As I mentioned here (How often do you feel the spirit?), the frequency with which we feel the spirit can be an accurate measure of our spiritual “status” and regular measurement can help give us an idea of our spiritual progression over time.
But sometimes recognizing the spirit can be difficult. Many struggle to obtain even a single, clear encounter. The good news is that there are indeed specific things we can do to introduce the spirit more fully into our lives. What’s more, these things are helpful to not only begin feeling the spirit, but are applicable by all to increase the regularity with which they feel the Holy Ghost.
The following are what I consider the building blocks of leading a spirit-rich life:
- Sincere, heartfelt prayer
- Earnest and thorough scripture study
- Wholehearted church attendance
- Righteous living
There is a healthy list that extends far beyond this, in terms of activities that effectively bring the spirit into our lives, but these seem the most fundamental.
Yes, they’re simple. They’re straightforward. And in that, they’re deceiving. The bible tells of an instance where the Israelites were being afflicted by poisonous serpents, and Moses crafted a brass serpent and put it on a pole, and told them that whoever looked upon the staff would be saved. But many perished because of the simplicity of the task, for they expected something more.
When the mighty Naaman, general and commander of the army of Aram suffered from leprosy, he went to see the prophet Elisha, who told him to wash seven times in the river Jordan. But Naaman, expecting something far more complicated, left in anger. Later, changing his heart, he obeyed the prophet and was healed.
Often we find that such small endeavors create the foundation upon which even the most mighty things can be accomplished. For by small and simple means are great things brought to pass (Alma 37:6).
But they must be done with full purpose of heart, with real intent, and not just going through the motions. For he that does so in the wrong spirit, shall not reap the same rewards.
But I believe, that if you kept a calendar, and on that calendar you made a mark for every instance in which you did one of these simple things, with real intent, that over time, you’d find this number directly proportional to how often you felt the spirit that month. And that over time, you’d look back an see that the months you invested the most effort, were the months you reaped the greatest reward – not just in the prevalence of the spirit in your life, but in other aspects of your life as well.
But I challenge you to put my words to the test. Keep a calendar for yourself and see if you can’t prove me wrong. See for yourself, the great good that is brought to your life, by true devotion to these most basic and foundational actions. And may you find as much enrichment from them as I do.
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