BYU Devotional - March 4, 2014
Jane Lassetter, from BYU’s College of Nursing, shared her experiences of the blessings that come by listening and following to the Holy Ghost, at Tuesday’s campus devotional.
After pondering the chorus of “I am a Child of God,” Lassetter said, “I realized these words could also be the feelings of a prayerful heart asking the Lord to lead, guide, and walk beside through the guidance of the Holy Ghost.
“What a wonderful thought that we can be guided, taught, and protected by Deity in our mortal journeys on earth” Lassetter continued. “ Many people would think it sounds like science fiction that God and his Son love us and watch over us and communicate teachings and warnings directly to us through the promptings of the Holy Ghost. That seems so amazing that it is almost beyond imagination, but I testify that it is a divine truth.”
She then to turned to the examples of how she gained a testimony of how the Lord guides through the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
While serving a mission in Chile, Lassetter’s brother-in-law Patrick and his companion were traveling with Spencer W. Kimball. Along a narrow cement road, before crossing a bridge, Elder Kimball urged them to stop the vehicle. They did so, narrowly escaping a major accident with a large truck that lost its wheel and crashed on the bridge.
Lassetter continued, “The young elders were so impressed with his inspiration but also wondered why they had not been warned; after all, they were missionaries living close to the Lord. Elder Kimball explained to them that the Holy Ghost had not overlooked them, but that they were not listening. They had not trained themselves to hear the still, small voice. Elder Kimball encouraged them to hone their senses to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.”
Lassetter then shared her own experience while on a trip in Tonga. After feeling prompted to not make one of their inter-island journeys, Lassetter went anyway, not wanting to be left behind. Before returning from the island, she accidently stepped off the dock and fell into the ocean. She said, “As I hit the water, Iknewthis was why I'd been warned not to go to ‘Eua. I continued my descent a long way down in the water. Even in the watery deep, I immediately began to pray and apologize for my disobedience while also pleading for help.”
With the help of the people, she managed to get out of the dark and dangerous water. “My knees went weak as I realized the tender mercies I had experienced and felt the love of my Heavenly Father, despite my disobedience to the promptings I had been given. Angels, seen and unseen, helped me through the peril I had created by my disobedience and taught me a lesson I hope to never forget,” she said.
Lassetter also said that not all experiences with the Holy Ghost have to be warnings of great peril. “Our Father in Heaven and His son, Jesus Christ, care deeply about the details of our lives. If it matters to us, it matters to them.”
She shared an experience of when she got a flat tire on I-15, coming back from St. George. She called her dad, who arrived just as some men finished changing her tire. As she tried to drive away, her car wouldn’t move. Her dad took a look, noticing a dangling piece blocking the tire’s movement.
After using a piece of wood and a hammer to secure the dangling piece, Lassetter noticed her dad had tears in his eyes. She said, “I thanked him, and he said, ‘There is something you need to know. When I entered the garage to get in the car and come to you, I felt prompted to take a 2”x4” and a hammer. Although I wondered why in the world I’d need a 2”x4” and a hammer to change a tire, I gathered them and put them in the trunk. They were exactly what I needed to fix your car.’”
She explained, “A loving, watchful Heavenly Father had communicated to my dad through the Holy Ghost to help me with a need neither my dad nor I knew I had when the prompting was given. My heart filled with gratitude for my Heavenly Father, my wonderful earthly father, and the Holy Ghost. I felt so loved, so protected, so safe. Our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost care about the details of our lives.
“So, how do we learn to be better in tune with promptings from the Holy Ghost?” Lassetter asked.
“It is sometimes difficult to differentiate between a spiritual prompting and our own deep emotional desires. Elder Boyd K. Packer explained this is because, “The spiritual part of us and the emotional part of us are so closely linked, it is possible to mistake an emotional impulse for something spiritual.” As we strive to be in tune and act upon the promptings we are given, we will begin to better differentiate a prompting from an emotional impulse.
“Promptings from the Holy Ghost are often described as still and small. Sometimes the noise and chaos of our busy lives is anything but still and quiet,” Lassetter said. “We need to find times and places we can be still and quiet to help us sense promptings.”
She explained that by praying, studying the scriptures, taking the sacrament, attending the temple, and keeping covenants, “we will improve our sensitivity to the still, small voice.”
Lassetter also said that “Because inspiration so often comes in these quiet, unobtrusive ways, we should not sit and wait, in a state of paralysis, for inspiration to direct us. Nephi said, “I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things that I should do. Nevertheless, I went forth.”
She closed by telling those listening, “I hope you will reflect on your own life lessons with the Holy Ghost and ponder ways you might improve your sensitivity to His promptings. Remember you are a spiritual being having a mortal experience. As you provide the proper context, yourspiritcan understand the Holy Ghost as He leads, guides, and walks beside you on your mortal journey. Live your life in such a way to invite His presence and help you sense His tender whispers.”
To read the talk in its entirety, visit speeches.byu.edu. The devotional will also be rebroadcast on BYUtv. Check byutv.org for schedules, as well as on demand availability.