How often do you feel the spirit?

by Rusty Lindquist on January 25, 2011 · 0 comments

I’m a big fan of measurement.  I think that unless you frequently measure those things in your life that matter most to you, then you’re achieving less than you could.  Simply the act of measuring brings you to consciousness, wakes you up, and makes you refocus.  Measurement brings clarity, perspective, and awareness to life.

In business there are proven techniques and formulas you can use that return hard and fast numbers that give you an accurate idea of how you’re performing.

But many find measuring their spiritual progress far more difficult. 

Ones level of spirituality, after all, is far more ambiguous, and can be difficult to measure.  What’s more, it’s difficult to apply the same formulas across multiple people, for our lives are very, very different.  But the inherent difficulty does not lessen its importance, and I propose that there are a few common techniques anyone can use to gauge their spiritual progress.

One of the most compelling, in my opinion, is in the answer to the simple question “How often do you feel the spirit”.

The frequency with which we encounter the spirit in our daily lives is directly proportional to the level of spirituality of our lives.  If our appetites are spiritual, if our pursuits are spiritual, then so too will our lives be filled with the spirit.  As your eye becomes single to god, your whole bodies are filled with light.  But that internal brightening happens by degrees, and those degrees are measurable by the instances of the spirit in our lives, as he confirms our actions.

I believe that a very healthy endeavor is to keep a simple calendar.  Perhaps it’s on your phone, or next to your bed, or on the wall, as long as it’s somewhere accessible, and every time you KNOW you feel the spirit, make a special mark on the calendar.

At the end of the month, tally up how many marks are on your calendar.  Now track this for several months running.  If you find that there are constantly diminishing number of marks on your calendar, you’re headed in the wrong direction.  If they’re the same, you’re stagnant.  We want to show more marks month after month.  But more importantly, we want to see more marks year over year.

What you really want to see is dramatic increases in encounters with the spirit this month, over the same month last year.

If that’s a lot, how about measuring only one month in three, or four months a year?

Initially, it may be hard to distinguish the spirit from other emotions.  Generally, the less you feel the spirit the harder it is to recognize.  But as I stated above, simply by measuring, you become more self-aware, you refocus, you wake up.  Simply by measuring you’ll do better at taking note, and those instances will become more meaningful, rather than lost in the rush of the day.  Then, over time, you’ll become more finely tuned to those encounters, and they will begin to play a larger role in shaping your daily life.

What’s more, feeling the spirit is a self-perpetuating cycle.  The more you feel the spirit, the more sensitive you become, the more tuned you become, and the more you’re likely to have such encounters.  So if you really want to know how well you’re doing, or if you’re improving and progressing.  Try keeping a calendar.

My hope is that we all might more proactively pursue a regularly realized relationship with the Holy Ghost.

Rusty

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jenniferlynalexander July 17, 2008 at 2:16 AM

This is good advice for those who feel the need to quantify and qualify things, including spiritual experiences. Although I am not prone to measuring spiritual things, I apreciate that there are plenty of folks who are more bent in that direction and certainly intellectuals need a spiritual life as well as the rest of us! Hopefully, your formula will be a useful tool.

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2 Margaret July 17, 2008 at 11:11 AM

I’m not exactly into measuring things either, except when it’s necessary.

The value here, I think, is that if you are interested in INCREASING your spirituality, it helps to track when you feel the Spirit and what you are doing at the time. If there is a pattern to those feelings, and you want to increase the frequency, then you have an idea of what you can do to increase how often you feel the Spirit.

I think the reward of feeling the Spirit more often is worth the effort it takes to measure.

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3 andrealudwig July 18, 2008 at 4:07 PM

Feeling the Spirit is definitely important, but more important is having the indwelling Spirit in order to be saved and to discern truth from error. My husband used to be Mormon, but once I shared with him their beliefs, such as Lucifer being the Spirit-brother of Jesus (rather than Lucifer being created by Jesus), he rejected the Mormon faith.

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4 Rusty Lindquist July 19, 2008 at 12:14 AM

I’m very sorry to hear that. It seems all too often I hear of souls who are pulled away from the church because their testimonies weren’t sufficiently strong, nor their understanding of doctrine deep enough to enable them to withstand those who spin up a frenzy over things they don’t understand, or that are foreign, or that are not traditional. When Christ came teaching the true gospel, it was not traditional either. We should never let ourselves be held so blindly by tradition, which is nothing more than the habits of man.
I imagine Paul had this in mind when he encouraged us that “we henceforth be no more like children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive”.

The doctrine to which you refer is beautiful, and true, and much is to be learned by it. I’ll post about it separately so that we can dedicate comments to that doctrine to that particular post.

I’m further saddened though, because I agree with your assessment. The constant companionship of the spirit is one of the greatest and most important things we should strive for, and the only way to achieve that is through the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands by one who is in authority. Unfortunately, he left the only religion to whom that authority was actually restored, and in doing so, forsook the very gift of which you speak.

I’m sorry to hear of his change of heart, but sorrier still to hear that he was led to do so by one in whom he put such trust. We must be so careful in how we lead others, for none but fools will trifle with the souls of man. I hope the time will come when the two of you will be open again to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that you both might partake of the divine Gift of the Holy Ghost.

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