Listening to the Spirit
The last time I watched Disney’s version of Pinocchio, I found it incredibly thought provoking. The Blue Fairy promised the puppet Pinocchio he could become a real boy if he proved himself brave, truthful and unselfish. To help him in this quest, she assigned Jiminy Cricket to be his conscience. This conscience was meant to help him navigate and make wise choices on his journey to become a real boy. As Pinocchio chose not to listen to his conscience, several dire consequences occurred. Of course, the storyline is resolved when Pinocchio listens to his conscience and receives some magical assistance from the Blue Fairy.
Thankfully, in addition to a conscience, God has provided us with his Spirit to help us. Other terms for the Spirit include the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost or the Comforter. The Holy Ghost provides us assurances and certainty from God that extend beyond our conscience or natural senses.
Functions of the Holy Ghost
The Spirit has many important functions. He can guide our decisions and protect us from harm as we listen to his voice. Jesus Christ taught that he would send the “Spirit of truth” to dwell within us and that he would not leave us comfortless (John 14:16-18). The Holy Ghost can help us feel peace during difficult times and can teach us all things (John 14:26) The Spirit bears witness of Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven (2 Ne. 31:18). He can help us know the “truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5) as we seek knowledge.
About two years ago, the beautiful Gilbert Arizona Temple was completed. The temple was then open to anyone who wanted to tour it and see what a Mormon temple looked like on the inside. Members of my faith were encouraged to invite friends and neighbors to attend this rare open house before it was officially dedicated as a House of the Lord. As I considered who I should invite to attend the open house, the voice of the Spirit simply said, “Just get Emily there.” The answer was clear. My top priority was to invite my sister to attend the temple open house with me.
Finally, on one of the last days to tour the temple, my sister agreed to go with me with slight hesitation. I felt calm and assured that I had listened to the Spirit, but I did not foresee how the experience would influence her. Two months later, Emily expressed that she felt something in the Gilbert Temple that night. Strong feelings of joy and peace led her to make several positive changes in her life. The Holy Ghost had touched her heart and spoken to her. It guided her to find faith in Jesus Christ and come to an understanding of his love for her. As Emily listened to the Spirit, she found peace, assurance and knowledge that God knows and loves her personally. That knowledge led her to lasting light and happiness in her life.
I am grateful for the influence of the Spirit that touched my sister’s life. Because of the Spirit, we can all feel the love of the Savior and Heavenly Father. The Spirit brings peace and comfort in times of sadness and confusion and guidance when we lack the answers on our own. My life is impacted by the Spirit on a daily basis, and because of that influence, I know God will never leave me alone or comfortless.
How has the Holy Ghost influenced your life?