Emotions as Evidence

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

I have posted on this before, but I just had a conversation with someone about it and it's on my mind... I am pretty sleepy, so if I ramble and stop making sense it's just due to an extreme lack of sleep.

I was always taught that the Holy Ghost would speak to me in time of need. I would feel a sense of urgency if I were in danger, or a sense of peace if I did something that God wanted me to do. Somehow, I would get a feeling leading me in the right direction as long as I was true to the gospel, and stayed on the straight and narrow.

How do you explain it when people get those feelings and they are not true to the gospel, or are on the straight and narrow? For example:

What if someone totally random walked into a church office building and spray painted all over some original works of art, or maybe some statues... even cars in the parking lot... (in no way in the world am I suggesting this is a good thing to do, by the way). They would be stopped eventually. What then, if this person told others that the spirit asked him to do it? People would probably assume this person had a mental illness, or was high on drugs... right? There are many other explanations of someone doing something like this.. maybe they felt that God told them they should lash out at the Mormon Church. It could be anything.

If you were to ask this kind of person what the "feeling" felt like, it would probably be something similar to the experiences that Mormons (and many non-Mormons in other religions) feel when they say they are being visited by the Holy Ghost.

How do you tell when your feelings are truly from the Holy Ghost, or if it something else? Your imagination? Intuition? Mental illness?

Truth is, many non-Mormons feel this kind of prompting, too. Why do most of the Mormons I know feel this is strictly about them? I know many Mormons wouldn't think that... just the ones I know...

In my truthful opinion, emotions are emotions. If something happens it makes you feel. It's human, it's how we operate. We all love, we all get jealous, everyone has a sense of fear. Sometimes those emotions come out of nowhere, and it would be easy to attribute these feelings to something supernatural.

This is a funny shot of Abbey Road... it has no relation to the topic above, I just felt like sharing it. -Syd


  1. Nicko Says:

    SUPER PIC AGAIN!!! you got the tongue and all...so very cute (ok...I'm losing my manliness here..hahhaa).

    I think that the church has always been quite clear about the emotion v spirit debate. It is something that you can weed out over time (whether it is you or the spirit type thing).

    I've not mastered it yet, but when I was a missionary, I certainly knew when it was the spirit or me. For instance, at times I had a prompting in my head to say certain things at the door which lead to various good spiritual encounters. At other times I said things that were obviously just me...and my intelligence.

    But then there are other spiritual experiences that I've had which has been starkly different. Ones where I truly felt the spirit lift my soul up almost as if I was flying. How you reconcile that is totally up to you, but I know that it was confirmation of the gospel's truths.

    But I think technically you are right in your post. We don't seem to spend enough time discussing how you can understand whether you are feeling the spirit, or just emotion in the church membership today.

  1. Sydney Says:

    Thanks for the comments on the photo Nicko. I didn't even realize I caught her with her tongue sticking out until I was editing the photos... it was a cute surprise.

    In my opinion, it's easy to attribute anything to the Holy Ghost that you want to. If you are looking for a positive spiritual experience, you turn your feelings into one.

    I really believe in intuition, I don't think there is anything "holy ghost" about it. Each of us is born with the ability to sense things. Animals do it too.

    Feelings are feelings. Sometimes you sense good things, and sometimes you are warned of bad things... but I sincerely doubt it's anything church related, or religious related in general.

    If you had a Mormon who had a positive experience and claimed he/she felt the spirit guide them, they would assume it was the holy ghost.

    If the same thing happened to someone like me who is agnostic, we would assume it was intuition.

    There is no proof either way, and it's important to point that out.

    People attribute their feelings to the things that back up their belief system.

  1. Nicko Says:

    Whilst I agree with you, I also disagree.

    I think that sometimes we confuse the Holy Ghost with the 'Light of Christ' the latter being something all people are born with in this life. I believe that the Light of Christ can imbue some intuition and shed some relevatory light on situations. I don't believe this is the Holy Ghosts role as such. The HG as explained by Lehi guides and directs individuals to the atonement and eternal life, it also helps individuals with building the kingdom of God...and warns, etc. I believe the light of christ can give us some inspiration at times, etc.

    But again, this is peas and pods unless you believe like I do.