Thursday, July 14, 2011

"Waiting on the Road to Damascus" -- President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I love President Uchtdorf, and I love this talk. It rings true in my life today.

The theme here is basically to stop waiting around! Don't just hang out on the "road to Damascus", waiting for a grand spiritual display. Our testimonies and spiritual experiences are not usually landed upon -- but they are searched out with diligence.

A huge part of that process is being able to hear and heed the voice of the spirit. President Uchtdorf says:

"To better hear His voice, it would be wise to turn down the volume control of the worldly noise in our lives....Let us learn to hearken to the promptings of the Spirit and then be eager to heed them."

Both hard things to do. To consciously turn down the "noise" in our lives, and then turn up our spiritual sensitivity. And then, once we've received a prompting, getting off our bums and doing them!

Recently I heard someone say that the Lord always asks us to do things out of our comfort zone. Or else, we would not grow. So often those promptings will inspire us to go do something we normally would not want to do -- but if the Lord asks it, it will be worth our while.

He goes on to say, however, that the Lord expects us to study first before coming to Him in prayer.

For example. Perhaps you have a lot of time and want to do some organizational volunteer work. It would be more difficult and more unlikely that the Lord would place "Provo Youth Adventure Camps" in your mind, then if you went online, searched for organizations you are interested in, made a short list of ones that fit your schedule, and then praying for inspiration on which one to join up with.

Joseph Smith did the same thing when he prayed to know which church to join. He attended many different congregations, talked with people he trusted, and read from the Holy Bible. Only after he knew each church and their doctrine did he go and ask the Lord. But in his circumstance, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him and told him that none of those churches were true. But he was prepared, and because he was prepared, it showed real intent -- which is fully intending to act upon whatever answer is given.

President Uchtdorf makes a good point:

"If we are thinking only of ourselves, we may miss some of the most powerful spiritual experiences and profound revelations of our lives."

How often do I look back on my prayer and think: "wow, that prayer was such a self-centered prayer" or look back on my day and think: "wow, that was such a self-centered day." Days are so much better spent in the service of others.

As something I mentioned before in this blog, President Uchtdorf says:

"By becoming the answer to someone's prayer, we often find the answer to our own."

It is so easy to believe that the antidote to woe is self-pity and "vegging out", when in fact, getting up and serving someone quickly cures the problem! It is like magic how much better you can feel.

Some people may believe that would be burying the problem. Not at all! It helps us to put our problems into perspective, allows our minds to be active, and find ways to solve the problem and move forward.

Lastly, he quotes Saint Francis Assisi who said:

"Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words."

Spreading the gospel is a huge form of service. It is allowing others the chance to obtain happiness in this life and also into eternity. And as Assisi is suggesting, spreading the gospel is all about being a good example to others and living each day what you believe.

Uchtdorf talks about using social media to spread the gospel. That is why I have this blog -- to inform those of this gospel, and to strengthen the testimonies of those who are already members of the church.

I hope that we can all do better at listening to the spirit, and then boldly acting upon the promptings we receive, especially ones in sharing the gospel.

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