Monday, June 20, 2011

Keeping Track of Personal Revelation

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Moving a lot has NOT been a favorite of mine over the last 13 years. I would love to plant ourselves in a spot and just stay there. However, for us, it has just not been in the plan. One day maybe.

I do have to say that the blessing in all of this moving has been the amazing people we have met. We have so many friends that I can't imagine life without. Friends that, without our seemingly constant uprooting, we would not otherwise met. The thought of that makes me more sad than the thought of another move.

Yesterday at church I was thinking about all that I have learned in each of the different wards that we have been in. This ward, because we are living in a condo, is high transition. It seems that it would be easy to just lose ourselves in our own little world, not do much to put ourselves out there, cause we really aren't going to be here all that long....or so we thought.

I was just called into our Relief Society Presidency. I feel incredibly overwhelmed by it. I know I have a lot that I can bring to the calling, but I know that there is SO much I lack. I have a feeling the Lord intends to teach me a thing or two. This is a higher maintenance ward and it will require a lot, but I look forward to it. There are a lot of attributes that I don't feel are "second nature" to me that I would definitely love to develop. I guess when you pray for help in those areas the Lord tends to hear and then chuck you right into the middle of the fire, so you don't have an option other than learning.

There is a sort of running theme that comes up each week in our Relief Society. Yesterday I really felt that the Lord was trying to send me a message. I am glad to be in this ward! For one, this lesson alone is an important one! I wanted to pass it along. Then tomorrow there will be more to go with it on a theory my hubby and I have been discussing.

Maybe I am the only one that hasn't ever thought of this, I mean, it seems that way to me in church each week. The sisters in my ward often discuss taking a notebook and pen with them when they pray. I have never even thought to do such a thing, but I LOVE the testimony they have shared of this.

Taking a notebook to prayer really emphasizes the communication aspect of prayer. It also increases focus. I don't know about you, but it is, at times, hard to shut my brain down and really focus on what I am doing. I want to be better at that.

The sisters in our ward have talked about how they go to their spot to pray, with their notebook. Then they focus on hearing the voice of the Lord as they pray for help and guidance in their lives. When impressions come they write them down, then continue to pray. How beautiful is that?! Personal Revelation is SO important to each one of us. Understanding the love our Father in Heaven has for us, and His hand in our lives and desire for our success, I believe, can have a powerful influence in the way we choose to live our lives. It also helps us discover our Individual Worth to our Father and the Divine Nature we each possess.

There is a sister in our ward that I am ALWAYS amazed by, I mean, I seem to find myself always wanting to be around her. She is wise and you can just feel the strength of her spirit. She is kind, genuine & sincere. I love all of these things about her. Yesterday she added to the thought of the prayer notebook by telling us about a lesson she learned from an institute teacher at BYU-Idaho.

He challenged the members of the class to have a Prompting Journal. Anytime they felt the spirit prompting them to do something...anything, they were to write it down. Then act on it and "return & report". That means that if they felt a prompting to speak with someone about something, work on their scripture study, visit some one in need of a friend, etc that they would write this down. Act on it. Then take it back to the Lord in prayer to discuss progress or help needed to fulfill this "mission".

You know, when she talked about this there were a few thoughts that popped into my mind.

Think of how this exercise would help us learn the voice of the spirit.

Wouldn't this also help us truly feel the love the Lord has for us individually? And even more, wouldn't this confirm the existence of a loving Father in Heaven? If we hear His voice and strengthen a personal relationship with Him, testimony or hope in the existence of a loving God would certainly be changed to knowledge. That is a powerful thing, my friends. Life changing!

Remember when I shared my feelings of discouragement I had been having?

Sometimes I think we tend to feel like we lack purpose. I certainly don't believe that we EVER lack purpose, but sometimes it is hard to feel like we can really make a difference. If we were to take notes, accomplish the tasks and then "return & report" our progress to the Lord, I believe that we will begin to feel just how much purpose we do have. I also believe that as we accomplish these things, the Lord will entrust us with more.

Sister Julie B. Beck (Relief Society General President) gave THIS talk. I LOVE it! One of the things she said in it has stuck with me and fits perfectly with this whole idea! She said,

"The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life."

If that is the case, then I would think that if we were to keep a "Prompting Journal" we would certainly be working to develop the skill of qualifying, receiving and acting on personal revelation!

Remember "...I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."

If He commands...He will provide the way and means for it to be accomplished!

My goal for today is to go out and get myself a couple notebooks! I have a feeling this will be a life changing exercise! :)

What do you all think? Is this something you already do? What are your feelings about it? Any suggestions to make it more successful? I would certainly love to hear from you!


Cindy said...

Great thought Amy, I probably keep too many notebooks. Some with inspirational quotes, some with funny things my kids/grand kids say. Some with a hodgepodge of everything.
I'm a firm believer in writing things down! Lists, ideas, thoughts, goals, goals accomplished, blessings, recipes, feelings etc. I also spend too much time looking for the perfect journal. I'm always looking at bookstores for a new journal. I refuse to use a plain notebook. I would hate for someone in 50 years to find my journal and have it be a plain notebook. Call me crazy!!
I realize at this time in my life because of circumstances I can't control my scope for service is rather limited--but not really. So it is very important for me to jot down small things I need to do to serve. I may feel prompted to call a person, send a card, make a treat etc. If I don't write these down I often forget, because these kind of thoughts are fleeting. And my brain is getting old.
Yes, I write things down, I go back each week and see how I've done. Some weeks I feel good about the little bits of service I've accomplished others I hang my head and ask for forgiveness. But a loving Father takes my small acts and magnifies them.
So, yes Amy keep a journal! Make sure you date each entry or page.
Elder S Dilworth Young said
"I can promise you that the spirit is a lot more anxious to help you than you are to be helped."
Keep up the good work Amy!!

Alea said...

I LOVE this idea! In high school I was an avid journal-writer. I wish I was still that way, but I haven't figured out a schedule that works for me to be consistent at it. But I am the kind of person that if I don't write it down, I immediately forget. I think I'm going to have to try this.

Ann T. said...

Wow, that is powerful. I know a lot of women in our ward have a notebook with them to write down things that are said in the talks in Sacrament Meeting and Stake Conference, but a "Prompting Journal" or a "Prayer Journal" is not something I have ever thought about doing. Both are awesome ideas that I must try! Thank you!!!

Lombardo Family said...

Relief Society is the PERFECT place for you. You have so much love to share and women need love. What a great idea about the notebook too. I'm always having little thoughts and never write them down.


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