Monday, January 19, 2009

Lesson 1-4 "Seeking Companionship of the Holy Ghost"

I have now been snowed out twice for YW lessons, so I'm feeling a bit rusty. Do bear with me. This lesson makes the analogy between a quiet human voice and the voice of the Spirit. It compares the blessings that come with the companionship of the Holy Ghost, with the things we need to do to be worthy of that companionship (amusingly, you the teacher are instructed to provide a card "with a decorative edge" for them to jot their notes on).

I was intrigued by a 1990 article from the New Era that takes the idea of "seeking companionship" of the Holy Ghost one step further. Sometimes in the church we use the language of "seeking an eternal companion" to mean dating, courtship and marriage. Elder Carlos Asay talks about "courting" the Spirit - using the same principles that you'd use for any lasting relationship. You need to really know the other person; you need to be your best; you need to be oriented towards the other person and not wrapped up in yourself (although the second half of Asay's article answers the question "what's in it for me?" in our relationship with the Holy Ghost). Interesting food for thought.

Some additional resources I liked:

1. Dallin Oaks, "Eight Ways God Can Speak to You" (New Era, Sept 04)

He addresses young people's concern about not getting an immediate answer, and I thought this quote was useful:

"the Spirit of the Lord is not likely to give us revelations on matters that are trivial.

If a matter appears of little or no consequence, we should proceed on the basis of our own judgment. If the choice is important for reasons unknown to us, the Lord will intervene and give us guidance. Where we are living in tune with the Spirit and seeking its guidance, we can be sure that we will receive the guidance we need to attain our goal. The Lord will not leave us unassisted when a choice is important to our eternal welfare."

2. Joseph Wirthlin, "You'll Grow Into It" about how the gift of the Holy Ghost is given to us when we're young and we grow into it, much as he had to grow into skates & sports equipment that were way too big but were all his family could afford. Sweet analogy, and a great article which I think sums up most of what this "unit" covered - gospel basics, essential parts of one's testimony, the spiritual bedrock.

It's good to have those gender-neutral pieces in place, since the next unit is a bit more fraught, on women's divine roles - in which, I have to say, an awful lot of "culture" often gets in the way (hence, a lesson on "homemaking" in a unit on women's divine roles). But that's a discussion for another time.

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