“One simple trick…”
Sounds like click bait, doesn’t it! Heh… did it work?
Last week I mentioned that there are a few “different things” any one of us women could be doing. I’m going to let you in on a little secret now, and it’s something even the busiest of us women can do. Come with me.
I recently read two blog posts with this same title (“Who Do You Listen To?”) — one about the voices in your mind, and the other about business advice. Like that business blog post, Laura and I also do not claim to be the one source you listen to. The exact contrary is true, in fact. You’ll see what I mean by the end of this post. After reading these two posts, the concept of “choosing to listen” caused me to think of religiosity and spiritualism… because that’s just where my mind goes. I’ve grown very passionate on the subject!
We all have different kinds of unanswered questions, problems, opinions, troubles, concerns, trials, etc. etc. etc. Why is it that some of us crumble in confusion, anger, or disillusionment, and some of us walk through them with peace, strength, and confidence?
I think it comes down to one simple thing: you choose who you listen to (and therefore believe).
Knowing Good from Evil; Truth from Error
What’s “fake” these days? What’s “real”? How on earth can one know what is actually “truth” and what is opinion or worse — error? Then… what does God think about the whole thing?
With the assumption that you already believe in God and that his actual existence isn’t one of your shelf items, let’s go with the latter question: What does God think?
How on earth can we know the mind of God? Isn’t it written somewhere that no one can know what He’s thinking?
1 Corinthians 2:9-11
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him…”
Most Christians just stop there, but there’s more to that verse in its context:
“…but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
You gotta have the Spirit of God living and abiding in your heart in order to know what’s real. That’s step one.
In April 2018 General Conference, President Russell M. Nelson said:
“I urge you to stretch beyond your current spiritual ability to receive personal revelation, for the Lord has promised that “if thou shalt [seek], thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.”
Oh, there is so much more that your Father in Heaven wants you to know. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught, ‘To those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, it is clear that the Father and the Son are giving away the secrets of the universe!’”
Imagine that! Secrets to the universe? He’s just giving them away?!
I love Elder Maxwell as much as any other Gospelist, but when I heard that from President Nelson in one of his first conference talks as the president of the Church, I had the reaction of the girl in the pic.
And then I got excited and giddy. “It’s TRUE!” I squealed. “I’ve been given a handful of them!”
However, secrets to the universe don’t mean much to the woman who’s just trying to sustain a life, keep her children alive, fulfill her calling, and get some semblance of peace once in a while.
For a busy woman whose demands of her never cease, how on this earth can I know what is real, what is good, and what is right?
The Secret Simple Trick: a big reveal…
You choose who you listen to; so fill your mind with words of people who are close to God.
What are you filling your mind with today (other than this blog post)? Have you listened to a podcast? The radio? Music? Watched television? Absorbed some news? Read a book? Lurked on Facebook?
With the thousands and thousands of voices that clamor for your attention, whose words have you chosen to fill your mind with? Even if you are the rare bird who avoids all that media, and the only voice in your mind is just your own, well, I’m going to give you a little hint…
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
As mentioned last week, I have heard the call to up the spiritual ante among us women. We must elevate our spiritual intelligence now. The first thing you can do is choose something different to listen to. (When I say “listen,” I mean that figuratively and literally.) Consider the words that you’re putting into your mind.
Regardless of how many questions you have or how many issues you have with the church, try this:
Listen to one thing from the prophets, apostles, and women who’ve had stewardship over you — past or present — sometime throughout your day. Start with the women first if you wish!
Unlike clickbait that never quite pays off, I’m giving away a secret to elevating your spiritual intelligence right here.
Simple List of Ways to Know What God Thinks
- Download the LDS Library app and play a general conference talk.
- Play a general conference talk from the LDS.org website. Download it to your phone when you’re on wifi so your bluetooth in your car will pick it up right where you left off.
- Download the DeseretBook app and get the entire Sheri Dew library. Can we ever get enough of her? I can’t.
- Get Audible and download reputable LDS authors’ books.
- Check out the Most-Popular BYU Devotionals on your phone. Again, download while you’re on wifi.
Because I already love podcasts, I’ve chosen to listen to these words in a few forums right on my phone just like the podcasts. I still listen to those, especially if there’s a binge-worthy series available.
I’m not saying that these people know what God thinks (although many of them have insights as to some of God’s thoughts and instructions). What I’m saying is that God can more easily speak to you when you’re listening to people who are also listening to Him.
That’s the secret. Listen to people who are also trying to listen to God.
Listen: Forget Your Excuses
I’m sure you can think of a dozen reasons why not to do one of these. One of the legitimate reasons I haven’t done things like this in the past is because I am a very busy woman — one of the busiest women I know. I do not think busy-ness is a good thing; it’s just something that is required of me right now. (If you knew my nights of weeping, numerous pleas to heaven for help, venting sessions with my sisters (Mom/sisters/Laura/Candice/Lisa/Kristen/Loni/anyotherfriendwhowillhearmeout], you’d know I desire a different life situation.) I rear two kidlets (ages nearly-8 and 4), run a marketing graphics business, serve as ward Young Women’s president, manage an apartment complex, work to write 3 books (in addition to this blog), compose music (I have so many songs that need to get on paper!), take kids to piano lessons and gymnastics, and I’m working to lose mama-stress weight.
Should I also mention that I have a husband who I like to hang out with from time to time too? That husband works crazy hours several times per year, and he also has a demanding Church calling.
“Where on earth am I going to find time to study?!” Many have heard me complain before.
People always find time for what they care for most. So… If you put in the most important things first, the other things will fit. (Do you know the rock/sand analogy?)
I’ve forgotten my excuses, put that big-things-first analogy for time to the test, and can attest 100% it works. If I can do it; you can too.
- I listen to Sheri Dew while scaling and conquering Mount Laundry.
- The Saints plays in my car when I’m chauffeuring around kids.
- Incredible speeches from BYU-I and BYU-Provo devotionals, Women’s Conferences, Time Out for Women, etc. blast from my bluetooth speaker while washing dishes.
- If you stand outside my bathroom door, you’ll hear a conference talk while I’m showering.
Their words echo in my mind throughout the day long after I step out of the car or shut off the speaker. I find the words answering the questions to issues in my life that their talks didn’t even touch on. That’s how I know they’re of God. Because God enlightens, inspires, grows, teaches, and gently corrects without berating or upbraiding. These words do too.
But, to echo the words of Lavar Burton and those cool kids who got to review books on the 1980s series Reading Rainbow, don’t take my word for it.