Here are some excerpts from this BYU Speech. I also made a photo book of the thoughts he suggested. Included are the individual pictures that can be downloaded. I have also included the link for the original speech.
For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day. [D&C 45:56–57]
Issue of not being Deceived:
Sometimes we avoid dealing with matters of a spiritual nature because of our insecurity in discerning the difference between the influence from the Spirit and the influence of the adversary. We don’t trust ourselves. When it comes as a subtle deception, Satan is the master of disguise.
A good help to avoid this dilemma was, for me always, to put myself through a test— a test that was actually defined by the Lord, as we read the words of the Lord, according to Luke 14:33: “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” Christ is literally cutting a knife into our soul, making it clear to us that there is no middle way and that we have always to ask ourselves where, exactly, we stand. When we can, in an honest reflection, say: “Yes, I am a disciple of Christ, I’m willing to sacrifice my own will, my habits, attitudes, and selfish desires, and endure the hurt and the pain that such reflections cause, and bring to him as a sacrifice a broken heart and a meek spirit,” he will baptize us “with fire and with the Holy Ghost,” and we will not be deceived (see 3 Nephi 9:20).
“Do we really understand the importance of Christ’s statement that absolutely nothing matters unless we take the Holy Spirit as our guide?”
None of us can afford to be without Them. None of us has enough wisdom, enough intelligence, enough knowledge, enough skills, or enough courage, by ourselves, to master our lives and even to succeed in life unless we learn what it means to surrender ourselves into the arms of the Lord and be filled with the Spirit. He wants to empower us with the gifts that he has promised to give to each of his disciples who has made sacred covenants with him.
The Blessings and Advantages of the Influences of the Spirit
This Spirit lets us develop the true potential of our intellectual capabilities and delivers even the motivation to use it. The influence of the Spirit, all uncomfortable things—such as hard work, getting up on time, going the extra mile, over- coming homesickness, overcoming flaws of character, and other things requiring sacrifice— are easy. It became clear that under the influence of the Spirit we act in wisdom. We see the complexity of a problem in its simple parts, and we see the possible solutions unfolding in front of our eyes—to our own surprise. In other words, our creativity is developed and multiplied. That which is a burden without it becomes a privilege when we are under the influence of the Holy Ghost.
Paul puts it all together beautifully in his letter to the Galatians: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentle- ness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance (Galatians 5:22–23).
In my humble understanding, we, as members of the Church, should not be satisfied to be one single moment of our waking hours without the insightful, powerful influence of the Spirit.
Many times in our life it happens that these gifts of the Spirit rest dormant in us.
We are not even aware of their existence. The Spirit will not intrude into our lives. It will not force itself into our lives. We must become aware of the nature of our own desires and learn to channel them on the most important issue of our lives—to make it our desire for the Holy Ghost to be with us. All of our life’s actions are the result of our desires.
If you will here stop, and ask yourselves, why you are not as pious as the primitive Christians were, your own heart will tell you, that it is neither through ignorance nor inability, but purely because you never thoroughly intended it.- William Law
The Spirit of Christ teaches us that we must pray, that we must ask for the things that we seek
We have to become aware of a multitude of defined or undefined, conscious or subconscious desires. We have to learn to bring them to our awareness, to analyze them, to categorize them, and to bring them in to order according to priorities.
When we do not do this, we will be condemned to remain, in our prayers, on a superficial level, or even on the level of formality, where there are no answers or there are only imagined answers. But there are always hundreds of different desires fighting for supremacy within us.
Sometimes we want to be funny and, in reality, we chase the Spirit away. We cannot be light- minded and expect the Spirit to take us seriously. We need to be thorough and responsible for the Spirit to take notice. When we are not organized and focused, we may wish for things that are really irrelevant or even dangerous.
The real part of us, or the real me, the spirit child of God, on the other hand, is the author of our righteous desires, of our hunger for salvation, and of our longing to eventually become reunited with our heavenly home. We need to in act an awakening of the real me, the child of God, so that we can learn to channel our desires to focus on our true needs.
