What was the exact book you were reading by Eyring? I could just go back and check old posts, I guess. I loved and appreciated the comments. Thank you! AND welcome Autumn.
Here is a response to the Eyring comments:
"The real trial of your faith is anything that would divert you from doing what God would have you do." I think this is what Julia worries about--that she'll get so caught up in doing things that are good that she won't get done the things that are essential. This is a hard one because it requires you to really be in tune with the Spirit. How do you know when you missed a prompting because you weren't in tune? You don't. Exactly.
This is a little bit true. I will say that I think I've got the main essentials down: scriptures, prayer, take care of family, serve others. Not that I do them perfectly, but you know what I mean. I think it's more that I don't want to reach the end of my life and see that I didn't fulfill what the Lord wanted me to fulfill. I guess. My struggle seems to be more with what you said a couple of paragraphs later.
"You should expect that great difficulties will come to you in the pursuit of doing what the Lord would have you do." Now, we've heard variations on this theme all our lives. My question is this: how do we know when we're improving? How do we know when we're becoming more Christ-like? How do we know, we self-critical women, when our efforts are acceptable or our response to the difficulties is growth?
I have had these same exact questions, and I think this is more my issue than the paragraph before (though both go in circles around my mind). Some days I look back and think I was stronger and "better" five years ago than I am now. Is that improvement, or humility?!?!?
The question I would add to this is, How do you know if the difficulties arise because you are trying to do what you feel you've been commanded to do OR if you're going the wrong path and being prompted to set your sights elsewhere? To answer this a little bit, at Education Week this last summer I went to the BEST speaker: Bartholomew was his name. He pretty much took two chapters in Hebrews and expounded upon them. WOW! I wish I could do that!
Hebrews 10:32, 35; 11:1 - "But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated (meaning, felt that spiritual prompting to pursue God's commandments) ye endured a great fight of afflictions . . . Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward . . . Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of htings not seen."
So basically, this teacher expounded that the Lord is not going to give you a commandment and then make you suffer and hurt as you try to accomplish the goal. He called it the Jospeh Smith Principle from in the Sacred Grove JS encountered an evil spirit after he chose to follow the promptings of the spirit to pray. A similar thing happens to us. When we receive a prompting and choose to follow that prompting, there will be opposition but it is not a "trial of your faith." So if we can remember the moment we were "illuminated" we can push forth, maintain confidence in the Lord and thus exercise our faith because we have that assurance. Anyway, I'm not saying it all as eloquently as he did, but I think I'm getting my point across.
And I loved this whole part:
And don't tell me that we'll feel the Spirit more because that's bunk. Elder McConkie said that he worried about the Saints because they focused so much on testimony and feeling the Spirit, which opened them up to falling into inactivity. Instead he said we need to focus all our energies on obedience because obedience is what saves you--not your testimony.
I think sometimes we (I) tend to "overthink the Spirit," if you know what I mean. I want it to be grander than it needs to be. I remember a cousin of mine wasn't getting married because he was waiting for the "shake the earth" type of experience to know who was the right girl. It's very easy to fall into this trap and to foget that sacred power of agency we've all been given.
Anyway, very interesting thoughts, Ans!
P.S. If it took you that long to read Kim, just imagine how much longer I'm taking. I'm sorry, I'm slowly giving up. I'll give it a couple more tries, but don't expect much. :-(