Monday, March 16, 2009

* Recognizing and Understanding the Spirit

The Holy Spirit
Lesson 11
I have been asked by Sister Thompson to use the Preach My Gospel Manual lessons at least monthly in preparing the lessons. Most of this lesson comes from the manual pgs. 90-102. Much of the teachings on these pages are about understaning and recognizing the spirit in teaching
investigators. I have tried to make selections that would fit the needs in a family of members.

Remember to Open and Close with Prayer

Recognize that your Heavenly Father knows what you need better than you do. Rely on the Spirit to know what to pray for (see
3 Nephi 19:24; D&C 46: 28,30)

Musical Selections:

QUESTIONS TO PONDER during this lesson:
• Why do we need to receive personal revelation?
• Who is the Holy Ghost and how does He work?
• Why must we pray in faith?
• How can we recognize the promptings of the Spirit ?

The Holy Ghost
The personage of the Holy Ghost
The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He isa personage of spirit and does not have a body of flesh and bones (see D&C 130:22). He
is the Comforter, who the Savior promised would teach His followers all things and bring to their remembrance all things that He had taught them (see John 14:26.)

The power of the Holy Ghost
The witness that comes to sincere investigators before baptism comes through the power of the Holy Ghost. “The power [of the Holy Ghost] can come upon one before baptism, and is the convincing witness that the gospel is true. It gives one a testimony of Jesus Christ and of his work and the work of his servants upon the earth” (Bible Dictionary, “Holy Ghost,” 704). The Holy Ghost testifies of truth. All people can know the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon through the power of the Holy Ghost. “By the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5).

The gift of the Holy Ghost
“The gift of the Holy Ghost comes after one repents and becomes worthy. . . . The Holy Ghost bears witness of the truth and impresses upon the soul the reality of God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ so deeply that no earthly power or authority can separate him from that
ENSIGN, APR. 1996, 4

“There is a difference between the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Cornelius received the Holy Ghost before he was baptized, which was the convincing power of God unto him of the truth of the Gospel, but he could not receive the gift of the Holy Ghost until after he was baptized. Had he not taken this sign or ordinance upon him, the Holy Ghost which convinced him of the truth of God, would have left him” (History of the Church, 4:555).
“The gift [of the Holy Ghost] can come only after proper and authorized baptism, and is conferred by the laying on of hands. . . . The gift of the Holy Ghost is the right to have, whenever one is worthy, the companionship of the Holy Ghost” (Bible Dictionary, “Holy Ghost,” 704).

Elder M. Russell Ballard spoke of the power of the Spirit:

“True conversion comes through the power of the Spirit. When the Spirit touches the heart, hearts are changed.
When individuals . . . feel the Spirit working with them, or when they see the evidence of the Lord’s love and mercy in their lives, they are edified and strengthened spiritually and their faith in Him increases. These experiences with the Spirit follow naturally when a person is willing to experiment upon the word. This is how we come to feel the gospel is true” (“Now Is the Time,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 75).

As a member of the Church, you have received the gift of the Holy Ghost by priesthood authority. This gift entitles you to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost as you remain worthy of it. Pray for the Spirit’s guidance, and valiantly follow the promptings you receive.

Gifts of the Spirit.
The gifts of the Spirit are special spiritual blessings that the Lord gives to worthy individuals for their own benefit and for their use in blessing others.

Let the Holy Spirit Guide Hymn 143
Let the Holy Spirit guide;
Let him teach us what is true.
He will testify of Christ,
Light our minds with heaven's view.
Let the Holy Spirit guard;
Let his whisper govern choice.
He will lead us safely home
If we listen to his voice.
Let the Spirit heal our hearts
Thru his quiet, gentle pow'r.
May we purify our lives
To receive him hour by hour.
Text: Penelope Moody Allen, b. 1939. (c) 1985 IRI

Learn to Recognize the Promptings of the Spirit
The Spirit is always available to guide and direct you. However, the Spirit speaks quietly, through your feelings as well as your mind. One great challenge for you and those you work with is to recognize the quiet, subtle promptings of the Holy Ghost.
President Boyd K. Packer taught: “The voice of the Spirit is described in the scripture as being neither ‘loud’ nor ‘harsh.’ It is ‘not a voice of thunder, neither . . . voice of a great tumultuous noise.’ But rather, ‘a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper,’ and it can ‘pierce even to the very soul’ and ‘cause [the heart] to burn.’ (3 Ne. 11:3; Hel.5:30; D&C 85:6–7.)

Remember, Elijah found the voice of the Lord was not in the wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire, but was a ‘still small voice.’ (1 Kgs. 19:12.)
“The Spirit does not get our attention by shouting or shaking us with a heavy hand. Rather it whispers. It caresses so gently that if we are preoccupied we may not feel it at all. (No wonder that the Word of Wisdom was revealed to us, for how could the drunkard or the addict feel such a voice?)
“Occasionally it will press just firmly enough for us to pay heed. But most of the time, if we do not heed the gentle feeling, the Spirit will withdraw and wait until we come seeking and listening and say in our manner and expression, like Samuel of ancient times, ‘Speak [Lord], for thy servant heareth.’ (1 Sam. 3:10.)” (“The Candle of the Lord,” Ensign, Jan. 1983, 53).
Many voices in the world compete for your attention, and they can easily drown out spiritual impressions if you are not careful.

In answer to the question, “How do we recognize the promptings of the Spirit?” President Gordon B. Hinckley read Moroni 7:13, 16–17 and then said: “That’s the test,when all is said and done. Does it persuade one to do good, to rise, to stand tall, to do the right thing, to be kind, to be generous? Then it is of the Spirit of God. . . . “If it invites to do good, it is of God. If it inviteth to do evil, it is of the devil. . . . And if you are doing the right thing and if you are living the right way, you will know in your heart what the Spirit is saying to you. “You recognize the promptings of the Spirit by the fruits of the Spirit—that which enlighteneth, that which buildeth up, that which is positive and affirmative and uplifting and leads us to better thoughts and better words and better deeds is of the Spirit of God”
(Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, 260–61). God answers your prayers through personal inspiration and revelation. Through the Holy Ghost He will guide you in your finding efforts, as you teach the restored gospel, and as you strengthen l
ess-active members and new converts. Your task is to live worthily, pray
fervently, and learn to recognize and follow courageously the Spirit’s guidance.

Young Children
Ask who the Holy Ghost is and what he does for us. Read Doctrine and Covenants 11:12. How can we follow the Spirit? Get a blindfold and place chairs randomly all over the room. Assign one person to be the spirit and lead the blindfolded person thought the chairs. Have everyone else (temptation) yell different directions. see how long it takes the person to get through the chairs. Discuss how this experience is similar to listening to the Spirit.

Treat: Microwave S’mores - Place two pieces of a Hershey’s candy bar on a graham cracker, then place a large marshmallow on each of the two pieces of candy bar and place in the microwave. Be sure not to over cook, you only need about 30 seconds. Its fun to watch the marshmallows expand. After you warm the chocolate and the mallows place another graham cracker on top and squish together. Let cool for a few moments and dive in……….

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