October 14, 2010 6 Comments
As we recently heard, one of President Monson’s favorite scriptures is Doctrine & Covenants 84:88. “And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.”
In this part of the revelation, the Lord is speaking to “them that believe” (D&C 84:65). And then in verse 77 He calls the same group His “friends”.
So, this incredible promise, to have His Spirit, going before, on the right, on the left and “angels round about” applies to whom? Just apostles and prophets? Just missionaries? No. To all who believe, all of us!
If that is the case, again, the Spirit is round about us, then if I’m in a race with the Spirit (and I am worthy…striving to be worthy) who gets to the church first? Me or the Spirit? Who gets to school first? Me or the Spirit? Who gets to work first? Me or the Spirit? Who gets to anywhere first? Me or the Spirit?
The Spirit always wins the race! If I’m worthy and I’m going to a location where the Spirit is willing to be, the Spirit will always be there. That is the promise, before, on our right, on our left, round about us.
We often hear the phrase, “bring in the Spirit”. But according to this principle (the Spirit always wins the race) that phrase isn’t accurate. It is not about “bringing” in the Spirit. We can’t force the Spirit anywhere. We do not have the power or authority to command the Spirit. Even in a confirmation, the holder of the Priesthood invites the individual to “Receive the Holy Ghost.”
For example, every one of us has “spiritual curtains” that are in front of our “spiritual eyes.” When these Spiritual curtains are open, like the light of day, the Spirit comes flooding in. If the curtains are closed, the Spirit, though it is certainly out there, can’t be seen or come in.
So, it is more about opening “spiritual curtains” than “bringing in the Spirit.” Think of it. What kinds of things open curtains? Music, scriptures, Truth, testimony, pure love, service all have the tendency to open our curtains.
This is the goal of every teacher in the Gospel. This is why we teach Truth, read in the scriptures and testify: to open curtains. Once those curtains are open, then miracles, real miracles, occur. Spirit-to-Spirit teaching happens. We know it as “edification”. (D&C 50:22-23)
The next time we teach, let’s remember the Spirit always gets there first. It’s a promise. And our real goal is to somehow help our students open their curtains. The curriculum, the scriptures, the prayer, the testifying all lead up to this one goal. Once reached, we are no longer the “teacher” but the instrument. What more could we want?