The Holy Ghost (also referred to as the Holy Spirit) fulfills many roles, and can strengthen us in many ways. He brings comfort in times of sorrow and peace in times of trouble. He testifies of truth when we find it (whether it is a ‘spiritual’ truth or not). He can give inspiration or bring to our memories information that we had forgotten.
I’m sure that many people think of ‘spiritual strength’ as referring to testimony—the surety of Christ as Savior, a validation of faith, and so on. This is true, of course, but it is only a small part of the spiritual strength that we can receive from the Holy Ghost.
Since all things were created spiritually before they were created temporally, therefore all things are spiritual. So when I am at a loss over how to teach my child something, and suddenly I remember something I read in a book last year—that is strengthening for me, because it helps me fulfill my role as a mother. Sometimes I have a ‘lightbulb moment’ when I figure out how to do something. Yes I am intelligent, but I’m not so vain as to think that all of those ideas are my own—I know that often the Holy Ghost is helping me—and since two heads are better than one, my strength is constantly increased by His presence in my life. When I mourned the loss of my third miscarried baby, and heard in my mind the message “Be Still and Know that I am God,” I was still, and it brought me peace, and strength to get through a difficult time.
Last week our Relief Society lesson in church was going to be about hearing the promptings of the Holy Ghost. The teacher called me several days ahead of time and asked me to be one of several women to briefly share a personal experience where I was prompted about something. I spent three days trying to think of a good experience to share—in spite of being frequently aware of the Holy Spirit’s influence in my life, it seems that it is so continuous that recalling a single experience was difficult. I pondered over the many ways that the Spirit can prompt us as I went about my daily life, but was still feeling unsure about what experience to relate for the lesson.
On Saturday night I was snuggling my kids into bed and, because it was on my mind, I said “who knows who the Holy Ghost is?”
Wolf said “I do”
Bear said “I do!”
“What is it?” I asked Bear (curious to know what he knew).
“I don’t know”
“Why don’t you ask Wolf to tell you”
So he did. And Wolf started explaining everything he could think of about the Holy Ghost--which, I realized, amounted mostly to His role as a comforter. Although I’m fairly certain that we had taught him more than that, it was the only part he remembered (a good reminder to us parents that we need to teach our children these important things over and over!). So I told my boys about the other things the Holy Ghost can do. Wolf was particularly impressed when I explained that if he studied hard, and worked to learn all the things he was supposed to, then if he prayed before a test the Holy Ghost could help him remember the things he had studied.
So that was my story of a prompting—I felt inclined to talk to my kids about the Holy Ghost, and was able to help them learn something which (in spite of prior discussions) they hadn’t really realized before.