Sunday, January 11, 2015

Youth Sunday School Lesson January 2015 - How does the Holy Ghost help me learn?

Have you had any questions come up in your personal study of the gospel that you would like to ask our discuss?

Invite the youth to share an experience in their families that has taught them something about God.

We are going to talk today about how the Holy Ghost can help us learn.

Let's start by reading from Preach My Gospel p18 the section heading “Learning by the Holy Ghost”
“Your gospel study is most effective when you are taught by the Holy Ghost. Always begin your gospel study by praying for the Holy Ghost to help you learn. He will bring knowledge and conviction that will bless your life and allow you to bless the lives of others. Your faith in Jesus Christ will increase. Your desire to repent and improve will grow.”

Always begin you gospel study by paying for the Holy Ghost to help you learn.   Do you think that works with your school studies too? How so?

Let's continue in Preach My Gospel.
“This kind of study prepares you for service, offers solace, resolves problems, and gives you the strength to endure to the end. Successful gospel study requires desire and action. “For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old” (1 Nephi 10:19). Like Enos, as you hunger to know the words of eternal life and as you allow these words to “[sink] deep into [your] heart” (Enos 1:3), the Holy Ghost will open your mind and heart to greater light and understanding.”

Does this really happen or is it just a primary answer that the Holy Ghost will give you?

Let’s finish off what Preach My Gospel had to say:
“Learning the gospel is also a process of receiving revelation (see Jacob 4:8). To Oliver Cowdery the Lord said: “Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right” (D&C 9:7–8). As you study, pay careful attention to ideas that come to your mind and feelings that come to your heart, particularly regarding the people you are teaching.”

If we want the Holy Ghost to reveal something to us we have to put in some leg work of our own.  What are some things we could do on our own to help us get revelation from the Holy Ghost?

Have you had any experiences that you would like to share about where you have pray for guidance and then worked to get that guidance?

Let's read John 14:26
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

What are the things in that scripture that Jesus says the Holy Ghost will do?   Have you had the Holy Ghost do any of those things for you?

In order for the Holy Ghost to help us learn, we have to be able to hear him. One way we hear him better is to be reverent. When we give reverence to sacred things we are more able to hear the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

We are trying to learn through the Holy Ghost in this class right now. All of us are responsible for making it so the Holy Ghost can be here and teach us. Have we, as a group, created an environment today where the Holy Ghost would be? Is there anything we could do better? What are some thing we have done well?

One principle we are taught is that If we have the Holy Ghost with us more and we can hear Him better, we become smarter.  Here are some scriptures that talk about the Holy Ghost making us smarter.

D&C 11:13-14
13 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;
14 And then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive.

It says the Holy Ghost will enlighten your mind,  which means it will make your mind learn things easier.   If you pray for the Holy Ghost's help and live so He can be with you, you will learn things more quickly and more easily.

Moroni 10:5
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

It says the Holy Ghost will help you know truth. If someone is trying to deceive you, the Holy Ghost can tell you the truth.   In order for Him to show you the truth you must live so he can be with you.

If you ever feel like you are lacking in knowing or having trouble in your studies, find ways to get closer to the spirit and you will be smarter and you will learn more about how smart you really are and you will gain confidence.

How do we understand the Holy Ghost.  Sometimes it can be hard to explain.

