I Have a Virtual Mansion in My Head

June 25, 2007

by Carrie Ann

During my first year at Rick’s College (now BYU Idaho), I had an experience of being spoken to by the spirit…it was a rebuke actually…surprise, surprise.

As a freshman on a small campus, I was not the most mature coed. I typically obsessed over boys and dating and obsessed less over schoolwork and classes (especially the 7am Book of Mormon class). Because campus was so small we tended to see the same people over and over, and my roommates and I had nicknames for most of the young men we saw regularly.

One young man did not have a nickname. He was in at least two of my classes that first semester, and he was a returned missionary. I saw him all the time and he stuck out because he walked with crutches, having short, somewhat twisted legs. As Rexburg is a rather tree-less “metropolis” I could often see him making his way up the hill to campus as I made my way to class. Several times I found myself thinking about his situation: how hard his mission must have been, how difficult it must be to get around campus, how independent and confident he seemed. One morning I was musing on his dating prospects and the challenges it would present when I thought to myself, “What kind of girl might he marry? Certainly not me…” and at that moment, like lightening, came a “thought” into my head that I know did not come from me. It was a harsh rebuke, almost audible rather than perceivable, that said, “Why NOT you?!”

I understood several things at that moment: 1) Heavenly Father loved this son, 2) he was deserving of all the blessing that mortality has in store for him including marriage and posterity, 3) if I truly wanted to seek the path that Heavenly Father wanted for me it might lead me to such a young man as he, and if it did, I would be lucky. I was sufficiently humbled. It wasn’t just that I was rebuked for my uncharitable thoughts, I learned something new in the process.

Sometimes the influence of the Holy Ghost is almost indistinguishable from my inner voice, and then other times the message is loud and clear and not always what I had in mind. When the divine volume is turned low I probably do think that the thoughts are my own. Is there anything wrong with that if those thoughts lead me to do good or serve others? Is it wrong or blasphemous to take credit?

You see, a question like that goes to a different room in my head from the “What do I want for breakfast?” room. Call it my spiritual question room. It’s not very big because I’m not very smart. That room is probably furnished by Ikea whereas my daydream of being rich and famous room is furnished by Thomasville because I’m sure I spend more time there. (A strange metaphor but stick with me.) In the spiritual mind room I try to allow outside influences of a good nature to echo about. It’s like I’m listening to a radio being played in another room; sometimes I can hear very clearly and other times the tune is just out of reach. But I’m not creating the music, I’m trying to listen to something that’s already there. In other rooms I am creating the tune, the lyrics, and the tedious guitar solo.

So that does not explain much, but it is an attempt to explain how it works for me.


One comment

  1. Great post, Carrie Ann. I like the idea that notwithstanding the often stated truth that the Holy Spirit speaks to us in whispers, I think that in reality, sometimes it shouts.

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