Hearing the Whisper: Cultivating the Sacred Space Within
Each of us carries within an eternal flame, the “Light of Christ,” a divine endowment meant to lead us out of darkness and into the warmth of truth. This light, akin to the sanctifying presence within temple walls, also desires to dwell within the temple of our consciousness. The space between the two temples of our heads is our personal holy of holies. For this celestial voice to resonate, our thoughts and intentions must be as unstained as temple clothing. As we strive for spiritual cleanliness with the same rigor as temple preparation, we prepare our inner sanctuary to receive the continuous flow of heavenly promptings, enriching our lives with insight and peace.
Imagine the anticipation of preparing the house for a distinguished visitor, tidying each corner with care. In the same way, we must purify our thoughts and desires, making the temple of our mind a fitting residence for the Spirit’s guidance.
The Light of Christ is the divine essence imbued in every soul, a fragment of Heaven’s pure fire guiding us through the moral complexities of life. It is an unerring compass that orientates us toward good, a silent whisper that urges light over darkness, faith over fear, and truth over error. This light graces our everyday choices, infusing the mundane with the potential for spiritual elevation.
The scriptures affirm the universality of this light. In John 1:9, it is written:
“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
This passage acknowledges the omnipresence of Christ’s light in all humanity, illuminating the path for every individual born into mortality. The Book of Mormon echoes this truth in Moroni 7:16-17, where it declares:
“The Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil.”
This Spirit is the innate sensor within that recoils from wrongdoing and rejoices in virtuous action, a measure not just of our deeds but of our most private inclinations. By heeding this celestial guide, our capacity to discern and choose the right is magnified, leading us step by step toward the light-filled presence of God.
Our conscience is like a sacred temple that we must vigilantly care for to allow the Light of Christ to resonate within. Sanctifying our thoughts and actions ensures that this inner sanctuary remains undefiled, maintaining the conditions necessary for the Spirit to dwell. To heed the promptings of this divine influence, we are encouraged to keep the commandments, serve others, and cultivate personal purity. “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not,” from Doctrine and Covenants 6:36, captures the essence of nurturing our spiritual selves.
As we faithfully enhance our inner temple with virtues, we invite constant companionship with the Holy Ghost, akin to the light that “groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day” as taught in the words of modern prophets. The sanctity of our inner voice is preserved through continuous reverence for divine law and the desire to act upon righteous promptings.
The process of obtaining a temple recommend mirrors the preparatory steps we take to ensure our minds and hearts are receptive to the Light of Christ. This includes obedience to the commandments, honesty in our dealings, faithfulness in tithing, adherence to the law of chastity, obedience to the Word of Wisdom, and sustaining our leaders, among other things. Each act of compliance is not just a checkmark but a polishing of the soul’s mirror to reflect the light of truth within us. President David O. McKay underscored this when he said:
“The temple is a place of beauty, it is a place of revelation, it is a place of peace.”
In the same vein, by living the standards of temple worthiness, we create a beautiful, peaceful haven in our minds, conducive to receiving divine revelation.
In temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, white clothing symbolizes purity, a visible expression of inner cleanliness and dedication to God. Just as white temple garments reflect light without blemish, our thoughts and intentions should be pure to maintain a transparent conscience. This purity of thought invites a clear, undistorted reception of the Light of Christ, enhancing our moral intuition and spiritual sensitivity.
Our mind is the soul’s temple, deserving vigilance to remain unspoiled. Like a guarded sanctuary, we are counseled by scripture to allow only that which is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report to dwell within it (Philippians 4:8). Erecting barriers against impurity safeguards our mind, ensuring it remains a holy place fit for the Spirit’s whisper. This spiritual discipline cultivates a fertile ground for divine guidance, allowing us to discern and act upon heavenly promptings with confidence and clarity.
Consider the following account, which happened to me this past week.
This past week I made extra effort to try to keep my mind focused on positive, uplifting things. In the early morning hour on Thursday, while I slept, I had three unrelated dreams back-to-back. They all ended abruptly with someone outside of the dream repeating someone’s first name. The dreams had nothing to do with the name—it just ended each dream. After each impression, I woke up and said to my mind, “I need to remember that name.” Finally, after the third dream I decided to get up and do something about it.
It was around 6:00 AM which was as good of a time to get up as any. First, I said a prayer, asking Heavenly Father to please bless that person whose name was whispered to my mind. I didn’t know who it was, but if I was bothered by it three times, I figured it must be important. I got dressed and went into my office. I turned on my computer and then had the impression to go to Facebook. I don’t use that platform very often, maybe about 30 minutes a week, and only post a few things each week that are positive or upbeat, trying to throw out some positive vibes into the world. I typed the name into its search engine, and immediately found the name of someone who was part of one of the groups I subscribe to. It was my elementary school back in Phoenix, Arizona.
The name was of a fellow classmate with whom I shared a number of classes with over the years. Now, with no contact with her for over 45 years, her name was being whispered to my mind. So I summoned up a little courage, found that she was on Facebook Messenger, its instant messaging app, and typed out a message of encouragement, explaining that her name came to mind several times during the night, and hoped she didn’t mind that I said a prayer for her asking God to give her the strength she needs.
I hesitated whether to hit send or not, since it was a little after 6AM, or 5AM in Arizona, and if her phone ringer was on, it might ring some bells. But I did. Imagine my surprise when a few minutes later, she replied. She said that she had a really bad night and couldn’t sleep, and felt the evil one was giving her a particularly difficult time lately. She said she had forgotten how God is involved in the details of our lives, and thanked me for following through with the impression. It reconfirmed to her that Heavenly Father was aware of her. In fact, He used an elementary school classmate from 45 years in the past, from a different religious background, and 650 miles away, to give her a spiritual uplift and a reminder of her divine potential.
We both walked away from this experience with tearful eyes, because we each had a sure witness that God is real and is interested in our lives. How else can this be explained? It wasn’t a coincidence; it was divine intervention. I walked away with a sincere appreciation that God had used me to bless one of His daughters, who was far from being forgotten. In doing so, He blessed me too. In my experience, whenever we listen to that small voice, and follow its promptings, not only do we bless others, but we too are blessed.
The inner voice whispers softly, yet its counsel is profound. By purifying our thoughts, we sharpen our spiritual acuity, ready to receive the Light of Christ. I bear witness to the serenity and direction afforded by heeding this divine compass, an assurance echoing in a cleansed heart and a vigilant mind.