Sunday, February 21, 2010

Prayer and Promptings

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Prayer and Promptings, by President Boyd K. Packer
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Our children have their special toys that, like the Velveteen Rabbit, are well on their way to becoming real. Rebecca has her Dolly (shown below near Christmas, 2008).

This morning was sad for Rebecca because she couldn't find her Dolly. Dolly was lost.

My sweet little girl was crestfallen because, as she said, "I prayed, but I still can't find her!" It was a great teaching moment.

We knelt in a circle and asked Rebecca to say another prayer with all of us there, after which we would pay attention to what we felt and see if we could find Dolly.

After the prayer, I realized that there was a lot riding on Dolly being found. The whole family was involved, and if we didn't have success, it would be difficult to explain that some prayers aren't answered when we want (especially to a heartbroken little girl). Nevertheless, with great faith, I searched my heart, feelings, and mind.

David offered, "I think it's in the game cupboard!"

"I was thinking the same thing!" I added.

We were wrong.

Tilting her head up and slightly to the side, my sweet wife quietly stood and left the room. She returned in seconds, carrying Dolly, to happy exclamations and enormous smiles.

Maryann, the hero. (Or, is it heroine?)

She reported that after the prayer, suddenly she could see a memory of the children playing in our closet. Upon investigation, she was led right to a certain pair of my shoes, wherein lay Dolly.

Being led to the closet is impressive enough, but to the correct shoe is even better (I have fifteen pairs of shoes—I just counted them).

How do promptings come to you?

We often hear that people receive promptings in different ways. President Packer said:

There is a perfect manner of communication through the Spirit. . . . That sweet, quiet voice of inspiration comes more as a feeling than it does as a sound. Pure intelligence can be spoken into the mind. The Holy Ghost communicates with our spirits through the mind more than through the physical senses. This guidance comes as thoughts, as feelings through promptings and impressions. We may feel the words of spiritual communication more than hear them and see with spiritual rather than with mortal eyes.

It seems, then, that promptings may come through any of the avenues of the mind or feelings.

Serendipitously, Maryann and I studied the same talk today (this one, of course). As we talked of the Dolly experience, she stressed how important it is to keep our minds clean, so we can have a clear channel for promptings. Elder Packer agrees:

Keep that channel—your mind—clean and free from the clutter of the world.

I love that we can receive promptings, and that they can come over events large or small, regarding things [seemingly] trivial or grandiose.

But right now, I'm especially grateful that I was wrong—that Dolly wasn't in the game cupboard—and that my sweet Maryann was led to the right place. When we say that we're not alone, we may usually be referring to having the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I'm grateful that I'm not alone, also, in that I have a pure, clean, and guided, loving wife. I love that after all these years (all eight of them), I'm still being taught to be a better person by her constant example.

The gift of the Holy Ghost operates equally with men, women, and even little children. It is within this wondrous gift and power that the spiritual remedy to any problem can be found.

I love, you, Maryann!

1 thought:

Maryann said...

That was a fun experience we had. I am thankful for our marriage and the many things I have learned, particularly to never make faces at the camera or it might end up on the internet...
I still love you.