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Still Small Voice


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To those who are LDS and have experienced what the Spirit is (sorry, but I'm not really interested in the opinions of others who do not understand what the Spirit is), we talk about the Holy Spirit as usually communicating with us in a still small voice. Do you think think that our own spirit (not just the Holy Ghost) is also a still small voice? How much of our thoughts come from our physical self, vs. how much come from our spirit?

Just thinking about how there are different parts to us - our physical self, and our spiritual self. There are emotions which come from the physical part of us (grumpy because you are hungry/tired/hormone imbalance etc. etc.) vs. the feelings which come from the Spirit/spiritual realm. Just considering various mental handicaps from accidents or illness and the influence they seemingly can have on someone's ability to think/act, the balance between the ,mechanical physical body taking over someone's functions, vs. those who are guided by their spirit - have "self-control", or spiritual control over physical limitations...

How do you separate the physical from the spiritual?

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How do you separate the physical from the spiritual?

Through the temporary condition of physical death, which mortal life imposes upon us in degrees due to the “separable connectedness” of our bodies and corresponding spirits. In the meantime, we suffer all sorts of physical maladies that may impinge upon, challenge or educate our spirits (and vice-versa, our spirits can impinge upon, challenge or educate our bodies).

Spiritual life allows us to experience the “inseparable connectedness” of the spirit and body to a degree (D&C 84:33; 88:32) and unto a fullness (D&C 93:33, 20). Ideally, we do not separate them but strive to align them in righteousness in this life, which is why Christ redeemed us (D&C 121:36).

Rather than trying to determine what is coming from our body as opposed to what is coming from our spirit, I find it more profitable to determine what is coming from God (and by comparison, or in opposition, what is not). I accept that my body and spirit are both from God, and that is as good a starting point as any. Seeking His will and not my own is a good way not to get too wrapped up in myself.

Scriptures such as the following help me discern that which is of God: D&C 88:49, Alma 32, Moroni 7:12-16, 2 nephi 26:33.

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Rather than trying to determine what is coming from our body as opposed to what is coming from our spirit, I find it more profitable to determine what is coming from God

Thank you for that advice.

Perhaps I should not try to separate the physical and spiritual sides, it is strange though, thinking that the physical part is some different entity that thinks and acts, and somehow we have to control it...

(New Testament | Matthew 26:41)

41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

many Christian faiths see the physical part as the evil part of us, and look forward to being eternally separated from their physical bodies, they want to just be spirits... LDS have a different view of it, that our physical bodies can be a blessing, and I see how they can be if they were perfect, but in this condition it does seem that the curse of Adam follows the physical part of us...

in a little primary lesson they tell the kids to look in a mirror, that your spirit looks the same as your physical self... perhaps physical weaknesses come from an imperfect spirit rather than from our father Adam...

everyone says we should not judge based on appearances, to look what is on the inside - but there are things about appearance, about our physical self, that you can judge with... someone with the admiral qualities of self-control and a good work ethic for example will show the benefits of exercise and a healthy diet within their physical stature... there are things about our physical self that reflect the inner vessel, and other things that do not. It is hard to separate the physical and spiritual, but it is also hard for me to combine them into one person / one entity.

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How do you separate the physical from the spiritual?

I can only speak for myself and how I experienced the difference. Here is a more recent example: I had been feeling pretty pitiful and went out to pray. My emotions were running high and I prayed, "Lord, I just want to be with a people who love you!" His response was less than a whisper and easy to miss. Yet I heard the Lord chuckle at me saying, "You have all eternity for that!"

I use this because had I kept my emotions running rampant I would not have heard that still small voice over my screaming. In my opinion, it is impossible to separate the physical from the spiritual because they are inseparably connected, functioning together in ways we do not understand.

Yet I had to learn that while we can hear the voice of the Lord speak "externally", for some reason he chooses to speak internally. I have come to believe he does this in order to speak to our hearts, having spoken through our hearts. This is where many get confused regarding if the message is from us or from the Lord.

What I have found is the ability to recognize the Lord's voice, allowing me to distinguish it from all the other voices around me. Once it is recognizable, you will never mistake it. Many of us want to make this more complicated than it is, because it really is this simple!

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Thank you for that advice.

Perhaps I should not try to separate the physical and spiritual sides, it is strange though, thinking that the physical part is some different entity that thinks and acts, and somehow we have to control it...

