I was late to institute this Thursday. I actually only remembered to go because I saw some people leaving. I figured I could make it for the last couple minutes and then snag some refreshments. I hurried in and went to Bro. Martin’s Teachings of the Living Prophets class. There’s always that space of time after you arrive somewhere when you have to settle in. Right after I was settled and started paying attention, I realized why exactly it was that I needed to be there.

Bro. Martin had been talking about Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s discourse on hope from the Church’s most recent General Conference. Pres. Uchtdorf talks about how light cleaves unto light. That means that anyone who has light in them will naturally be drawn to others who have light in them. As a natural consequence, when we have God’s light in us, we will draw closer to Him and those who also have or want His light. Pres. Uchtdorf invites us to come to Christ because there is no darkness in Him. He teaches that we should turn our hearts to Christ in hope.

And here I was. I’ve been struggling lately with differentiating between what’s real and what’s not.
Satan has this way of throwing temptations at us that can appear very real. He tries to convince us that stealing is the same as earning, he tempts us by making pornography seem and feel as real as the intimate love expressed in marriage, he teaches us that we have to earn our worth and that the esteem of others is just as real as the faith and trust and love that God feels for us. He tells us that the feelings we get from smoking and drinking are more real than the feelings of safety, happiness and security that the hope of Christ brings to us. The worst is when Satan tries to convince us that the bad that we see in ourselves is what we really are. He tells us that the bad is the thing that’s real, and that the potential that God sees in us isn’t real.

I was thinking about that and trying to find something from institute that would help me forward in my life, and Bro. Martin said just what I needed: “Just listen to your heart.” He paused, and he waited. And I started to feel something different, something happy, something warm and inviting, comforting, peaceful. “It feels good,” he said, “and it’s real.” And he was exactly right; it did feel good, and it was a very real feeling.

It has made a difference every day since then. Satan continues to throw things at me that are false, and when he does, I stop and listen to my heart. It’s good, and it’s real.

What’s it say to you when you stop and listen?