Sunday, May 21, 2006


How do you tell the difference between divine inspiration and your own ideas?

My best friend tells me he can tell the difference, but he can't explain how. I, on the other hand, have no idea where the boundary is. Maybe that's because I always get such great ideas.

I don't think it's enough to say, "well, if you're being prompted to do something good, it's from God." Because I sometimes want to do good things all on my own initiative.

Does it even matter what the source of an idea is?


Anonymous said...

Not to me it doesn't.

But I appreciate having scriptural guidlines, prophetic counsel, and input from my leaders to measure my ideas against.

It's kinda like the US government's system of checks and balances.

Seth R.

annegb said...

I'd like to know how, also, I never get it right.

john scherer said...

I like the D&C Section 9 approach. Take your ideas to the lord only after you've thought them out pretty thoroughly. We're here to learn and grow, not to be led by the hand.
There have been a few times, however, where a decision hust wouldn't go away until I prayed about it. A job offer in Ohio just woudn't go away until I pursued it and it turned out to be the best thing for my family. So I guess we should just pray through all the major stuff and hope we get it right.

Beijing said...

My ex was always very confident that he knew the difference between inspiration and his own ideas. That's because he wouldn't call something "inspiration" unless it was completely contrary to his own logic and his own desires (relying on the "natural man" concept here). You already know some of the messes that the I-never-want-on-my-own-what-God-wants-for-me approach to "inspiration" led him into when his own instincts and his own logic were sound.

I don't think there necessarily would be a significant difference between divine inspiration and a mature spiritual person's own ideas. Isn't that what it means to be "in tune"?

Rob said...

I think our ideas come from us but are formed through our God-given ability to think rationally. So in a sense, our ideas are a result of God, but not his work. I have always been skeptical of anyone who says their ideas come from God.

Hellmut said...

Alma 32 is quite clear that a testimony begins with a wish. I am not sure that those feelings that we interprete as inspiration are a response to a divine stimulus.

Ann said...

Where this came from is: I was sitting in sacrament meeting. And a thought popped into my head. And it doesn't make sense, and it seemed to come out of nowhere.

I'm reluctant to invest any energy into the pursuit of an idea that doesn't make sense.

Maybe, if it's something that God wants me to do, he'll have to be a little more overt.

annegb said...

I have to tell you, though, in my calling, I've been inspired and I didn't even feel inspired or spiritual. things just happen.

Hence my inability to notice :).

NFlanders said...

Now you've got me very curious, Ann. Was your idea something like, "I should take up rock-climbing" or more like, "I should start my own church and collect two of every animal"?

Because I think they're both fabulous ideas.

Beijing said...

None of the ideas my ex had made any more sense in retrospect (after he pursued them) than they did the moment they popped into his head.

I hesitate to tell someone what they're feeling (although obviously I don't always hesitate very long), but if you buy the "in your heart and in your mind" thing (I don't know if you do or not)... It sounds like your heart isn't in this idea. And even though the idea popped into your mind at first, your mind is currently saying the idea doesn't make sense. So, sounds to me like heart and mind are united against it. As always, my ideas are worth what you paid for them.

Ann said...

It appeals to my vanity for this idea/thought to be divinely inspired. But it doesn't bear much resemblance to reality as I perceive it.

However, I would really like to know how we can be so convinced that something is divine inspiration, or the Holy Ghost. If it's different, then how is it different? And if it's not...then how is it divine?

Unless it's that divine nature thing, calling out to us.