This week’s Young Women lesson is Seeking the Companionship of the Holy Ghost from Manual 1 Lesson 4. I found myself drawn to material in the 2012 Resource Guide, particularly the talk from Elder Bednar, Receive the Holy Ghost.
I made a worksheet to use while discussing the talk, which you can download here.
Please sincerely answer the following question in your mind: When was the last time you remember really feeling the Spirit or having been influenced by the Holy Ghost? Got your answer?
So when was it? How long ago was the event that you immediately thought of? What was the event? We have asked this question to many youth over the years, and we hear common answers such as: “It was at our testimony meeting at camp” or “When I received my patriarchal blessing” or “I really felt the Spirit at EFY.” However, it’s less common for a youth to answer this question by saying, “I really felt the Spirit this morning when I prayed,” or “About ten minutes ago when we sang the opening hymn and I felt peace,” or “Just this morning when I received a subtle impression to say ‘hi’ to a person without many friends.” Why is that so?
Each week when we partake of the sacrament we are promised to “always have [God’s] Spirit to be with [us]” (Moroni 4:3). Notice the word always. The promise is not that we will have the Holy Ghost with us sometimes, or just in Church buildings, or during major life events. No, we are promised that the Spirit will be with us always—at school, at practice, in our home, with our friends, at work, and at play. Always. So why then do we at times have to search back months or years into the deep recesses of our memories to recall the last time we think the Spirit influenced us?
Elder David A. Bednar said, “Sometimes as Latter-day Saints we talk and act as though recognizing the influence of the Holy Ghost in our lives is the rare or exceptional event” when the reality is that “the Holy Ghost can tarry with us much, if not most, of the time—and certainly the Spirit can be with us more than it is not with us.”
Perhaps the problem is not that we aren’t being influenced by the Holy Ghost in our daily lives, but simply that we don’t recognize it and are overlooking it. We have been promised that the Holy Ghost can be with us always – each day of our lives; not just each major event in our lives. The next time somebody asks, “When was the last time you felt the Spirit?” you want to be able to respond by saying, “Well, what time is it?”
From this discussion we will talk briefly about what the Holy Ghost feels like, what his roles are (as outlined in True to the Faith, 81-84), and then we will go into Elder Bednar’s talk.
There are also some nice Personal Progress experiences I hope to encourage the young women to pursue: Choice and Accountability value experience 5; Integrity value experience 2; Virtue value experience 2.