I delight in voices.

utah sunsets
february 2014

There has been much to delight about lately! There is a scriptural gem that keeps coming back to me. It’s a principle that truly has been such a blessing as I continue striving to understand it better.

The Voices

First of all, I should say that this concept is not my own. I read about it in a book called, “The Light of Christ” by John Pontius. While I don’t know John personally, I have come to admire him and appreciate his dedication to learning the gospel and living the gospel. I should also add that as I have used these principles to distinguish the voices of a healthy mind that I feel they are true. They resonate with me personally. I feel that it has blessed my life for good. So take what you will and I hope something can be a gem for you.

In his book, John says this,
“It is one thing to say we must follow the voice of our conscience, which is the voice of the Lord within us. It is quite another to be able to clearly distinguish from the other voices we hear. Toward that end, let us cast some light upon the other voices {this coming after a lengthy discussion about the function of a conscience}.

Elder James E. Faust had this to say about the voices we hear:
‘But we hear other voices. Paul said, “There are…so many kinds of voices in the world.” (1 Corinthians 14:10) that compete with the voice of the Spirit. Such is the situation in the world. (Faust, “Voice of the Spirit,” ellpses in original).”

John then goes on to identify three main sources of voices in a healthy mind. First, the voice of your own mind, second the voice that comes from Satan’s realm, and third, the voice of the Lord through the Holy Spirit.

Here’s what stands out to me about each of these:

the voice of my own mind
-you hear yourself think, you talk with yourself, discuss things with yourself, argue with yourself, etc. it is often unsure, questions things and is undecisive.
-it asks questions
-often takes a personal case e.g., i think i will fast today

the voice from satan’s realm
-we deal with his minions, messangers, tempters
-the voice from this realm is cleaverly disguised and enticing
– “The adversary tries to smother this voice [of the Holy Spirit] with a multitude of loud, persistent, persuasive, and appealing voices: murmuring voices, conjuring up perceived injustices; whining voices, abhorring challenge and work; seductive voices, offering sensual enticements; soothing voices, lulling us into carnal security; intellectual voices, profession sophistication and superiority; proud voices, relying on the arm of the flesh; flattering voices, puffing us up with pride; cynical voices, destryoing hope; entertaining voices, promoting pleasure seeking; commercial voices, tempting us to “spend money for that which is of no worth” and our “labor for that which cannot satisfy.” (2 Nephi 9:51), and delirious voices, spawning the desire for a “high”…[which is] death-defying experiences for nothing more than a thrill. (Faust, “Voice of the Spirit,” 7)”
-promptings from this source will nearly always be stated as an absolute
-will always lead us away from the truth.
-they cannot forcue us to do anything, uness we yield to them, and they value our inability to see them.
-while the Holy Spirit generally ptompts us only once, the tempters often voice many objections to each prompting. e.g., The Holy Spirit may ptompt us to call everyone to family prayers. The evil ones suggest many reasons why we should not obey “everyone is tired. they will complain, you don’t feel like it. people are already in bed. its late. its useless. you can do it tomorrow.”

the voice of the Lord through the Holy Spirit
-this voice grows in content and quality as one heeds its direction until it becomes a significant guide and measure of truth.
-it often prompts contrary to where you were headed.
-easy to recognize because its the only one of the three that prompts to do good. these promptings come as absolute statements. e.g., fast today

This just resonates with me. I love it. Coming from a mind that never sleeps and that can’t just turn off thoughts about now, tomorrow, yesterday, 5 minutes ago, and endless other points in time…I often feel like things get jumbled around. I feel confused, overwhelmed and like I’m failing.

I have found that by taking single thoughts that i have and recognizing their source, that power has come into my life. I have learned lessons in discernment, in trust, and in just how much the Lord wants to communicate with us, and not just wants but tries to communicate with us.  I delight in being empowered to know how I can more fully act for myself and not be acted upon. I delight in being able to choose.

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