It is easier for a worldly person to come to a healing change of his life, or even to the top of perfection, than a tired saint who is fallen from his first enthusiasm, because the worldly man will go through pain and agony and, sooner or later, he will not be able to stand it any longer, and will rush in the depths of depression to the source of true cleansing. But, when somebody has begun to pollute his name as a saint, without joyfulness and enthusiasm, he will still feel safe and, therefore, will not recognize what he is missing and, therefore, he is not easy to be taught. He will say in his heart, I’m blessed. I know it all and need nobody. [Johannes Cassian, Spannkraft der Seele (Freiburg: Herder, 1981), pp. 149–50; or see John Cassian, Collations (Conferences) 4:19]
The original word in the Bible for the word sin is hamartia. The word hamartia means “missing the mark,” deriving from the sport of archery. In modern English we would probably call it “shooting an air ball.” When we do not do everything in our life in faith or, in other words, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, we are missing the mark. We are off target. When we are off target, we will not feel the confidence and joy and power of the Holy Spirit, and, therefore, we will have to learn to direct our desires toward repentance—we must change to bring us back on target.
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit we will not sin. We will be filled with wisdom. It is also obvious that without constant efforts, it will be very difficult to always be focused on our most righteous desires.
It helps when, from time to time, we ponder and seek identification with the following thoughts:
- Embrace this day with an enthusiastic welcome, no matter how it looks. The covenant with God to which you are true enables you to become enlightened by him, and nothing is impossible for you.
- When you are physically sick, tired, or in despair, steer your thoughts away from yourself and direct them, in gratitude and love, toward God.
- In your life there have to be challenges. They will either bring you closer to God and there- fore make you stronger, or they can destroy you. But you make the decision of which road you take.
- First and foremost, you are a spirit child of God. If you neglect to feed your spirit, you will reap unhappiness. Don’t permit any- thing to detract you from this awareness.
- You cannot communicate with God unless you have first sacrificed your self-oriented natural man and have brought yourself into the lower levels of meekness, to become acceptable for the Light of Christ.
- Put all frustrations, hurt feelings, and grumblings into the perspective of your eternal hope. Light will flow into your soul.
- Pause to ponder the suffering Christ felt in the Garden of Gethsemane. In the awareness of the depth of gratitude for him, you appreciate every opportunity to show your love for him by diligently serving in his Church.
- God knows that you are not perfect. As you suffer about your imperfections, he will give you comfort and suggestions of where to improve.
- God knows better than you what you need. He always attempts to speak to you. Listen, and follow the uncomfortable suggestions that he makes to us—everything will fall into its place.
- Avoid any fear like your worst enemy, but magnify your fear about the consequences of sin.
- When you cannot love someone, look into that person’s eyes long enough to find the hidden rudiments of the child of God in him.
- Never judge anyone. When you accept this, you will be freed. In the case of your own children or subordinates, where you have the responsibility to judge, help them to become their own judges.
- If someone hurts you so much that your feelings seem to choke you, forgive and you will be free again.
- Avoid at all cost any pessimistic, negative, or criticizing thoughts. If you cannot cut them out, they will do you harm. On the road toward salvation, let questions arise but never doubts. If something is wrong, God will give you clarity but never doubts.
- Avoid rush and haste and uncontrolled words. Divine light develops in places of peace and quiet. Be aware of that as you enter places of worship.
- Be not so much concerned about what you do, but do what you do with all your heart, might, and strength. In thoroughness is satisfaction.
- You want to be good and to do good. That is commendable. But the greatest achievement that can be reached in our lives is to be under the complete influence of the Holy Ghost. Then he will teach us what is really good and necessary to do.
- The pain of sacrifice lasts only one moment. It is the fear of the pain of sacrifice that makes you hesitate to do it.
- Be grateful for every opportunity to serve. It helps you more than those you serve.
- And finally, when you are compelled to give up something or when things that are dear to you are withdrawn from you, know that this is your lesson to be learned right now. But know also that, as you are learning this lesson, God wants to give you something better.
It is imposible for us in our fallen state to not sin and have the Holy Ghost with us always, but…
When we are constantly aware of this fight and we let the Light of Christ help us stand in our responsibilities, we may be able to stay on this narrow path where we will see, with clarity, that we are lost without the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ.