The Apostle Paul begins in this week’s readings with a bulls-eye on the struggles we have in this mortal experience and then tells us how to free ourselves from this bondage.


Welcome back to the Come Follow Me Podcast—We are Scot and Maurine Proctor and we’re delighted to be back with you again this week.  We have two personal comments to start with this week.  The first one is very personal.

As I have spent hundreds of hours this year, studying the gospels, the apostles and now the writings of Paul, I am humbled by the fact that I truly feel closer to Jesus Christ and to my Heavenly Father than I did when I began.  These studies are truly blessing my life.  They just become more and more delicious to me every week.  I feel the Lord’s influence in my life, in my thinking, in my daily walk.  This has been just wonderful—I am giving you my testimony that this Come Follow Me curriculum is really working.

Doing What We Would Not


Paul and Nephi have the same concerns in this first section of our readings this week.  Listen to Nephi’s lamentation and then his conclusion:

16 “Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard.

17 “Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am!  Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.

18 “I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.

19 “And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, (and here’s the lesson we all want to learn from this) I know in whom I have trusted.”  (2 Nephi 4: 16-19, emphasis added)


This is all about our grandest intentions, our best desires and our actual performance in mortality.

Paul iterates the same thoughts:

“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

“For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not, but what I hate, that do I.”

Or, it’s actually a little easier to understand this passage in the Revised Standard Version:

“I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” RSV Romans 7:15

Then in verse 19:

“For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.” (RSV Romans 7:19)

And Paul exclaims:  O wretched man that I am! (Romans 7:24)


Don’t we feel that way so often?  We try so hard to overcome a bad habit.  We work so hard to overcome an addiction or a sin.  We move forward with all the best intentions and we fail.  It’s one of the most frustrating things about mortality.

Thank goodness for this verse in the Doctrine and Covenants, about the gifts of the Spirit that are given to us as outlined in Section 46:

“For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do.”  (D&C 46:9)  OH!  That verse is so comforting to me—because I’m a “seeketh so to do” person!

Maurine, remember that Home Front commercial the Church did back in the late 70’s with that little boy who is sitting at the table and his Mom says he’s going to be late for school and he was told he was such a slowpoke.  He said, “I was trying to…” and then he burst into tears.  Sometimes we feel that way in mortality on a daily basis—We are trying so hard.  And the Lord knows that and I testify that He recognizes and knows even our smallest efforts.

Follow the Spirit


Paul invites us to understand the workings of the Spirit in our lives.  He says in Romans 8: 26:

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

I actually love the word “groanings” when related to the things of the Spirit.  But a better translation of “groanings” might be:  “but the Spirit puts our desires into words which are not in our power to say” or even this translation:  “But the Spirit Himself pleads for us in yearnings that can find no words.”

But how do we come to recognize those groanings—those yearnings that can find no words?  Here’s a practical mini lesson on listening to the Spirit in our own lives.  Recognizing the Spirit and the various ways He talks to us is critical for our spiritual progress in this life.  I have noticed in years and years of teaching institute that many of my students report that they are not sure they have ever felt a direction from the Spirit or, if they have, they are not sure how to recognize it.  This is common thinking.

I believe the Holy Spirit communicates with us all the time and we MUST pay attention and come to understand HOW He speaks to us so that we can follow His directions.

Mini Lesson on Personal Revelation


As we go through some of these thoughts, will you take note of how the Spirit speaks to you?  I’ve seen all too often the common misconception that you either have a burning in your bosom or you have a stupor of thought—and that’s it.  The Spirit communicates truth and revelation to us in numerous ways—and it is good to come to know some of those ways so we can be ready for those answers, thoughts, inspirations, guidance and insights when they do come.

[Note to Scot and Maurine:  Banter plus personal observations added]

First of all, Elder Neal A. Maxwell said:

“God the Eternal Father and His Son Jesus Christ are giving away the secrets of the Universe if we will only not be offended at their generosity.”


The Prophet Joseph said:

“It is the privilege of the children of God to come to God and get revelation.”

And he also gave us this invitation from one who really knew:

“Supplicate at the throne of grace, that the Spirit of the Lord may always rest upon you. Remember that without asking we can receive nothing; therefore, ask in faith, and ye shall receive such blessings as God sees fit to bestow upon you.”


