Sunday, February 7, 2010

To Acquire Spiritual Guidance

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

To Acquire Spiritual Guidance, by Elder Richard G. Scott
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Sometimes it seems that life is more like a maze than it is amazing. With the blind turns, unclear decisions, and often getting lost, how can we find the way to our ultimate goal?

Consider the difference between a real-life maze (pictured above)—where you cannot really see where you want to go or where you came from—and the more newspaper-esque maze (below) where the path can be more clear (in theory).

If we are in the more real maze, it is easy to imagine situations where we become entirely stuck—seeing no way to get out. As I reviewed Elder Scott's talk, I thought of this life maze as he taught that "some decisions [are] beyond [our] own ability to decide correctly." In times like this, we have the following assurance:

In His plan of happiness, He included a provision for you to receive help with such challenges and decisions during your mortal life. That assistance will come to you through the Holy Ghost as spiritual guidance. It is a power, beyond your own capability, that a loving Heavenly Father wants you to use consistently for your peace and happiness.

In those pitiful times of feeling lost, abandoned, and alone, it is comforting that there is hope. In a real sense, we only need to look up—to look outside of the maze to the One who can guide us. Nevertheless, Elder Scott reminds that:

Were you to receive inspired guidance just for the asking, you would become weak and ever more dependent on Them. They know that essential personal growth will come as you struggle to learn how to be led by the Spirit.

This isn't to suggest, I imagine, that there is any comfort taken in watching us struggle, but, rather, that it is through the struggle that we learn to look up.

It's comforting to be reminded of the benefits of learning to trust in the Lord and listen to the Holy Ghost:

Spirituality yields two fruits. The first is inspiration to know what to do. The second is power, or the capacity to do it.

It seems, then, that after we face a struggle (or get stuck in a corner of our life maze) and successfully look up for guidance, that we can either be led around the right corners, or given power to break down walls.

Either way, the end result is both rewarding and surprising! (Compare 1 Nephi 4:6)

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