I missed a week, but that's okay, because after writing this, it's better that I did. As with all of my posts, I hope that just one person reads this and feels it has been written for them. If you're that person, let me tell you: it was written for me too.
As a physics major, I can tell you, "Eureka!" moments are, for me, few and far between. The ones that come are from dedication and work and practice and rereading and being frustrated and re-rereading and studying and plenty of crying. When everything comes together and I finally see things and next time I can far more easily than ever remember how to calculate the energy of the photon emitted as an electron jumps to a lower energy shell, it's a beautiful sense of peace and clarity.
And then it's back to the books for the next pain in my neck.
Too often we feel that the Spirit will tell us the answers we seek in these big magnificent ways, or that we’ll realise everything about our situation at once, that we’ll have the whole plan given to us on a rolled-up piece of blueprint paper. We think that the gift of the Holy Ghost that we as confirmed members have means that we are set, or that because we really really want something, we’ll get it when we think we need it. As I write this, I think, nah! I know that’s not true! I know that isn’t how things work!
But honestly, in the thick of things, I want my answers, I want them then, and I want them under my terms and conditions.
That is hardly conducive to the Spirit! Perfect heavenly parents would never spoil me in such a way; how could I learn and grow? How could I develop the meek, mild, humble, and patient spirit I (sometimes, I feel, foolishly) ask my Father for if I was given everything as I felt I needed it? I believe in a God who is an eternal being who sees all things as they were, are, and will be; how can I forget that this so often means my faith, patience, and long-suffering will be tried?
The Spirit speaks in plainness and truth, only in the language that we will understand. But He also speaks line upon line, precept upon precept. There are times where the circumstances are dire and a person might hear a very clear thing that they know to be the spirit. I, personally, cannot even think of a time that I have heard the voice of the Spirit. Isn’t that crazy? I’ve lived on this earth almost 19.5 years. I was baptized and confirmed at 8. I have had the Holy Ghost as my constant companion for more than half of my life, and I have never heard His voice (that I can recall; but I do feel that if I had, I’d remember it, because though it is mild, it pierces the heart).
This fact has shaken me before. Just a week ago, I was really fighting with this. But why doesn’t that shake my faith now? How do I continue forward when this is such an important part of my testimony?
I hold to the fact that the Spirit does speak to us exactly in the way we need Him to. I feel the Spirit. I am a deeply emotional person, and the Spirit moves my heart in ways that I can understand the direction in which I need to proceed. I trust my heart and I trust that the Lord will only guide it in righteous paths so long as I am obedient in His commandments and as I keep covenants I have made with Him. I grow my testimony in reading the scriptures and as I write and as I speak I feel that sense of peace.
Line upon line, I have been able to come to terms with the ways in which the Spirit doesn’t actually communicate with me at this time. A good friend gave an incredible Sunday School lesson on the Spirit. I heard something very relevant in a Sacrament Meeting talk from a stake high council member. The concern I expressed to Heavenly Father for a while was addressed in such simple but personal ways as I went about doing what He needed me to do. Such is another language of the Spirit.
I feel this is a subject that I will ponder for years to come. I know I can develop new ways for the Spirit to communicate me. Maybe someday, in some very deeply personal situation, I will hear His voice.
As I left the temple just yesterday evening, walking from the house of light into a dark and warm August evening, I felt peace and love. It was hardly overwhelming, but it moved in my heart. Just a simple feeling. Plain. But I knew it was of the Spirit.
Heavenly Father is waiting to bless us. We so seldom understand His timing until we see it all in perspective. He knows what we need and when we need it. All He expects from us is to ask for it and then to trust that He will hear us out--but only when it is the appropriate time. He works no sooner, no later ("a wizard is never late”).
I testify of these things in the name of my beloved Redeemer, my best friend, Jesus Christ, amen.