Friday, May 06, 2016

Gifts of the Spirit: Discerning of Spirits

I have written this post by request from a few 
Dear friends. 







For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom ; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 


To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 

To another the working of miracles ; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues : 

But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. - 1 Corinthians 12:8-12
There are few things about myself that I haven't shared with the world through my writings in one way or another. But it seems that it is time to share something new. Something that I have only pieced together and come to understand more fully within the last few years. It is something very special and not to be taken lightly. In fact, I hesitate to share it openly. But I feel compelled to do so, even if it is only so that my children will know me better in the years to come. 
As we read in the scriptures, all children of God are given gifts of the Spirit. Throughout their lifetime some will recognize those gifts for what they are and develop them to their full potential. Others won't. Either way, they are there as a guiding light from Heaven.
We are told that one of the gifts of the Spirit is the Discerning of Spirits. For as long as I can remember I have been told that I was too sensitive or took things too personally. And both of those statements are absolutely true. In fact, for the first half of my life I was so sensitive that I became ill from all that I took on from the people and environment around me. I know now that I feel things differently then most other people. I have the gift of Discernment of Spirits, mostly the discernment of the spirits of the people around me and my loved ones abroad. But at times, I am also able to discern the spirits beyond the veil as well; good and evil.
However, people should never be alarmed and uncomfortable with the concern that I can read them like a book when they are with me. This is far from the truth! But it is true that it is likely I will be able to sense their moods and emotions quickly; and possibly be able to fill in the gaps and details of their situation easier then usual. It's just part of who I am. 
In general, this gift allows me to discern quickly whether someone is safe or unsafe to be around or  filled with light or not. And while on my mission and on occasion even now I have been blessed to recognize people who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the church I belong to) even though the person may not necessarily want me to know this fact. This part of the gift often makes me chuckle a bit. 
Also, I find that I am hyper aware of the happenings around me. Especially interactions between people and situations involving children. And unfortunately in general, I am strongly affected by tragic or upsetting events that happen around the world. This forces me to pick and choose what I allow into my life. I am also forced to pick and choose who I let into my life and when. If I find that I am at a healthy and stable place in my life I am more able to allow people into my life who are needy and in search of help and friendship. If I am not strong and am already bogged down, I am forced to separate myself from people who will bring me further stress physically and emotionally. 
I would say the most constant aspect of this gift for me is a unique connection that I have been given directly and to certain people throughout my life. This connection isn't necessarily a life long connection. But for whatever reason and for however long necessary, I will have a very real connection to their spirit; whether I (or they) like it or not. 
For years, and even at times now, this connection to certain people can be a heavy load. In a worldly sense I used to feel like I was stalking these people, or obsessed. But I recognize now that's not the case. It's all spiritual. 
When I am given a direct connection to someone they are always a family member, or a friend. Not just a random person I don't know. And I usually have several people that I have a connection with. Over the years through experience I have come to recognize patterns. When I am with these people I feel a huge amount of spiritual love for them. I recognize their divine potential. Sometimes this causes a deep sense of sadness and heartache for me. Sometimes I am filled with awe and I find myself wanting to be around them as much as possible because of the light I feel from their spirit. 
Throughout the years I have experienced what I now call "Bam!" moments. Moments where out of nowhere I will suddenly be hit with a flood of feelings, emotions, thoughts, and occasionally pictures in my mind all centered around one person. On a few occasions these moments will be in a dream setting. However they come, they are Very Real!! And they don't go away for me until I am able to find closure through the person. When I didn't know what was happening I used to just deal with the pressure on my own and quietly seek to find out what in the world might be happening in this persons life to cause such a powerful experience. Now days, I don't mess around. I contact the person as soon as I can to find out how they're doing. Inevitably, there is something happening in their life; good, bad, or ugly.  Sometimes I am being called upon to help them. Other times it has nothing to do with me other then this connection of our spirits and I have been called upon to pray for them. Because that's all that is in my power. 
Once I am able to visit with the person and they are able to give me some sort of reason why the moment came to me, I have come to a point in this journey where I am able to process it and put it away. However, if the person doesn't give me any details at all for me to process, I still find it extremely hard to put it away. My mind and spirit seem to be at a disconnect and this is where the "obsession" feeling comes in to play. The Bam! will stew within me and grow in concern for the person. When this happens and it becomes too much for me to carry, then I have learned to petition the Savior and ask him to remove the Moment and all it encompasses from me. In time it will be lifted and I am able to find a sense of peace. But that's not the easy road. It is far easier if the person is able to convey something to me for my mind and spirit to process. 
One last interesting branch of this gift of the Spirit is how it helps me when someone I love is in a state of secret sin, or open sin against God. For many years my heart and body broke when a loved one turned against God. I would mourn in sadness for that person and the distance they had created between themselves and their divine potential. This affected me so much that I would become what appeared to be (an perhaps was) self-righteous. Calling my loved ones to repentance. 
However, as I have grown I have found that I am far less critical then I used to be. I have a lot more understanding and compassion for these loved ones. Because of this gift I am often able to discern that there is a secret long before it is admitted to. Not that I completely know what the sin is, I just know there is a struggle. So when the secret is admitted to I am usually less shocked then some people would be. In a way, I am finally comforted to know what the problem is so that my mind and spirit can finally process it fully. And I find that I am able to handle the big stuff easier then some people can. It hasn't always been this way. The big stuff used to throw me for a loop. I am grateful for the change.
It's fascinating to recognize how real our spirits are. And how real these gits are from Heaven. I pray that I have not been flippant in sharing these experiences with you. They are very special to me. Truth be told, at times my life would be a lot easier to understand and carry if I didn't have this gift. But I have been so very grateful for the trust Father has given me to be an instrument in His hands so many times through this gift. I pray that I can continue to recognize His hand in my life and serve Him through this precious gift of the Spirit. 

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