I am not sure, as I am writing this, that I feel entirely equal to the task. But I am going to try, just the same. I actually shot a set of photos for today that are very much for fun…(for my PW art challenge) but I realized as I got ready to post them, that they were not the photos I wanted to post on a Sunday. Instead I wanted to share some different thoughts.
I am a pretty private person. I know…I have this blog. But let’s face it. I can share bits and pieces of things, here; I never have to share my soul…and only now and again do I actually do so. When I do, you know it. I had this conversation with a friend, recently. I told her that I was considering sharing an occasional spiritual experience on my blog. She said, “Maybe you do like other people do, and you have a private blog for those things, that you only invite family to.” I considered that, and we both came to the same conclusion. No. If I can brag about my kids, poke fun at my lack of housekeeping and show you where I lay my head at night, then why can’t I tell you how I really see things?
What I have been thinking about the most today is feeling the Spirit. An integral belief in my faith, is that each of us is entitled to the companionship of the Holy Ghost, who can do many things for us: comfort, guide us to know what is right and wrong, inspire, bring peace, testify of truth… and the things we have to do in order to exercise this gift, are a) to ask; and b) to live the commandments in order to be personally worthy of the gift. Those requirements are so small, compared to the gift that is offered.
I realized today that over the last several months, I have felt the Spirit in each of these capacities, numerous times…maybe more than I have in all the rest of my life. I think that part of the reason for that is that I have needed it more in the last few months. I have a great life, but there have been challenges, setbacks and disappointments just the same. Something that I love about the doctrine of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, is that when Jesus suffered to atone for each of us, he was not just atoning for our sins. He was also taking upon him each of our disappointments. Our illnesses. Betrayals and offences. All the many things that are not our fault…that are beyond our ability to control, but that can bring us low and make us despair. What that means to me, is that through that power of the Atonement, we can pray for comfort and answers, and receive them, through the Holy Ghost.
The way the Spirit feels to me, is a sensation of warmth and positive emotion that fills my heart. It is such a healing sensation, that as I look back over the last few months, I can barely remember the setbacks and disappointments, because they have been erased and replaced by the feeling of the Spirit. I love that Heavenly Father has a plan for me, and that when I begin to stray from it, I feel prompted to move back onto the right path. For me, that is especially important when I face choices between one good thing and another. It is easier, sometimes, to choose between good and evil…the proper choice is so obvious. But in order to follow God’s plan for me, I often have the more difficult choice of good and good. I have so often, over the past months, felt that I have been moved to do things for which I did not immediately see a purpose. But as the plan emerges, the purposes become clear.
The song that I finished a few weeks ago, called “This Is My Life,” incorporates many of these ideas. First of all, the idea that the Savior has atoned for our hurts and disappointments…and secondly that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us. It is a basic principle of my religion that Heavenly Father knows each of us personally, as his own child, and that he has a plan and a mission for us, that is just our own.
There is a talk by Elder Richard G. Scott, an apostle in my church, in which he talks about this principle. He says, “Were you to know His entire plan, you would never ask for that which is contrary to it, even though your feelings tempt you to do so.” So often, we want what we want…but if we submit to the plan that Heavenly Father has for us, that is the way to true happiness. That was the main idea of the song…that if we could see just the tiniest glimpse of that plan, that we would see how beautiful it is! The imagery that came into my mind when I was writing it was something like being in a plane at night, looking down at a large city. If you have ever done that, you know how beautiful it is… I can picture it now…strands of glittering jewels laid out on a field of black velvet…each jewel representing another blessing that Heavenly Father has reserved just for you.
I wrote the song for my friend Janna, who was going through a particularly hurtful divorce that was no fault of her own. I don’t know if there is another kind of divorce, actually. But as I was writing that song, I felt an outpouring of the Spirit, helping me to know the things to write about, and to see the imagery that I would want to include. I am so grateful for that inspiration. I feel quite unworthy of it, but the memory of it still burns in my soul, so I wanted to share these thoughts with you. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss out on a single one of the jewels that has been laid out for me.