Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Power of Experience

The last power of the mind that Alma teaches us to use is the power to experience. “Experience,” you are thinking, ”isn’t a power of the mind. Experience is a power of the senses.”  But not according to Alma.  Many people think that what they experience is a result of their environment. To put it in a mathematical type formula stimulus = response. But as we all have observed, the same stimulus can be given to two different people and the response will be different. Thus the formula is stimulus + agency = response. We all choose what we experience.

On the hill of Calvary there were many people who experienced joy and rejoicing as they witnessed a blasphemer be crucified and receive His just reward. Other people on that same hill experienced extreme sorrow as they witnessed their Savior and King suffer extreme pain and degradation. What they experienced was a choice, and what we experience is a choice. When we go to Sacrament meeting do we experience the sweet spirit of the Lord rejuvenating us and encouraging us? Or do we sit through the meeting thinking about the new hairdo of the woman three rows in front of us, or how we wish the speaker were better, or all we have to do during the coming week to get ready for Christmas?

Alma asks the people if they have experienced feeling the spirit in their lives and if they have in the past if they are still experiencing it. Alma understood that experiencing is a power of the mind that we can use to bring us closer to our Father in Heaven and to increase our faith. Each of us can choose to experience what the Spirit is offering you right now or you can choose to get caught up in the things of the world—the emotions and thoughts that push us far from the Spirit.

Remembering, imagining, and experiencing are abilities we have all been given that when used properly will strengthen and empower us to be Christ-like.


Wendi said...

I like how you explained that we can CHOOSE to experience the good and the spiritual. Thanks for this perspective. :)

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Wendi, That realization has made a big difference in my life.