“The Spirit of God like a fire is burning.” Like any fire, the Spirit of God is not contained to one place, and that means it isn’t contained just in church.
The church is the chosen vessel for Christ’s gospel on the earth today, but one of the great things about the spirit is that there are endless ways to feel it. And some of those can be found in places we wouldn’t have guessed.
I’m an active player on my high school tennis team, and so are all of my friends. The majority of them aren’t members of the church. In fact, only a few of them go to church at all. Despite that, I’ve managed to have enlightening conversations about feeling the spirit with them.
Each person is born with the ability to be inspired by Heavenly Father. I learned that while drinking hot chocolate in a Starbucks once. My friends took turns discussing the feelings they’d had while in church.
Those who didn’t regularly attend church, admitted that they enjoyed listening to the words of the pastor. They didn’t know it themselves, but they’d felt the spirit.
Another manifestation of the Lord that isn’t specifically of the LDS church is music. Basically everyone, even those who aren’t musically talented, have noticed that music can invite the spirit. There’s a feeling that flows through music even more smoothly than the notes do. It’s like music is water and the spirit is lightning.
This is why churches across the world host so many choirs. And why Christian music rings through non-denominational churches. The Lord cherishes music, saying: “The song of the righteous is a prayer unto me.” (D&C 25:12)
Like music, God’s creations are a perfect way to find the Spirit of God. The Lord has created a wondrous world for us to live in, and when you “get out and explore,” it invites inspiration. No wonder the temple is always compared to a mountain!
It’s while I’ve been outside in the mountains or at the beach (maybe listening to music), that I’ve had most of my spiritual impressions and revelations.
I believe one of the reasons the spirit is available outside of the church is so that members and nonmembers can connect to each other on a deeper level. The person that I’ve had the most spiritual conversations with (besides my parents) is not a member of our church.
However, she has a clear understanding of the Lord and His love for us. This understanding that we share helps us grow as friends and helps me grow closer to God. Love of God is not limited to only our church. We may hold the keys given to us, but there is a lot to learn from people of other faiths.
Just like the spirit can bring nonmembers and members together, Jesus Christ can and has inspired people even before the church was restored.
Some examples include Joan of Arc, Martin Luther, and the Founding Fathers. His gospel was not properly instituted at their times, but He still inspired people to do His work.
Joan of Arc, for example, was only a teenager when she heard the voice of the Lord calling her to save her country from the English. But her society was strictly patriarchal and no leaders wanted to support a young farm girl.
However, the Lord was with Joan and helped her gain the trust of several men who provided her with an army. And through her faith she was able to win battles that others couldn’t.
In the end, she was burned for heresy, but her legacy lives on. Joan was made a saint in the 1930s.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is an institution set forth by the Lord to help us grow closer to Him and receive the ordinances necessary to return to Him. Revelation and the spirit often come from the church, but I’m glad I have found so many other avenues for inspiration. I’m grateful for the example of good friends who may not have made the same covenants as I, but who still have pure hearts.
Where are some unusual places you have received revelation?
Do you have any friends not in the church that you have been able to bond over Christ with?