This week has been interesting as I have focused on my resolution to bring forth fruits, not just works. One thing, in particular, has come to the forefront for me - the need to listen FOR the messages of the Holy Ghost, not just listening TO the Holy Ghost.
Professor Steven Robinson (BYU) wrote a book of which many members are aware entitled, "Believing Christ". The core concept he addressed is the principle that it is FAR more important to believe Christ (meaning to believe what he actually said) than it is to just believe IN Christ (that he is the savior and redeemer). This distinction is critical, since it is possible to believe "in" Jesus at a theoretical / intellectual / even spiritual level without really believing what he said in the scriptures. A good example of this is related to the concept of fruit, works, salvation, etc. - since it is CRYSTAL clear when one parses the Biblical Gospels that Jesus absolutely did NOT teach of easy grace ("confessing His name is all that is required to separate the saved from the damned") but taught openly and clearly and directly about the importance of our actions - that saying you accept Him but not doing what He said we should do is the most fundamental definition of damnable hypocrisy.
My insight this week about bringing forth fruits of the Spirit and not just dead works is that doing what God wants me to do requires MUCH more than merely living my life naturally amid the hustle and bustle of my life and doing whatever the Spirit is trying to say to me. Generally, if I am not actively listening FOR the still small voice - going throughout my activities consciously trying to hear that voice - the "noise" of my life will overwhelm a still, small voice. On the other hand, if my mind consciously is attempting to hear that voice every minute of my waking activities, I can be inundated with impressions that relate to many things - often in the most strange and random times and situations.
This is very similar to something I realized many years ago that has had a major impact on my life. There are some people who say, "I will anything that the Lord tells me to do." There are other people who say, "I will do anything that is good - unless the Lord tells me not to do it." The first is a passive tool - someone who is acted upon, albeit by God. The second is an active seeker of service - someone who is free to act and become an agent unto herself. I want to become the second type of person, and listening FOR the whispering of the Holy Ghost at all times is a part of that process.
The trick for me is to remember to keep my spirit open to inspiration even as my body is engaged in the normal activities of life - activities that often require extreme mental concentration and focus. Finding out how to do that more continually will be the central focus of my effort this week.
“I Take Up My Pen”: Improvement Era, 1900
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