Joseph also taught:

“We believe that we have a right to revelations, visions, and dreams from God, our heavenly Father; and light and intelligence, through the gift of the Holy Ghost, in the name of Jesus Christ, on all subjects pertaining to our spiritual welfare; if it so be that we keep his commandments, so as to render ourselves worthy in his sight.”

Now, “A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon; (i.e.) those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God, will come to pass; and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.”


The Prophet Joseph also taught:  “The things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God.”


And finally, Joseph gave this promise:  “God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what He will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them, for the day must come when no man need say to his neighbor, Know ye the Lord; for all shall know Him … from the least to the greatest [see Jeremiah 31:34].”

Learning to recognize the voice of the Spirit and how He talks to you is critical.  Let’s review a few scriptures about this—again—pay attention to how you yourself receive personal revelation and inspiration from the Spirit.


Let’s look at D&C 9:7-9

7 Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.

8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.

9 But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.


D&C 8:2-3

2 Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.

3 Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.


D&C 11:12-14

12 And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good–yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit.

13 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;

14 And then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive.


Alma 32:34

34 And now, behold, is your knowledge perfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your faith is dormant; and this because you know, for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your mind doth begin to expand.


D&C 111:8

8 And the place where it is my will that you should tarry, for the main, shall be signalized unto you by the peace and power of my Spirit, that shall flow unto you.


D&C 85:6

6 Yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and often times it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest, saying:

3 Nephi 11:3

3 And it came to pass that while they were thus conversing one with another, they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard; and it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn.


Helaman 5:30

30 And it came to pass when they heard this voice, and beheld that it was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul–

1 Kings 19:11, 12

11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.


Jeremiah 20:9

9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

1 Nephi 5:9-10;17

9 And it came to pass that they did rejoice exceedingly, and did offer sacrifice and burnt offerings unto the Lord; and they gave thanks unto the God of Israel.

10 And after they had given thanks unto the God of Israel, my father, Lehi, took the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, and he did search them from the beginning.

17 And now when my father saw all these things, he was filled with the Spirit, and began to prophesy concerning his seed–


D&C 6:22,23

22 Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things.

23 Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?

D&C 88:63

63 Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Sometimes it’s just “An odd passing impression.”

–Louis Carr

President Loren G. Dalton of our own mission presidency taught this principle:

“When the Holy Ghost talks to us, his prompting (or whisper) pops into our head like a good idea.  I like to call it a “BING!” moment…

“BINGS” Are From God


President Dalton continued:  The problem is that, all too often, when these ideas pop into our minds, we think the idea or thought that just popped into our heads is OUR OWN thought and, as a result, we don’t give as much credence to it.  We usually feel like, “Sure. That is a good idea.  I will do it later when I am done with this thing I am doing now.”  But, when we finish with that thing we are currently doing, we have forgotten about the “BING” and, as a result, we never act on it.  However, we don’t feel badly about not doing it, because we think it was just our thought.

We Take Credit for Promptings From the Holy Ghost


When this thought comes, you think it is our own thought or idea.  You don’t recognize it as being from the Holy Ghost because you didn’t hear a voice speaking to you or feel a burning in the bosom.  You just had a thought pop into our head (“BING!”).  Because you believed that it was your own thought, you don’t worry too much about it.  You say to yourself, “Hmm.  That is a good idea.  I will do that, but I am into this TV show right now and I want to see how it ends. I will make the call after the show is over.”  Then, after the TV show ends, you forget all about that “BING!” and you never do try to call that person.

Description of the Gift of the Holy Ghost in our Lives


I truly love those teachings from President Dalton.

Now, there are a rare few things that I actually pen into my scriptures—you know, into those extra signature pages in the front or back of your paper scriptures—those blank pages.  And this quote from Parley P. Pratt on the Holy Ghost is one of them.  Listen closely to this:

He starts by saying:  “An intelligent being, in the image of God, possesses every organ, attribute, sense, sympathy, affection, of will, wisdom, love, power and gift, which is possessed by God himself.

“But these are possessed by man, in his rudimental state, in a subordinate sense of the word. Or, in other words, these attributes are in embryo; and are to be gradually developed. They resemble a bud—a germ, which gradually develops into bloom, and then, by progress, produces the mature fruit, after its own kind.

