Aug 4, 2016

A Gift of the Spirit

by Kari Diane Pike

What would you do if you knew that you could not fail?

I asked my seminary class that question last year. I noticed several pairs of eyes open wide. Wheels started turning. Sleepy heads lifted up off the tables. Faces lit up.

"I'd retake my English final."

"I'd start up a business."

"I'd apply to medical school and become a neurologist."

I wanted to bottle up the energy that snapped and crackled in the room. A warm, tingly feeling reminded me of a time I stood on the sidelines of a soccer field in Flagstaff, Arizona, my trusty umbrella shading me from the intense July sun. A magnificent thunderhead mushroomed up from the horizon and before I knew it, an army of fierce looking cloud warriors had joined him, flashing their lightening swords behind their backs.

I pointed out the weather front to my husband. He took his eyes off the game and glanced around for a moment before looking at his watch. No worries. Only ten minutes left to the game. Besides, the sun shone bright above us and miles of blue sky still separated us from the storm. All was well.

That's when I felt it. Every hair on my arms stood straight up and my body tingled from the tips of my toes to the crown of my head. Before I could even process what that meant, a blinding flash of light accompanied by a deafening crack hit the fence surrounding the field. A nanosecond of stunned silence evaporated into shouts as players and parents yelled out to each other and sprinted to their cars for safety, leaving behind a ghost town of shade canopies and tipped-over camp chairs.

The feeling in our seminary class was every bit as powerful, but in a much different way. The lightening made my hairs stand on end, but the result was chaos and fear. The energy I felt when the Holy Spirit testified truth to our class-the truth that Heavenly Father loves us and sent us here to succeed-brought us hope and strength and determination to act.The witness we received that morning reminded us of who we are and why we are here. While players and patrons scattered, our class became more unified. While I have no desire to be that close to lightening ever again, I seek the closeness and the witness of the Spirit every single day.

This morning I listened to a speech given by Pres. Henry B. Eyring in 2006 called "Gifts of the Spirit for Hard Times." Pres. Eyring testifies that, yes, we can experience the companionship and personal revelation of the Holy Ghost every day if we will live worthy of it. He named three things in particular that help invite the Spirit of the Lord to be with us:

  1. Faith in Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
  2. Be Clean. 
  3. Pure Motive. 
The third item, "pure motive" gave me a lot to think about. Why do I pray for the Spirit to help me with my writing and with teaching? Do I seek praise, adoration, and accolades, or do I seek to accomplish the will of our Father in Heaven? What I have noticed is that when I try to show the students how much knowledge I have, class time fails miserably. When I suppress my selfish desires and ask and listen to God's purpose, the students light up. They ask questions and volunteer answers. Love fills the room. 

What would you do if you knew you could not fail? I've asked that question in this forum before, but I've come to see the question from a different perspective. Life is magnificent!


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