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The scriptures teach us a pattern for spiritual communication: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance” (Galatians 5:22–23). These spiritual feelings and actions contribute to an overall sense of “goodness and righteousness and truth” (Ephesians 5:9). Understanding the nature of spiritual communication is vital as you seek to receive revelation, respond to spiritual promptings, and build spiritual power.

As the above scripture suggests, spiritual communication often comes to you through your feelings. Feelings, both positive and negative, serve a functional purpose and can bless your life as you learn from the information they provide. In addition, some feelings can help you discern spiritual promptings. For example, when you are calm and relaxed, you may find it easier to ponder on the things of God and receive spiritual promptings with clarity of mind. Yet sometimes your feelings can create challenges to discerning spiritual promptings. Anxiety is one such feeling.

Helpful Anxiety

There are mild or moderate levels of anxiety that may be helpful to you, such as nervousness before giving a talk in church, giving a presentation at work, or taking a university exam. If you had no nervousness before taking an exam, you probably would not feel a need to study, which would likely result in a low grade. Thus, pre-test anxiety can help you improve your grade by creating momentum to get you to study.

Likewise, this type of anxiety can help you spiritually by motivating you to more conscientiously study gospel doctrine, seek peace, and invite the Spirit into your heart. At this level, despite the anxiety you feel, you may be able to discern easily the presence of the Spirit.

Harmful Anxiety

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