Behavior Affects Our Ability to Receive Spiritual Guidance

President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints explained how irreverent behavior affects our ability to receive spiritual guidance:

“This trend to more noise, more excitement, more contention, less restraint, less dignity, less formality is not coincidental nor innocent nor harmless.
“The first order issued by a commander mounting a military invasion is the jamming of the channels of communication of those he intends to conquer.
“Irreverence suits the purposes of the adversary by obstructing the delicate channels of revelation in both mind and spirit” (Boyd K. Packer, “Reverence Invites Revelation,” Ensign, Nov. 1991, 22). See also Lesson 19: 1 Nephi 18

In the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, we see an example of this behavior in an Israelite family who fled Jerusalem before its destruction. Nephi, son of Lehi, an Israelite prophet, recorded the following account:

9 And after we had been driven forth before the wind for the space of many days, behold, my brethren and the sons of Ishmael and also their wives began to make themselves merry, insomuch that they began to dance, and to sing, and to speak with much rudeness, yea, even that they did forget by what power they had been brought thither; yea, they were lifted up unto exceeding rudeness.
10 And I, Nephi, began to fear exceedingly lest the Lord should be angry with us, and smite us because of our iniquity, that we should be swallowed up in the depths of the sea; wherefore, I, Nephi, began to speak to them with much soberness; but behold they were angry with me, saying: We will not that our younger brother shall be a ruler over us.
11 And it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel did take me and bind me with cords, and they did treat me with much harshness; nevertheless, the Lord did suffer it that he might show forth his power, unto the fulfilling of his word which he had spoken concerning the wicked.
12 And it came to pass that after they had bound me insomuch that I could not move, the compass, which had been prepared of the Lord, did cease to work.

See 1 Nephi 18:9–12 “They began to dance, and to sing, and to speak with much rudeness”

As I’ve struggled to overcome multiple addictions, my media selection in particular has impeded my ability to receive revelation and hear the voice of The Lord. My media decisions always preceed later decisions to succumb to temptations. However, when I’m cautious with my media, and choose to focus on uplifting media that doesn’t contain immorality, drug and alcohol use, and violence, I have a better ability to overcome the temptations to return to old habits I want out of my life!

Just keep going. I can’t tell you what to do, but I can testify of the power of spiritual guidance that came as I was first honest and truthful with myself, sought uplifting media and entertainment, and strived to have personal scripture study and prayer more often. This lead to personal revelation which directed me on what I needed to change, and these daily choices continue to allow the spirit to influence mine and my family’s life!

Some examples of change I felt I needed to do, through the spirit, included the elimination and deletion of social media accounts entirely for a time, including my personal email. I was also directed to restrict some relationships or eliminate contact with certain people, whom I loved and enjoyed hanging out with, that later I realized caused temptation to enter my thoughts.

It’s hard to live in a world of instant access and remove ourselves from relationships that impede our progression, but we are to live in the world and not be of it (see John 17:15–17). I testify that as we strive to love the Lord and keep His commandments, he will bless us with the ability to hear His voice. #Hearhim


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