What a beautiful day!
We have been so grateful here in Tucson for a little break from the heat. Today we have lots of overcast, a little bit of light showers, and lots of thunder and lightning! I love the monsoon season here, it's just so beautiful!
Today I would like to share with you all my testimony about some things that I've been pondering about deeply my whole mission, but more so this week. From what I have learned from working with so many types of people with so many different levels of faith, most people have a really hard time recognizing, listening, and understanding the voice of God. How are we supposed to know when He is "talking" to us? And when we try to listen, sometimes it feels as if we are getting mixed signals from the Spirit. How can this be when we know that the Lord cannot lie?
I've spent so much time on my mission trying to grasp this concept, trying to understand how the Lord "speaks" to me. What we already know is that there are three main sources that we can draw from when we are looking for answers: living scripture (or words from our living prophets), canonized scripture such as the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, and personal revelation. What I learned is that we NEED ALL THREE of them to support each other and confirm true doctrine in our minds and in our hearts, so we can know with an absolute surety that it is the word of God. We cannot understand the word of God spending all day with our nose in the scriptures and neglecting to listen to the Spirit testify of its truthfulness to our hearts. In this case, we are nourishing our minds but forgetting to nourish our hearts and spirits. It's the same concept with the words of our living prophets, we need to read them AND listen to the Holy Ghost testify to our hearts that what they are saying is true. This is the only way we can know.
Similarly, we cannot expect to understand the personal revelation that we receive from God if we don't constantly compare our "impressions" to the teachings of the living prophets and the canonized scriptures. We need all three to work together in order to receive all the understanding that the Lord wants to bless us with.
I have a testimony in all three of these wonderful tools that the Lord has blessed us with to know Him and to be able to build and strengthen a relationship with him.
I have a testimony in our living prophets and the keys that they hold:
"And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto Salvation." D&C 68:4
I have a testimony of our canonized scripture, especially the Book of Mormon and the power it has to covert and convince:
"The fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved." 1 Nephi 6:4
I have a testimony that the Lord speaks to me through personal revelation:
"Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.....For it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain." Moroni 7:33, 37
He is the same yesterday, today and forever! He still speaks to His children, He wants to communicate with us be cause of His infinite and matchless love for us. If we can't hear His voice, it would be good to pause and reflect on our actions and desires of our hearts, and use the Spirit to understand what changes we need to make in our lives to better coincide with the teachings of our Savior.
"Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." 2 Nephi 32:3
I hope you all have a wonderful week, may God bless you with happiness and joy in your journey back to Him!
With all my love, Hermana Townley