First and most importantly, the Spirit will come into the homes of our sisters with even greater power. We can have experiences such as the Savior’s disciples had when they asked, “Did not our heart burn within us, … while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:32).
Second, our understanding of our relationship with Deity will increase, for it is impossible to study holy writ on a regular basis without coming to understand more clearly who we are. We will be reminded that “because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called … his daughters” (Mosiah 5:7).
Third, as mothers, grandmothers, wives, sisters, daughters, and aunts are strengthened, families will be strengthened. As we feel the Spirit and come to see that gospel study increases our ability to receive personal revelation, we will better know how to bring up our “children in light and truth” (D&C 93:40).
Fourth, we will find solutions to our own and our families’ problems, because as we “feast upon the words of Christ,” they will tell us all things that we should do (2 Ne. 32:3). We are not alone. The Lord will guide us if we seek Him diligently.
Fifth, we will feel greater peace and strength and comfort, for the Lord has promised to be on our right hand and on our left, and He has promised that His Spirit will be in our hearts and His angels will be round about us to bear us up (see D&C 84:88).
Sixth, our testimony of the Savior and our understanding of the power of the Atonement will increase. We will “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, … that by his grace [we] may be perfect in Christ. … Then are [we] sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ” (Moro. 10:32–33).
Seventh, sisters will stay on the path that leads back to our Heavenly Father, where we may be raised to “dwell at the right hand of God, in a state of never-ending happiness” (Alma 28:12).
As Relief Society visiting teachers study and testify of gospel truths, the cumulative outcome of this worldwide gospel study will be glorious. Through the word of the Lord, every sister, every family, and ultimately every person will be fortified.
As we share our feelings and insights about the counsel found in the Visiting Teaching Messages, we will find ways to apply in our lives the words of latter-day prophets and Church leaders and prophets of old. The scriptures are constant and eternal. The same is true of teachings from our modern prophets, for as the Lord declared, “Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38).
Throughout our lives we will be required to choose between duty, or obligation, and other more-or-less attractive alternatives. Should we watch television or go visiting teaching? Should we spend time with the family or with friends? Do we read the scriptures or a novel? Do we leave our children home or take them with us? Do we go into debt or do without? Each of these choices, when made, excludes others. Otherwise, there could be no real probation. The designer of the plan of salvation made it that way. By allowing us to discover where our hearts are as the result of the free choices we make, he helps us learn who and what we really are.
Balance in large measure is knowing the things that can be changed, putting them in proper perspective, and recognizing the things that will not change. And balance also lies in attitude. May our attitude be one of achieving balance and wisdom and understanding in all that we do.
After King Benjamin’s great sermon, many of his hearers cried out that the Spirit of the Lord “has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually” (Mosiah 5:2). If we are losing our desire to do evil, we are progressing toward our heavenly goal.
The Apostle Paul said that persons who have received the Spirit of God “have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16). I understand this to mean that persons who are proceeding toward the needed conversion are beginning to see things as our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, see them. They are hearing His voice instead of the voice of the world, and they are doing things in His way instead of by the ways of the world.
The gospel of Jesus Christ encompasses much more than avoiding, overcoming, and being cleansed from sin and the bad influences in our lives; it also essentially entails doing good, being good, and becoming better. Repenting of our sins and seeking forgiveness are spiritually necessary, and we must always do so. But remission of sin is not the only or even the ultimate purpose of the gospel. To have our hearts changed by the Holy Spirit such that “we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually” (Mosiah 5:2), as did King Benjamin’s people, is the covenant responsibility we have accepted. This mighty change is not simply the result of working harder or developing greater individual discipline. Rather, it is the consequence of a fundamental change in our desires, our motives, and our natures made possible through the Atonement of Christ the Lord. Our spiritual purpose is to overcome both sin and the desire to sin, both the taint and the tyranny of sin. Prophets throughout the ages have emphasized the dual requirements of (1) avoiding and overcoming bad and (2) doing good and becoming better.
Never forget that you came to earth as a child of the divine Father, with something of divinity in your very makeup. The Lord did not send you here to fail. He did not give you life to waste it. He bestowed upon you the gift of mortality that you might gain experience—positive, wonderful, purposeful experience—that will lead to life eternal. He has given you this glorious Church, His Church, to guide you and direct you, to give you opportunity for growth and experience, to teach you and lead you and encourage you, to bless you with eternal marriage, to seal upon you a covenant between you and Him that will make of you His chosen daughter, one upon whom He may look with love and with a desire to help.
The Savior defines two separate ways: "I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost." Answers to the mind and heart are messages from the Holy Ghost to our spirits. For me, response to the mind is very specific, like dictated words, while response to the heart is generalized, like a feeling to pray more.