|Sometimes we need to stop and listen|
Silence is golden they say, and it's true. Man did not evolve in the constant stimuli of the Vegas Strip. No, man evolved in the quiet of forests, deserts, and plains. Even just a couple hundred years ago, your ancestors came home most nights to a dinner lit by the setting sun, and a few oil lamps if they could afford them. The family busied themselves with chores to ready themselves for the coming day, then lay down next to a coal stove with the rest of the family for the night, having prayed, and read a few words of scripture as a family. If that wasn't your family a couple hundred years ago, then go back a few hundred more.
The point of the story is that we are not meant to live with constant stimuli, yet we do. Some of us don't have a choice in the matter, but most of us do. Most of us can have silence, but choose not to. Why? Have we forgotten what our ancestors had to learn centuries before us; To live with their own thoughts? Maybe so. This is why so many of us can't sleep at night, and why all our best thoughts come to us in the shower. Those few moments of silence we find are the only times our brains have to think for themselves!
It's also the only time that the Holy Ghost isn't competing for our attention. Yes, these are the moments that we can allow God to speak to us, and are the perfect times for prayer, and contemplation.
|The Manhattan Temple: Quiet among chaos|
I also want to suggest another place to find that much needed silence. That is, the Temple of the Lord. When we enter the Temple we are asked to turn off our phones, and other devices. This isn't only for the sake of others, but for us, to foster a spirit of reverence, meditation, and contemplation within ourselves. Throughout most of the Temple we whisper when we speak, and in most cases, we don't speak at all.
My favorite room in the Temple is the Celestial room. For those who don't know, the Celestial room is a large room, beautifully, yet simply decorated. This is the room that, after making covenants with the Lord, we (Latter-day Saints) take time to sit, pray, meditate, and contemplate. This is a special place, set apart from the world. Temples are mostly built from granite, and the walls are all about 3 feet thick, so the silence of the celestial room, where nigh a whisper is heard, is a profound silence, even when nestled in snugly next to a 6 lane interstate.
This silence gives us an opportunity unlike any other to commune with the Holy Spirit. The Temple is God's house. The Holy Spirit is strong in his house. Compounded with almost complete silence, the silence truly does become profound. It is in the silence of God's Holy House that the Spirit can reveal God's deepest secrets, and desires for us. It is here that many of often come to contemplate big decisions, or come for confirmation of spiritual truths. It is in his Holy House that so many Latter-Day Saints come to simply feel that they have come home to their loving Father.
If you can, I encourage you to go to the Temple, and commune with your Heavenly Father. Linger longer in the Celestial Room, with the intent of embracing the silence, and letting the Lord's Spirit settle into your heart there. Give the Lord the time you would give an old friend you're meeting for brunch at a quiet diner downtown, after all, going to the Temple is a lot like meeting an old friend for brunch in a quiet diner downtown.
If you can't go the Temple, I encourage you to strive to do so. Whether you need some long talks with your bishop, or have yet to enter the waters of Baptism, you will be blessed for every effort in getting into the Lord's Holy House.