It's cold outside, the fear of rejection weighs upon me, and it is starting to get dark. There is still a couple of hours before we are to go in but the circumstances push me to retire early. Am I justified in this? The natural man tells me, "You couldn't possibly find someone at this time of day... Besides, it's freezing cold." As the flesh tries to convince me to go home, I have the feeling that I should stay out and work. We continue to talk to people and it becomes colder and gets even darker. Thoughts of our warm apartment overwhelm my judgment and we begin to walk to the car. Instantly, I feel the sting of guilt. I know I should stay out longer but I don't want to be miserable. Do I stay and endure or do I satisfy the flesh?
Recently, I came across a scripture that I have read multiple times but I was deeply impacted by it this last time. In Alma 34:48, Amulek instructs us that we should, "Contend no more against the Holy Ghost." As I read this I received an answer to my prayers. Consecration has been on my mind and I have been trying to make a better effort to be "all in." The wisdom in this phrase is powerful. "Contend no more against the Holy Ghost..." What does this mean? It means that when it is cold outside and we feel like going home, we should keep going. It means that we should always do what we know is right. It means that we should never give in to what is convenient, cheap, low or vulgar when we know it is contrary to the laws of God.
How does this apply in our daily lives? Think back to a time where you said or did something that you knew you shouldn't have. Just before you did it did you feel a tinge of guilt? Did the thought come to you that you should not do what you were about to do? Each of us have these experiences every day. The Spirit is always there trying to give us guidance and direction. The question we have to ask ourselves though is are we willing to give up our will and listen?
Obeying the still small voice is one of the hardest challenges that I have had throughout my life. Everyday I feel that I should not say or do something but because of pride and carnal interest, I do it anyways. What if I were to always listen to the Spirit, where would I be? If every moment we let the Spirit in to teach us the lessons we needed to learn, we would progress as fast as the Savior did. Listening to the Spirit is a talent that has to be developed. It is the greatest talent, but the greatest things don't come easy. It takes patience and diligent perseverance to acquire such an ability. So where do we start?
The first thing that we should do is Spiritually prepare ourselves to listen to the promptings of the Spirit. We need to study the scriptures and pray. We need to have an attitude of reverence at all times. We need to, "[put] off the natural man and [become] a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and [become] as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us], even as a child doth submit to his father" (Mosiah 3:19). Each day we have opportunities to exercise our faith and we must actively seek to become better. As we act and listen, we will become more aware of the promptings of the Holy Ghost in our life.
I would like to end with a scripture that I have come to know to be true. In D&C 112:10 it reads, "Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers." I know that this is true and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.