Now Parley goes into a details description of the gift of the Holy Ghost and how it plays upon those godly attributes:

“The gift of the Holy Spirit adapts itself to all these organs or attributes. It quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation and social feeling. It develops and invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, invigorates, and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being.


Parley continues:  “In the presence of such persons, one feels to enjoy the light of their countenances, as the genial rays of a sunbeam. Their very atmosphere diffuses a thrill, a warm glow of pure gladness and sympathy, to the heart and nerves of others who have kindred feelings, or sympathy of spirit. No matter if the parties are strangers, entirely unknown to each other in person or character; no matter if they have never spoken to each other, each will be apt to remark in his own mind, and perhaps exclaim, when referring to the interview—‘O what an atmosphere encircles that stranger! How my heart thrilled with pure and holy feelings in his presence! What confidence and sympathy he inspired! his countenance and spirit gave me more assurance, than a thousand written recommendations, or introductory letters.’ Such is the gift of the Holy Spirit, and such are its operations, when received through the lawful channel—the divine, eternal Priesthood.” (Pratt, Parley P. Key to the Science of Theology, pp. 100-102)

Isn’t that the most wonderful description of the workings of the gift of the Holy Ghost in our lives?

I have observed that most of us live beneath our privileges when it comes to the use and understanding of the companionship of the Holy Ghost in our lives.


President Nelson has said:

“Brothers and sisters, how can we become the men and women—the Christlike servants—the Lord needs us to be? How can we find answers to questions that perplex us? If Joseph Smith’s transcendent experience in the Sacred Grove teaches us anything, it is that the heavens are open and that God speaks to His children.

“The Prophet Joseph Smith set a pattern for us to follow in resolving our questions. Drawn to the promise of James that if we lack wisdom we may ask of God, the boy Joseph took his question directly to Heavenly Father. He sought personal revelation, and his seeking opened this last dispensation.

“In like manner, what will your seeking open for you? What wisdom do you lack? What do you feel an urgent need to know or understand? Follow the example of the Prophet Joseph. Find a quiet place where you can regularly go. Humble yourself before God. Pour out your heart to your Heavenly Father. Turn to Him for answers and for comfort.

“Pray in the name of Jesus Christ about your concerns, your fears, your weaknesses—yes, the very longings of your heart. And then listen! Write the thoughts that come to your mind. Record your feelings and follow through with actions that you are prompted to take. As you repeat this process day after day, month after month, year after year, you will “grow into the principle of revelation.”


Does God really want to speak to you? Yes!…

“I urge you to stretch beyond your current spiritual ability to receive personal revelation, for the Lord has promised that “if thou shalt [seek], thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.”…

“Nothing opens the heavens quite like the combination of increased purity, exact obedience, earnest seeking, daily feasting on the words of Christ in the Book of Mormon, and regular time committed to temple and family history work.” (Nelson, Russell M., Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives, April 2018)

Wow!  All of that gets me very excited to learn more perfectly how to recognize the promptings and inspiration of the Holy Ghost when they come and to grow into the Spirit of Revelation as the Prophet, President Nelson, has invited us to do.


Later in that same Romans, Chapter 8, Paul asks this question:

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, not angels, nor principalities (which is a class of angels), nor powers (another class of angels), nor things present, not things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 35, 38-39)

Has anything separated you from the love that Christ has to offer?  Have you found yourself ever (or even now) withdrawn a pace or more from the Lord?  Paul teaches that nothing can truly separate us from His love—except only in the case where we are the ones that initiate that separation.

Now why would we ever, worlds without end, want to separate ourselves from Jesus?


How do we stay close to Him?  There are age-old principles and practices that keep us near to Him:

Follow His prophet.


Read and study His words each and every day.


Attend the Temple (including going to the Temple every week even if you are currently unable to with a recommend—go anyway to the Temple grounds)


Pay attention to and be grateful for the Gifts which He has given unto you—in other words, acknowledge His hand in your life.


Do not let the world capture you—do not be allured into the thinking of the world.  I hope we can talk about that point, in greater detail, in a future Podcast.


And, of course, say your prayers and attend to your Church meetings and duties.

There is much, much more—but these are the basics.

I count my daily devotions to God as a sacred responsibility I have to Him who gave me life.  I could not survive without these things in my life.