(New Testament | Matthew 26:41)

41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

many Christian faiths see the physical part as the evil part of us, and look forward to being eternally separated from their physical bodies, they want to just be spirits... LDS have a different view of it, that our physical bodies can be a blessing, and I see how they can be if they were perfect, but in this condition it does seem that the curse of Adam follows the physical part of us...

in a little primary lesson they tell the kids to look in a mirror, that your spirit looks the same as your physical self... perhaps physical weaknesses come from an imperfect spirit rather than from our father Adam...

everyone says we should not judge based on appearances, to look what is on the inside - but there are things about appearance, about our physical self, that you can judge with... someone with the admiral qualities of self-control and a good work ethic for example will show the benefits of exercise and a healthy diet within their physical stature... there are things about our physical self that reflect the inner vessel, and other things that do not. It is hard to separate the physical and spiritual, but it is also hard for me to combine them into one person / one entity.

The curse of Adam is with us spiritually too, in that innocent spirits enter a telestial world and in this way become spiritually separated from God. While all have the Light of Christ, it is not the same thing as being one with the Father spiritually. We come here to develop that in a new world. Even Christ carried that burden—He had to receive grace for grace (the same as we do, and after all He could do) until He received a fullness.

I too believe that physical weakness can arise from our spirit. We are all as Adam (and less than Christ), so given enough time are prone to transgress and become physically and spiritually alienated from God. Adam of course was the first of our kind and started it all through the Fall, inviting us into the telestial world and giving us the opportunities we now enjoy.

As wonderful an appearance one’s physical body may possess (and beauty and a healthful appearance is in the eye of the beholder), judging the whole soul from this alone is even something God does not do (1 Samuel 16:7). The laws of good health will still bless a body with a corrupt spirit until that spirit is so corrupt that it might offset the laws of good health.

I agree it isn’t easy to either distinguish the physical from the spiritual, or coordinate them together, except we submit our wills to God. I believe this principle can be applied to just about any circumstance. Practicing reverence and quiet, and "centeredness" until we become somewhat good at it certainly help--these have physical and spiritual components to them.

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... I would not have heard that still small voice over my screaming. ... while we can hear the voice of the Lord speak "externally", for some reason he chooses to speak internally. I have come to believe he does this in order to speak to our hearts, having spoken through our hearts. ..

perhaps the communication comes spirit to spirit - it sometimes seems to me that the screaming comes from the physical, that the spiritual side of who we really are is smothered by this imperfect temple.

...I agree it isn’t easy to either distinguish the physical from the spiritual, or coordinate them together, except we submit our wills to God. ... Practicing reverence and quiet, and "centeredness" until we become somewhat good at it certainly help--these have physical and spiritual components to them.

perhaps the power to create worlds and move mountains is proceeded by the power to control another little piece of matter - our own bodies. I wonder if worlds and mountains can be controlled in the same ways that our bodies can be - to somehow translate peace/reverence...

both things to act and things to be acted upon. 2 Nephi 2:14

our physical bodies are acted upon by so many outside influences, it's hard to over-ride that... I wonder if it is proportionately harder to move mountains as it is to control our own bodies...

There's a good article in this month's Ensign about fasting that brings physical and spiritual grace together.

I'll check it out. Fasting is certainly one way to learn self-control, as is exercise and dietary observances. I think often we focus more on the spiritual aspects (have good thoughts, love one another) rather than the physical ones.

Edited by changed
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perhaps the communication comes spirit to spirit - it sometimes seems to me that the screaming comes from the physical, that the spiritual side of who we really are is smothered by this imperfect temple.

perhaps the power to create worlds and move mountains is proceeded by the power to control another little piece of matter - our own bodies. I wonder if worlds and mountains can be controlled in the same ways that our bodies can be - to somehow translate peace/reverence...

both things to act and things to be acted upon. 2 Nephi 2:14

our physical bodies are acted upon by so many outside influences, it's hard to over-ride that... I wonder if it is proportionately harder to move mountains as it is to control our own bodies...

I'll check it out. Fasting is certainly one way to learn self-control, as is exercise and dietary observances. I think often we focus more on the spiritual aspects (have good thoughts, love one another) rather than the physical ones.

My thought is that sometimes grace, not our own spirit, overrides that so that we can continue until our immediate or life-long mission is completed. Abinadi is an example of the immediate; our elderly prophets, seers and revelators are an example of long-term or life-long preservation; John and the Three Nephites are an example of longer preservation.

Moving mountains, if using our own willpower, is certainly harder than moving our own bodies. Sanctifying our bodies by our own willpower would be limited to the application of telestial laws of health; any other level of perfection is impossible without God. Only in concert with the His will can we do any of this “easily” or without commensurate physical effort. Sometimes He requires we do all we can, but that is all, as His grace provides the rest.

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