Here is a story from President Boyd K Packer that talks about trying to explain the Holy Ghost to someone who hasn't felt it.
I will tell you of an experience I had before I was a General Authority that affected me profoundly. I sat on a plane next to a professed atheist who pressed his disbelief in God so urgently that I bore my testimony to him. “You are wrong,” I said. “There is a God. I know He lives!”
He protested, “You don’t know. Nobody knows that! You can’t know it!” When I would not yield, the atheist, who was an attorney, asked perhaps the ultimate question on the subject of testimony. “All right,” he said in a sneering, condescending way, “you say you know. Tell me how you know.”
When I attempted to answer, even though I held advanced academic degrees, I was helpless to communicate.
When I used the words Spirit and witness, the atheist responded, “I don’t know what you are talking about.” The words prayer, discernment, and faith were equally meaningless to him. “You see,” he said, “you don’t really know. If you did, you would be able to tell me how you know.”
I felt, perhaps, that I had borne my testimony to him unwisely and was at a loss as to what to do. Then came the experience! Something came into my mind. And I mention here a statement of the Prophet Joseph Smith: “A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas … and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.”1
Such an idea came into my mind, and I said to the atheist, “Let me ask if you know what salt tastes like.”
“Of course I do,” was his reply.
“Then,” I said, “assuming that I have never tasted salt, explain to me just what it tastes like.”
After some thought, he said, “Well, I, uh, it is not sweet and it is not sour.”
“You’ve told me what it isn’t, not what it is.”
After several attempts, of course, he could not do it. He could not convey, in words alone, so ordinary an experience as tasting salt. I bore testimony to him once again and said, “I know there is a God. You ridiculed that testimony and said that if I did know, I would be able to tell you exactly how I know. My friend, spiritually speaking, I have tasted salt. I am no more able to convey to you in words how this knowledge has come than you are to tell me what salt tastes like. But I say to you again, there is a God! He does live! And just because you don’t know, don’t try to tell me that I don’t know, for I do!”

To understand the Holy Ghost we have to reach out for was to have Him interact with our lives.

I cannot see air, but I can perceive it's effects. When I hold my breath and then breathe I can feel the effects of air.   When a breeze causes the air to go over my skin I can feel air. When a wind comes up I
can see the trees move and I know air is there.

The Holy Ghost is very similar. We cannot see him,  but we can see His effects on our life. We can see the effects of our choices when we follow His promptings.

Mysteries of God only understood through the Holy Ghost
Do you ever have things about God or the scriptures that you can’t quite understand?  Do you ever have things about God that you can’t figure out why they work the way they do.

There are things that can only be understood by the Holy Ghost filling in the blanks for us.  These things are sometimes called the mysteries of God.  They are not dark and creepy like an Indiana Jones mystery of God, but these are things that man has trouble understanding on his own, especially when Satan is throwing stuff in to confuse us.

These are things that we don’t understand by going on a quest into some ancient forest or cave.  These mysteries of God are understood by doing the things and being the type of people that God has instructed us allows us to be instructed by the Holy Ghost.

Here are some scriptures that talk about understanding the mysteries of God.

1 Corinthians 2:9-14
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Nephi 10:19
19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.

President Dieter F Ucktdorf - 2nd Counselor in the First Presidency, Of Regrets and Resolutions, General Conference October 2012
"Let us listen to and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. As we do so, Heavenly Father will reveal to us things we never knew about ourselves. He will illuminate the path ahead and open our eyes to see our unknown and perhaps unimagined talents."

Boyd K. Packer, “Personal Revelation: The Gift, the Test, and the Promise,” Liahona, June 1997, 10; Ensign, Nov. 1994, 60
"The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you feel more than you hear. …"

My Thoughts
We feel it because it is communication that is different than our ears or our eyes.  It is direct communication with our spirit, so it works in whatever way our spirits work.  We know that it has happened and we can know what was communicated, but we can not describe it to someone that has not has an experience with the Holy Ghost themselves.

People have to choose to do what is necessary, what Heavenly Father has instructed, if they want such experiences.

Elder Craig C Christensen of the Seventy, An Unspeakable Gift from God, General Conference October 2012
“He causes the truth to be indelibly written in our souls and can cause a mighty change to occur in our hearts. As we share these truths with our families, with fellow members of the Church, and with friends and neighbors in our community, the Holy Ghost becomes their teacher as well, for He carries the message of the gospel ‘unto the hearts of the children of men.’”

Thoughts By General Authorities About the Holy Ghost
Boyd K. Packer, “How to Survive in Enemy Territory,” New Era, Apr. 2012, 3
No member of this Church—and that means each of you—will ever make a serious mistake without first being warned by the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 132

“no man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations”

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