Recently, in my graduate program, I’ve had to read a lot of essays on topics that contradict gospel teachings. My program is English, and we use these social/philosophical theories to analyze literature, so I need to learn them for my class. But it’s challenging to read things that so often claim that what I believe is false.
And yet, it’s also been a powerful spiritual experience.
Not because I believe those things I’m reading, but because, as I read, I’ve found that the Holy Spirit made it clear to me which things in those essays were not true and which things were true. The Spirit also showed me ways to use these theories without having to argue against my own personal beliefs.
I’ve always known that the Holy Spirit could give me guidance, understanding, and protection, but I never imagined that protection would take this form. Having the Spirit constantly with me, illustrating truth and illuminating falsehoods has been comforting in a way I’ve never experienced before.
The Spirit can provide all sorts of protection. Physical protection, spiritual protection, mental and emotional protection. You name it. The Spirit can give it. You may just need to ask.
Inviting the Spirit Into Your Daily Life
Jesus Christ promised us that the Holy Spirit would be with us, and we can trust in that promise. However, that promise can be conditional. If we’re doing things or choosing to be in places that take us away from God and aren’t in line with His commandments, we can’t expect that the Spirit will stick around with us.
Remember this though – if you are doing your best to follow the commandments and listen to the Spirit, it doesn’t matter where you go. The Spirit will be able to be with you, whatever else might be going on.
We need to live in a way that invites and allows the Spirit to be with us. Obedience is often key to inviting and receiving the Holy Spirit. Prayer, scripture study, and daily worship help us to be more open and receptive to the Spirit. How we treat others, how we think about ourselves, what we fill our minds and time with – all these things have an effect on us and how much the Spirit is part of our lives.
We can’t have the protection of the Spirit without being receptive to the Spirit. Though the Holy Spirit will continually try to reach us, He can only do so much when we refuse to accept His influence.
President Russell M. Nelson has said:
In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.President Russell M. Nelson, “Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” April 2018
Challenges to our faith are coming from literally every direction. I can’t remember a more confusing, difficult, and frustrating time. We are all carrying the weight of the world these days, and it’s hard to know how to deal with that weight.
But the Holy Spirit can protect us. He can protect our faith by helping us discern truth. He can protect us as we try to serve and love others. He can guide us in sharing the gospel, lifting others, and continuing forward in our lives.
Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we are not alone in the world. We can receive aid from the Holy Spirit because Jesus Christ opened the door to redemption for each and every one of us. Whatever challenges, pains, or difficulties we might face, we can survive it all with the strength of God and the guidance of the Spirit in our lives.
Do your best, keep going, and trust God every step of the way.