There are two other topics we want to briefly touch on in this Podcast.  One is the whole doctrine of foreordination, or, as Paul refers to it in Romans Chapter 9:  The law of election.

He uses as one of his examples, Rebecca—the wife of Yitzak—or Isaac as you know him.  He says:

10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;

11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

How can this be, in that culture, where the eldest son was always the birthright child?

This points to the fact that our life in the pre-mortal world plays a much bigger role in this life than we ever supposed.


As Alma so beautifully teaches:

3 And this is the manner after which they were ordained—being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such.

4 And thus they have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, while, if it had not been for this they might have had as great privilege as their brethren. (Alma 13: 3, 4)

And the Lord said to Jeremiah:

5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5)


And to Abraham the Lord showed a great vision of the pre-mortal realms:

22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these were many of the noble and great ones;

23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These will I make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou are one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born. (Abraham 3: 22, 23)

The Prophet Joseph taught:

“Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was.  I suppose that I was ordained to this very office in that Grand Council.” (History of the Church, 6:364.)

I believe our life’s mission is written on our soul.  If we sincerely search for it, we can find it within us.  Pay attention to what you love.


I remember our long-time neighbor Y’ves Perrin was called to serve as the Mission President in Tahiti.  He was a little concerned about this call and he expressed his concern to his neighbor, Elder James M. Paramore of the Presidency of the Seventy.  He said, “Jim, was I called to be the mission president in Tahiti because I am French born, a native-French speaker, and because I served my mission there, and because I was a school principal there?”  Elder Paramore said, “Y’ves, you have it all backwards:  You are French born and a native-French speaker and you served your mission there and served as a principal there because you were going to be called as the mission president in Tahiti.”

Isn’t that wonderful! And by the way, Y’ves and his wife, Kathleen, now serve as the Temple President and Matron of the Tahiti Temple.

Again, our pre-mortal world experience, though we cannot remember it, plays a huge role in our lives here.  The scriptures and these examples make that clear.

You can get clues in your life—pay attention to what you love.

Obviously refer to some of Paul’s references and then put them in context

Putting on the Armour of Light


One last thing that came to us in our readings this week is one of our favorite scriptures from Romans.  It’s chapter 12, verse 13:

13 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Doesn’t that describe our day right now?   Read or watch the news every day and we are under siege.  Satan is raging in the hearts of men in this last-days season of the world.

So, how do we cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light Paul refers to?

There is a wonderful verse in Matthew chapter 16, verse 24 that will help us:

24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Then the Prophet Joseph gives us this additional explanation):  And now for a man to take up his cross, is to deny himself all ungodliness, and every worldly lust, and keep my commandments. (JST Matthew 16:26)


So, here is one of the keys to cast off the works of darkness:

Deny yourself all ungodliness and every worldly lust and keep the commandments.

We are surrounded all the time by ungodliness.  Satan places worldly lusts in our minds all the time.  But we play a key role in all this by putting on the armor of light.

We need to let virtue garnish our thoughts unceasingly.

We need to be very selective of the music we listen to.


We need to be careful of the things that we read and let enter our minds.

We need to be extremely selective of the things that we watch, whether it be movies on Netflix in the privacy of our own homes, or Hulu or Amazon Prime or YouTube or in the Theaters.


We need to be careful of the place we go—the atmosphere we subject our spirits to.

We need to be extremely careful with our searches and surfing on the Internet.


We need to read our scriptures every day.

We need to be listening to the talks of our Prophet and apostles.


We need to attend the Temple.

We need to be regularly pondering, meditating and reflecting on the things of the Spirit.


It’s a war here on earth and the battle right now is extremely hot.  Again:

13 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.


Thanks for being with us today.  We’ve loved our time together.  We always feel as we prepare these that we are leaving out hours of material each week.  Fortunately it’s all there for you to study in your home-centered, Church-supported curriculum and readings.

Don’t forget to jump on Meridian and pre-order the First Vision Bicentennial Calendar as a wonderful gift for your family, friends and ministering families.  We’d love to have your support on this venture.  Go to and order today.  Again, the cost is just $15.


Next week’s lesson is:  “Be Perfectly Joined Together” and includes First Corinthians, chapters 1-7.

Thanks again to Paul Cardall for the beautiful music that accompanies this Podcast.

See you next week!