For week 4 of general conference book club, we’ll be studying Elder Christensen’s talk from the Saturday A.M. session:
By Elder Craig C. Christensen
In this talk, he told several memorable stories: about taking his son through the Bountiful Temple open house, about the death of his grandfather at a family reunion, and about President Monson talking to the woman hiding under her sheet in the hospital.
I remember when Julie Beck taught about personal revelation being the single most important skill we need. I thought of that several time as I read this talk, and how important it is to learn how the Holy Ghost guides and speaks and prompts us personally. I liked this quote:
I’ve noticed that as I really pay attention to the thoughts and feelings that come into my mind and heart, and then act on them (when they are obviously in line with gospel principles I already know to be true), I usually learn quickly that the prompting came from the Holy Ghost. That assurance tends to come through feelings of satisfaction and a sense that I’ve done the right thing, or through the sometimes obvious positive consequences of that choice to act.
I really liked the blessings he listed that come from the gift of the Holy Ghost: “added capacity and spiritual gifts, increased revelation and protection, steady guidance and direction, and the promised blessings of sanctification and exaltation in the celestial kingdom.” Other than the exaltation bit, which is a work in progress throughout mortality, I’ve really felt those other blessings in my own life, and I’m so thankful for the influence of the Spirit.
What stood out to you? What are your thoughts about the role of the Holy Ghost in your life and in your testimony? Discuss in the comments below.
(A reminder to those of you who are new to General Conference Book Club: You’re welcome to return to this post any time this week and leave your comment and thoughts in the comment section below. You may also want to see what others are saying about the talk and engage in a conversation for mutual understanding and encouragement. A new talk will be posted each Sunday and will be studied and discussed throughout the week.)
9 thoughts on “GCBC Week 4: “An Unspeakable Gift from God” by Elder Craig C. Christensen”
Something I was pondering before conference was have to teach my children more about the Holy Ghost. I really want them to learn to recognize and follow promptings from the Holy Ghost. When I read this talk and think about it, the message I am hearing is that I need to get better at listening to and following promptings from the Holy Ghost. I am reminded of several recent articles in the ensign about the spirit including a talk by Elder Packer about 8 different things that the Holy Ghost does
This is one focus that is particularly dear to me . . . I made a special effort several years ago to always act upon each prompting from the Holy Ghost and to keep a unique journal only for those promptings . . . and low and behold it they didn’t become more frequent and more easily understood just as promised. Now I am so grateful for the presence of the Holy Ghost in my life and for the promptings I receive. I have such a testimony of the power of this special gift and how it can bless and guide our lives each day if we will do those things necessary in our lives to invite the Spirit and maintain that presence at all times.
I love the idea of keeping a special journal of promptings, thanks for the idea!
This talk makes me renew my commitment to act on promptings, without delay. My life has been very blessed when I have done so. I have felt the love of my Heavenly Father as I have come to recognize small promptings throughout the day that bless me and my family. Small promptings, such as to grab a certain item on my out the door, only to later discover that I needed it and couldn’t have possibly known I would need it.
We recently took our children (2 and 4) to the Brigham City Temple Open House. It was an amazing experience and I know it impacted my children. I love how Elder Christensen took the time to teach his son about the Holy Ghost. We also took the opportunity to teach our children, but his talk has given me some ideas of specific things to say to my children and to teach them about the Holy Ghost.
oh – and one more thing – I am always so amazed by President Monson’s stories of following promptings. I need to trust the promptings more than I do. I don’t believe I would have moved the sheet off that woman – it would have felt too inappropriate to intrude on her privacy – it is amazing to me that President Monson has so much trust in the promptings he receives that he could overcome privacy and social barriers. It makes me want to be more trusting of the promptings I receive. So often I talk myself out of it – feel impressed to call someone, only to think, well, she’s at work, I’ll call later. I really need to just act and trust there is a reason.
I feel the same way. I often brush things off when really it wouldn’t hurt anything or anyone if I would just follow the prompting I have. I need to be better about that. I have also been trying to better heed the little promptings I get through out the day regarding my children and the “teaching moments” that quietly arise in between the everyday stuff. As Mel mentioned below, perhaps I could take the time to specifically ask for those spiritual experiences and to have the courage to act on them without delay.
He mentioned at the beginning of his talk that he and his wife had been praying earnestly before the Bountiful Temple open house that their children would have a spiritual experience. I realized that my husband and I try to take advantage of opportunities or create opportunities in which our children will hopefully feel the Spirit, but I don’t think we ever pray beforehand that they will, so that was a good lesson for me.
This really made me think about my family and creating an atmosphere where the Spirit can dwell. My children need to have experiences with the Spirit – and they can’t be few and far between. They should be regular occurrences. We have been dealing with a lot of sibling rivalry lately, and we have tried to stress to our children how it chases the Spirit away. I really like the idea by Mel to pray to be able to create opportunities for our children to feel the Spirit. And I also need to show my gratitude to the Lord for the promptings that are given by following through on them and recording them.
There have been times where I am left wondering if that feeling I had was a prompting. This talk reminded me that the more I stive to live my life in tune with the Lord, I will feel more promptings, and not have to wonder if they are me or the Holy Ghost. It is interesting, that some answers to big decisions I have been praying for lately have come in a different way than ever before. I wonder if the Holy Ghost has been trying to guide me with a feeling, but I am too stuborn to listen, so now he is trying a different way. I am very grateful to have the gift and promptings of the Holy Ghost, however these promptings come!