Sunday, February 19, 2006

Listening to the Spirit

It’s Sunday, a day for contemplating my eternal soul. My friend Jack Mixa summed up quite a bit in one sentence today, forgive me if I misquote a bit, “A person who looks up into the heavens gains more understanding of them in five minutes than he could by reading from a book on astronomy all his life.” Jack went on to explain that you can learn quite a bit about the temporal and spiritual health of a family by entering their home and observing with all five of your senses, much more so than had you relied on a report.

We are about the work of our Father in Heaven as we take care of our neighbors, our brothers and sisters. It may not seem like much, dropping by to visit, saying a kind word while passing at the grocery store, sending a birthday card or any number of simple pleasantries as we go about life.

I noticed an act of kindness this morning at church; something that opened my eyes as to how the Spirit works. The talks had been given, the closing prayer offered and the chapel was clearing out as one of the sisters, an older woman who lives alone, approached the podium. She wanted a copy of the notes used by the speaker because the talk had meant so much to her. “No, problem, I have it on my computer”, handing over the printed version without a thought. I immediately saw a huge smile break over the older woman’s face, having been given a priceless gift, one that she could take home and read over and over again. I mentioned my observations to the speaker, catching up with her to let her know how important a gift she had given and how it had made the other sister’s day complete.

When I read my scriptures, I have to remind myself that the Prophets who wrote down the information were men, not so different than ourselves. They breathed air, swallowed water, ate meals and stubbed their toes while walking just as any other man. They did however, realize the eternal nature of man, the relationship with Father in Heaven and by doing so elevated the purpose of being mortal.

In the Book of Mormon, Ammon explained:

“. . . I am a man, and man in the beginning was created after the image of God, and I am called by his Holy Spirit to teach these things unto this people, that they may be brought to a knowledge of that which is just and true;

And a portion of that Spirit dwelleth in me, which giveth me knowledge, and also power according to my faith and desires which are in God.” (verse 34,35)

Jack Mixa was correct when he explained that looking into the heavens offers a glimpse of that eternal nature which we are a part of. Within each of us, being children of our Father in Heaven, is a portion of that Spirit, which giveth knowledge and power according to that faith and desire which are in God. The scriptures become more than words on a piece of paper, more than words spoken from a pulpit; they become a link with all that has been, all that is and all that will become. We gain a greater respect for life; more especially, we gain self respect. Our vision of the eternities need only start with a look in the mirror.

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