This quote has been rattling around in my head all week. Need more light in your life? It’s available!!
Here is my major theme this morning: As evil increases in the world, there is a compensatory spiritual power for the righteous. As the world slides from its spiritual moorings, the Lord prepares the way for those who seek Him, offering them greater assurance, greater confirmation, and greater confidence in the spiritual direction they are traveling. The gift of the Holy Ghost becomes a brighter light in the emerging twilight.
To understand better, think of these comparisons: If the world were growing more physically dark, He could give us enhanced night vision. If loud noises were constantly in our ears, He could give us a filtering mechanism to block the unwanted sound. If the race we were running was extended, He could give us increased lung and muscle capacity. If the exam we were taking was more difficult, He could quicken our minds.
My brothers and sisters, as evil increases in the world, there is a compensatory power, an additional spiritual endowment, a revelatory gift for the righteous. This added blessing of spiritual power does not settle upon us just because we are part of this generation. It is willingly offered to us; it is eagerly put before us. But as with all spiritual gifts, it requires our desiring it, pursuing it, and living worthy of receiving it. “For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift?”
-BYU speech by Elder Neil Anderson
Here is the whole talk if you’d like to review it.
Have you found this to be true as the commotion in the world increases? I have! It usually means stepping away from the news, going somewhere by myself, and praying. I have felt Heavenly Father’s desire to communicate with me to a greater degree than I did before 2020. I have had some sweet experiences listening and Hearing Him – not in an audible way, but in my mind and my heart. I have received messages that were personal and unmistakably from Heaven- under the stars.
This morning I read this quote that was too good to keep to myself. This is the source if you’d like to look up the entire talk: https://speeches.byuh.edu/devotional/choose-a-growth-mindset
I love the poem written by Minnie Louise Haskins in 1908 and originally entitled “God Knows”. It invites each of us to put our hand into the hand of God when we might be feeling fearful and the path ahead is not visible. It reads like this: And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” That poem leads my thoughts to a Book of Mormon scripture with a similar feel. It asks, “Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God? Know ye not that he hath all power …. ” (Mormon 5:23)? When you feel overmatched, please remember that God can open all doors and help us climb the highest peaks.
In a paradoxical way, afflictions and sorrow prepare us to experience joy if we will trust in the Lord and His plan for us. This truth is beautifully expressed by a 13th-century poet: “Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”
Today I found an interview which was posted online in 2010 by mormonartist.net and highlighted the musical career of Crawford Gates (my Grandfather). There was one quote that was particularly moving to me and I wanted to share it here. Grandad was an extremely talented musician, but even more than that, he was a man of faith. This quote shows how completely he “let go” and allowed God to work through him.
As a composer, with all eight hundred and seventy-four pieces, I had two prayers. I have an “empty-page prayer.” I look at the page, and I’ve got to fill it with beautiful music. Where is that going to come from? I don’t have beautiful music within me. It’s got to come from the Lord, but he is going to give it to me. So the empty-page prayer is a prayer of supplication: “Help me do something beautiful for this need.” And that was certainly true with Promised Valley, that was certainly true with the Hill Cumorah Pageant, and that was certainly true with Joseph! Joseph!.
Then there’s the second prayer: I got a page. The Lord has given it to me. I get on my knees next to my piano or next to my desk. “Thank you for this beautiful music. Thank you, Heavenly Father.”
Two prayers: “empty page,” “full page.” It’s been that way all my life. And it may not be just one prayer, or two prayers; it’s a week of prayers, or a month of prayers.