I spent my Spring studying the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit in preparation for Girls’ Camp.
My genius brother was often my go-to when I had questions about how the Holy Ghost worked or what He did. In one of our email exchanges Scott sent me a list of all the things that the Holy Ghost DOES.
He exhorts (invites);
He expounds (explains);
He admonishes (warns);
He inspires (lightly and gradually);
He reveals (dramatically and suddenly);
He reproves (corrects);
He approves (justifies);
He heals (body and spirit);
He shows all things;
He opens the heavens;
He travels (descends/withdraws);
He fills with joy, peace, and love;
He imparts gifts;
He expands our souls;
He carries our messages;
He opens our mouths;
He inspires our writing;
He invigorates the physical senses and the nerve endings.
Phew… Let’s just say the Holy Ghost is one busy dude!
Before Scott’s expansive list I had restricted the Holy Ghost to maybe 7 or 8 “jobs”. I had limited the Holy Ghost’s responsibilities and thus limited my experience with and recognition of Him. If you only think He does 7 things, you are only going to look for Him in 7 places. But the more I understood the Holy Ghost’s capabilities, the more I understood how He worked in my life. The more I realized what He was capable of, the more easily I was able to see His presence in my everyday life.
As I’ve pondered the Holy Ghost over the last 5 months since Girls’ Camp, I recognized that the Holy Ghost has one more job I want to add to Scott’s list.
Maybe I have always known this, but I didn’t put my finger on it and pin it down, until the last month or two when I had 3 experiences back to back.
My first experience was when my son was giving a talk in our Primary Program. I was so nervous for him to speak because he has a tendacy to rush and slur his words if he doesn’t take time to move his mouth and annunciate. But when he opened his mouth, a calmness came over me. Then, when he read the sacrament prayer directly from the scriptures, my whole world got quiet. I couldn’t hear babies crying or people rustling, and I felt the Spirit at that moment.
I chalked the quietness up to it being my son and me having a special connection with him. I wondered if I had imagined it because I was so focused on what Crew was saying.
But then the next week was Fast and Testimony meeting (This is where anybody in the congregation can get up and share what they believe in front of everyone), and I had my second experience. One lady got up and told us a very touching story. Again, I felt the whole chapel quiet. Even my children looked up from their coloring sheets and listened. The room was warm and still and a pin could have dropped as she finished her story.
I spoke with the woman after and told her thanks for sharing her testimony, and I told her I felt the Spirit as she spoke. (I think it is so important we tell people when we feel the Spirit so they can better understand the Spirit in their own lives and how He moves them to action.) I asked her if she noticed how quiet it got. She said yes she did notice and the quieter it became the more nervous she got. I determined that day that the Holy Ghost quiets.
Lastly, a few weeks ago, I got the opportunity to teach a group of youth in our stake. My topic was modesty. I had done much research including going to the temple where I received some insights. As I shared what I had learned, again, the room quieted when the Spirit was the strongest. At that moment, I felt like all the youth in the room were looking at me and really listening. The Spirit was quietly teaching us all. I talked to my president after and she verified the Spirit and the stillness in the room.
In all of these instances, I can’t tell if the room actually gets quieter or if other sounds just drown out to those that are feeling the Spirit. My observation will continue.
As I am typing this, I am realizing that maybe the Holy Ghost is called the still, small voice not just because He whispers or talks quietly to us, but rather because he quiets us in a noisy world.
He causes us to become still.