Saturday, 14 May 2016

Finding Strength in Challenging Times!

First and foremost, what does finding strength in challenging times means to you? This post is based on an April 2009 General Conference talk called "Finding Strength in Challenging Times!" by Elder Allan F. Packer. I would like to share with you some highlights while I was reading the talk.

Elder Packer mentioned "Brothers and sisters, individuals and families across the world are challenged by current conditions. While I believe there are serious challenges ahead, I also know it is a wonderful time to be alive, especially for the youth.

These are the days when prophecies are being fulfilled. We live in the dispensation of the fulness of times, which is the time to prepare for the Savior’s return. It is also the time to work out our own salvation.

When the winds blow and the rains pour, they blow and pour on all. Those who have built their foundations on bedrock rather than sand survive the storms. There is a way to build on bedrock by developing a deep personal conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ and knowing how to receive inspiration. We must know and know that we know. We must stand spiritually and temporally independent of all worldly creatures.

This begins by understanding that God the Father is the Father of our spirits and that He loves us, that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and Savior, and that the Holy Ghost can communicate with our minds and our hearts. This is how we receive inspiration. We need to learn how to recognize and apply these promptings.

We need to be acquainted with the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and we need to practice and apply gospel teachings until they become natural and automatic. These promptings become the foundation of our testimonies. Then our testimonies will keep us happy and safe in troubled times.

At another time Elder Oaks said, “Testimony is to know and to feel, conversion is to do and to become.”There are several things we can do to develop a deep conversion and learn how to receive divine inspiration. First, we must have a desire.

To study and learn is the next step. This includes pondering, which broadens and deepens our testimonies. “But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right.”

We can learn how answers come through inspiration. They come as thoughts and feelings to our minds and hearts. Occasionally answers may come as a burning in the bosom. Joseph Smith told us to watch for answers by paying attention to the thoughts and feelings that come into our minds. Over time we will learn to recognize these as promptings.
He said: “A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon; (i.e.) those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God, will come to pass; and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.”

 If we have unrealistic expectations of how, when, or where answers come, we risk missing the answers which come as quiet, reassuring feelings and thoughts that most often come after our prayers, while we are doing something else. These answers can be equally convincing and powerful.

Over time we will receive answers and learn how inspiration comes. This is something each person learns for himself. Next, asking for a testimony of truth opens the window of inspiration. Prayer is the most common and powerful way to invite inspiration. In time, a personal witness will come and we will know and know that we know.

We will then be independent of all other worldly things, for “by the power of the Holy Ghost [we] may know the truth of all things” which are right and expedient for us. We will receive strength, comfort, and help to make good decisions and act with confidence in troubled times.

This witness is not limited to the leaders but is available to all men, women, youth, and even little children. Having the capacity to receive personal inspiration will be necessary in the coming days.

This is a great time to be alive! The Lord needs each of us. This is our day; it is our time!"

If you can't see the Image of this post, it says "Challenges are at times an indication of the Lord's trust in you. - D. Todd Christofferson."

I encourage you to read the whole talk in your own time and here's the link below.

Stay Tuned until next time.

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