Monday, January 14, 2008

Utilizing the Spirit to make the best choices

Teachings for our times:

Quench not the Spirit which quickens the inner man- Elder Keith K. Hilbig

Good, Better, Best –Elder Dalin H. Oaks

Jacob 6:8
8 Behold, will ye reject these words? Will ye reject the words of the prophets; and will ye reject all the words which have been spoken concerning Christ, after so many have spoken concerning him; and deny the good word of Christ, and the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and quench the Holy Spirit, and make a mock of the great plan of redemption, which hath been laid for you?

What does it mean to quench the Spirit?

From Elder Keith K. Hilbig
“The beckoning invitations of the world attempt to divert our attention from the strait and narrow path. The adversary labors to dull our sensitivity to the promptings of the Spirit, whether we are teenagers, young adults, or mature men and women. The role of the Spirit, the Holy Ghost, is essential in every season of our mortal lives.
From the beginning the Father has promised each of His spirit sons and daughters that through the Atonement and Resurrection of His Beloved Son, we all might return to God's presence and inherit the blessings of eternal life in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom.
Each of us knew that the journey to exaltation would be long, strenuous, and sometimes lonely, but we also knew that we would not travel alone. Heavenly Father provides all who fulfill the prerequisites of faith, repentance, and baptism with a companion and guide, the Holy Ghost.”

Why is the Holy Ghost absolutely essential?

Why is the path to eternal life not a smooth plateau but rather a sometimes rocky incline?

The lord expects us to go onward and upward, increasing in all worthy aspects of life and not to stagnate.

How can we be on a path that moves us upward?

What is the price we have to pay spiritually to receive the privilege and blessings the Holy Ghost has to offer?

How can we offend the Spirit?

We determine the level of our current personal contribution by examining our present choices and priorities against questions such as these:
Do I spend more time with sports than Church attendance or callings?
If I have a free day, do I choose to attend the temple or to visit the mall?
Do I resort to computer games or surfing the Internet rather than offering meaningful service to others in my home and community?
Do I read the newspaper religiously but find it difficult to read the scriptures daily?
One of the best things we can choose to do is to immerse ourselves in the words of Christ and the prophets. When our study efforts expand so will the influence of the Holy Ghost.

D&C 130: 18-21
18 Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
19 And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.
20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

D&C 88:118
118 And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.

Why is daily scripture study so essential?

Another thing we can do is daily fervent prayer

Why does is mean to pray fervently and why is it so important for us?

Other ways to enhance our spiritually and invite the spirit into our life would be serving or going to the temple or spending quality time as a family. These things mentioned are some of the best things we can choose to do to invite and keep the spirit in our life. They will keep us constantly moving upward as these things strengthen us and prepare us for eternal life.

From Dalin H. Oaks
“Most of us have more things expected of us than we can possibly do. As breadwinners, as parents, as Church workers and members, we face many choices on what we will do with our time and other resources.

We should begin by recognizing the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives. We have already mentioned some of them.”

Most of the time as members of the church our choices are not between good and evil but between Good, better and best! We tend to be too often guilty of sins of omission rather than sins of commission.

What are the sins of omission?

As we consider various choices, we should remember that it is not enough that something is good. Other choices are better, and still others are best.

From Dalin H. Oaks
“Some of our most important choices concern family activities. Many breadwinners worry that their occupations leave too little time for their families. There is no easy formula for that contest of priorities. However, I have never known of a man who looked back on his working life and said, "I just didn't spend enough time with my job."
In choosing how we spend time as a family, we should be careful not to exhaust our available time on things that are merely good and leave little time for that which is better or best.”
What are some of the better or best activities we can do as families? -Eating together as a family, Gospel discussions, family prayer, family scriptures study, nature walks, and other fun activities. “Family home evening”
President Gordon B. Hinckley has pleaded that we "work at our responsibility as parents as if everything in life counted on it, because in fact everything in life does count on it." He continued:
"I ask you men, particularly, to pause and take stock of yourselves as husbands and fathers and heads of households. Pray for guidance, for help, for direction, and then follow the whisperings of the Spirit to guide you in the most serious of all responsibilities, for the consequences of your leadership in your home will be eternal and everlasting."5
The First Presidency has called on parents "to devote their best efforts to the teaching and rearing of their children in gospel principles. . . . The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take its place . . . in . . . this God-given responsibility." The First Presidency has declared that "however worthy and appropriate other demands or activities may be, they must not be permitted to displace the divinely-appointed duties that only parents and families can adequately perform."

Whatever things fill our life and consume our time and effort the eternal salvation of ourselves and our family needs to be number #1.
I pray that through the Holy Ghost and through the better choices, we may guide our lives in such a way that the evil around us has no power and no glory but that joy will be found through living in hope and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That the prospect of exaltation will fill our souls and be our treasure.

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