While I loath the tendency with some movements to equate the spirit only with emotionalism, I also am concerned that we have swung to the opposite extreme in our repudiation of the fiery nature of our baptism. Having been raised in rural Utah, this concern did not arise with me until I lived in Boston, Alabama and Ohio - where I saw first-hand people whose "emotionalism" actually was influenced by the Spirit.
Currently, in our ward, there is a man whose testimony is usually expressed in terms of "I just want to give thanks and praise to Jesus and my Heavenly Father" - and it is so cool to hear. I don't want the revivalistic stirring of emotions instead of the Spirit, but when we deny the emotional aspects of our interaction with the Spirit, I believe we risk killing the passion that should accompany our convictions.
I heard a talk recently in Sacrament Meeting that inspired a member of the ward to tell the speaker, "Thank you. I feel like I heard a sermon today." The only difference apparent to me was the obvious passion of the presenter and the pleas within the talk to change the way the members viewed and acted toward each other. Iow, there was real passion invested and expressed in the talk, not merely a dry and peaceful recitation of doctrine. That experience has made me think deeply about the way we teach each other as we express the Spirit we feel.
There is a real danger in playing with fire (allowing emotional manifestations of the Spirit), but there is just as real a danger of freezing from the lack of fire (not allowing them).
Ask A Preschooler
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