Seeking Knowledge by the Spirit by Mathias Held
Content by Hollie Irving
Do you know that feeling? The feeling of light being shone on you and warmth from within. The feeling of clarity or comfort that it is all going to work out. The moments that put everything in perspective. When I question or have doubts, I hope for these moments and try to look back and remember what the Holy Ghost feels like to me.
“In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.” (President Nelson, April 2018)
I can confidently say that I know how the Holy Ghost speaks to me, but this hasn’t always been the case. There have been points in my life where those feelings of clarity and comfort were far and few between. I have been a member of the Church all my life and have always been active; but these distant points in my life weren’t because I didn’t want to feel the influence of the Holy Ghost, it was because I didn’t know how to access his presence on a daily basis. I remember during college I was so confused on what to study. I searched and searched and searched for the right direction, but I never had an overwhelming sense that I was suppose to take a particular path. At the time, I just felt confused and went with my best guess. Essentially, I was only doing half of the work on my search for answers. It wasn’t until I had kids that I realized I was missing something. I remember praying one night, feeling depleted and hopeless, asking my Father in Heaven how to feel the Holy Ghost. How to let Christ take my burdens and make my days feel lighter. And guess what, as soon as I asked, it was given. The very next day I felt lighter and inspired to know how to take the next step. All it took was asking with real intent, trusting that Heavenly Father would provide.
Questions are good! I hear this all the time, but really, questions ARE good! Everyone has questions whether you are in the church or not. So where are you seeking knowledge to have your questions answered? Are you looking up to God? Are you looking around at the world? Are you looking down, not knowing where to turn? Wherever you are on your quest for truth, know this: God gave us everything we need to figure it all out. He gave us the world where we learn facts, find beauty, and make new discoveries. He also gave us His Son so we can be strengthened in our sorrows, redeemed in our sins, and saved from our afflictions. He has also given us the Holy Ghost. The avenue to receiving direct revelation from Him. To comfort us when we don’t feel like we can make it. To confirm answers to our heart when seeking light and understanding. To help us know when we are choosing right or wrong. God has given us everything we need to figure it all out.
We are all seeking knowledge in some capacity; but are we utilizing the guiding influence of the Holy Ghost when doing so? Do we have the right intentions when we are seeking knowledge? Are we listening to the still small voice or are we getting distracted by things that don’t really matter? I think this is exactly what was happening to me years ago: DISTRACTION. And for so long I didn’t even know I was distracted. Elder Scott described this perfectly when he said, “Increasingly more people are finding that making wise decisions is becoming more and more difficult because of the ultra-interconnected world in which we live. Constantly forced into our consciousness is an incessant barrage of counsel, advice, and promotions. It is done by a bewildering array of media, Internet, and other means. On a given subject we can receive multiple strongly delivered, carefully crafted messages with solutions. But often two of the solutions can be diametrically opposed. No wonder some are confused and are not sure how to make the right decisions.” (October 2007) These words ring even more true today than twelve years ago.
So let me ask you, Are you distracted? Is there room in your life for the Spirit to dwell? Do you provide quiet moments in your day to hear the whisperings of the Holy Ghost? No matter where you are on your religious journey or your journey for truth and clarity, there is always room for improvement.
Rio and I would like to invite you to participate in a Social Media Fast with us. We all know what good social media can bring but we also know that getting lost in it is inevitable. Let’s all take a breath together. Live this week with a new calm and try to listen to what God wants us to hear. I encourage you to use this social media fast as a way to seek knowledge, as Elder Held says, with your rational mind as well as through the whisperings of the Spirit. “Only the combination of both views can give us the true and complete picture of all truths and of everything we experience in our lives, as well as of the whole and profound understanding of our identity and purpose as children of a living Heavenly Father.”
Are you in? We would love for you to join us! We will be back and renewed on Monday, June 10th. See you then!
FAITH IN ACTION
Your challenge this week is to take a leap of faith and participate in the social media fast with us. Let’s focus on the moment in front of us and break the habit of mindlessly tapping our social media apps. I have provided a few resources that will help you make the most out of your week. First, a worksheet to help you focus and journal through the social media fast. Second, a phone wallpaper to help remind you of your goal to disconnect and keep you on track. And last, here is a list of ideas for you to do instead of pushing that social media app:
Delete your social media apps altogether—don’t worry, it’s easy to download them again when its all over, but this will help so much!
Tap on the gospel library—Read conference talks, Come Follow Me manuals, search for gospel topics to help find answers to questions you have, listen to Saints, listen to the scriptures, and the list could go on and on here.
Take three deep breaths—in through your nose and out through your mouth
Open your Notes app and write something you are thankful in that moment
Text your ministering sisters
Read your patriarchal blessing
Listen to music
Give your spouse a wink
Compliment your kids
Our focus this week pairs perfectly with what we are going to study in Come Follow Me. Christ is teaching his disciples about the Holy Ghost and how to receive support when Christ is no longer with them. Check out the section titled, “The Holy Ghost helps me fulfill my purpose as a disciple of Jesus Christ” for all the scripture references about the Holy Ghost.
Let’s not forget about the kids. The Friend has an article this month about the Holy Ghost! It could easily be turned into an awesome Come Follow Me lesson.
Invite your ministering sisters to participate in the social media fast with us. Send them this little invite and explain why you are participating too. Think about other loved ones that might benefit from a break from social media—your spouse, kids, parents, siblings, other friends, etc.