It will reveal to them, even in the simplest of matters, what they shall do, by making suggestions to them” (italics added). I am struck by the word suggestions in this last sentence.
The Holy Ghost sometimes functions how church leaders can function, by suggesting solutions to our problems. However, those suggestions are more often more than merely words coming out of someone’s mouth and/or a feeling that comes over us. These suggestions often come after a process, “For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say” (Luke 12:12). The Holy Ghost teaches us and that in turn prepares us so that we can act on those suggestions.
The Holy Ghost suggests things to our minds in many ways. Many people I know have stories of a Bishop, Relief Society President, or some other church leader who came to their aid at an opportune time. However, in my experience, this is the exception rather than the rule. Most of the time the spirit does not speak through our church leaders on personal matters, it speaks to our through our friends. Lorenzo Snow said of this, “It is not always necessary for [members] to come to the President of the Church, or to the Twelve, or to the Elders of Israel, to get council; they have it within them; there is a friend that knows just exactly what to say to them.” The love and inspiration of a good friend should never be underestimated. The answers we seek are sometimes contained within those standing right next to us.
Why trust the Holy Ghost? Because the Holy Ghost is our friend. A friend suggests and does not coerce. President Snow reminds us that we should retrun this friendship by “Mak[ing] up your minds to live humbly and in such a way that you will always have the Spirit of the Lord to be your friend, to make such suggestions to you from time to time as shall be needed under the peculiar circumstances in which you may be placed.” We listen to the advice of our true friends and half way listen to those are aren’t. I know that I do not treat the Holy Ghost as much like a friend as I should most of the time. He is a much better friend to me than I am to him. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). If we truly love the Holy Ghost as our friend we will do anything to keep him with us, even if that means being in uncomfortable positions.
The better friends we are with the Holy Ghost the better access we will have to personal revelation and the more in tune we will be for receiving inspired suggestions from our earthly friends though him. As President Snow taught, “If we keep the light of the Spirit within us, we can so walk in the gospel that we can measurably enjoy peace and happiness in this world; and while we are traveling onward, striving for peace and happiness that lies in our path, in the distance, we shall have a peace of mind that none can enjoy but those who are filled with the Holy Spirit.” Nothing says peace of mind better than knowing that someone is always there that you can depend on with real life suggestions for your real life problems.
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