What feelings/emotions/attitudes invite the Spirit? I am able to most readily feel the influence of the Holy Ghost when I consciously and purposely adopt a humble, meek outlook on life. I believe that’s because when I am truly submissive, here and now, to the exact circumstances in which I happen to find myself at any given moment, it is my way of showing God that I completely accept His will for me with full faith and trust. If I believe He is omnipotent, omniscient, and cares about me personally, then there must be a reason I find myself where I am and with the specific people that surround me. He is always in charge, even when I am wicked. He knew exactly when and how I would be wicked and separate myself from Him before I ever conceived those sins in my heart. He doesn’t forget about me or pull away from me when I am not perfect; He is always waiting to guide me back to Him at any and every moment that I am ready. By fully accepting, even embracing, the current moment with full earnestness and reliance upon Him, regardless of my perceived status before Him, I feel a conduit of love open up from heaven to my heart, and I feel close to Him. It is where and how I want to be.
In contrast, the feelings/emotions/attitudes that separate me from God’s love, which is how I can best describe what I feel when I feel the Spirit, are the opposite of humility, meekness, and submissiveness to all aspects of my current here and now. They are best characterized by feelings of impatience, which simply translate to being at odds with God’s specific plan for me. This is usually associated with complaining, and often involves dreaming of a different life, particularly one that involves more money, praise of the world, ease, and frivolity. When I conjure up the imaginary life I desire for myself, I am essentially saying, “My will, not thine” since where I am and who I’m with and all my specific talents, skills, weaknesses, tests, discomforts, and challenges are exactly what He wants for me right now. If He wanted any element of my current experience to be changed He could.
“And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things,” (D&C 59:21)
Beware the spirit of impatience. It precludes submission to God here and now. Life is only ever a continual and continuous series of “here” and “now.” Anything that encourages putting off, especially temporarily, submission to God’s will until “there” or “then” is a lie. There is no there or then. They are fictions. There is only ever here and now. Don’t be tricked into delaying submission to God’s will until you go to the temple next week, or until Church this weekend, or until you say your prayers tonight before bed. You will only ever be faced with here and now.
President John Taylor taught:
“In relation to anything that has or may transpire, I feel that we are in the hands of God, and all is right… We ought to feel that…God is at the helm, and that all is right and will continue to be. I feel as easy as an old shoe.
What if we should be driven to the mountains? Let us be driven. What if we have to burn our houses? Why, set fire to them with a good grace, and dance a jig round them while they are burning. What do I care about these things? We are in the hands of God, and all is right… What is the position, then, that we out to occupy–every man, woman, and child? Do our duty before God–honour him, and all is right. Concerning events to transpire, we must trust them in the hands of God, and feel that “whatever is, is right.” and that God will control all things for our best good and the interest of his Church and kingdom on the earth. If we live here and prosper, all right; if we leave here, all right; and if we have to pass through affliction, all right. By and by, when we come to gaze on the fitness of things that are now obscure to us, we shall find that God, although he has moved in a mysterious way to accomplish his purposes on the earth and his purposes relative to us as individuals and as families, all things are governed by that wisdom which flows from God, and all things are right and calculated to promote every person’s eternal welfare before God.” (JD 6:113-114, see Catherine Thomas’ Light in the Wilderness pp. 26-27)
“nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42)