Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Ignored a prompting, again. #1,746.

October 04th, 2017 by Bookslinger

Ok, I made up the 1,746, because I’ve lost track of the number of times.

There are five ways I am aware of to know if an idea that pops into your head is really a whispering of the Spirit, versus another source or your own imagination.

1. If it’s a “good thing,” Moroni says it is inspired of God, Moroni 7:13.  So this way, you have to analyze the content, good or bad.  But if the thing is neutral, neither good nor bad per se, you are left wondering. Scriptures, and the words of modern prophets can be used as guidelines for the analysis.

2. You just “know/recognize the voice” of who is talking to you, usually through experience/familiarity. This way, you don’t have to analyze the thing, just believe it or do it. This is the best way; quickest, least amount of fretting, don’t have to rely on faulty human analysis/heuristics, or previous knowledge.

3. Pray and ask for a confirmation; the yes/no, burning/stupor thing.

4. Experiment by doing. This mainly only works for neutral things.  If it’s “a good thing,” see #1; just do it.  If it’s a bad thing, don’t do it; except you may have judged/analyzed wrongly, and it’s not a bad thing after all.  After doing, did it result okay, or do you feel guilty/farther from the Spirit?   The feedback/result of the experiment is then used as a learning tool for #2, recognizing the Voice, so remember how it felt/sounded.

5. Experiment by not doing, and check to see if you are then closer to or farther from the Spirit.  If it was not the Good Voice, you will likely forget the thing.  If it was the Good Voice, you will likely feel farther from the Spirit, and perhaps feel guilty. Again, learn and remember, so you can be better at #2.

Last week I had the idea of inviting two male middle-aged non-LDS acquaintances to the Priesthood session gathering at the stake center.  I judged neutral/bad, using as an excuse that I never saw anyone else bring non-member friends to Priesthood session.  I was also afraid that it could have been my pride, as in “Look at me, I brought non-members!”

I did #5.

I now feel guilty.

Comments (3)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , ,
October 04th, 2017 10:44:08

October 5, 2017

Cripes, @Books, we’ve all been there and it stinks.

Your 5 ways are really helpful. I think I’m going to have my kids read this.

October 5, 2017

Can the ‘voices’ be impersonated? My experiences are slowly pulling me in the direction that I cannot trust even the “voice”. It sounds like my own so often…

October 5, 2017

@headinvoices: I remember an experience on my mission, I started feeling strongly like “the spirit” was telling me that I was better than the mission rules, and that I was an exception to the things God asks/expects of people. It was accompanied by elation, a burning bosom, a positive “this feels right” feeling, and it felt like the spirit. I toyed with the notion for about a week.

And then we had interviews with president, and I talked to him (not about this, just generic stuff) and the real spirit was there, and I realized that I was being misled. The real spirit led him to say a couple things that also enlightened me. When this false spirit was dispelled, I experienced something that I hadn’t felt in the week I thought I was feeling the spirit: Peace and understanding. Not the lazy “absence of conflict” type of peace, but deep peace in my soul that only the spirit brings which I’ve learned to recognize. As Bookslinger very wisely notes here: #4 leads to a better ability to use #2.

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