Feeling a Good Spirit in the home

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Heber13
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Feeling a Good Spirit in the home

Post by Heber13 » 21 Jul 2019, 19:35

Have you ever been in a certain home (maybe your own at times) where you've thought or used the phrase "there is a good Spirit in the home."

What do you think this means?
What causes it?
Do you believe some unseen forces are at play in that home?

It's a phrase I hear a lot. I'm wondering what it means exactly to members of this forum.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Gerald
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Re: Feeling a Good Spirit in the home

Post by Gerald » 22 Jul 2019, 04:10

My thoughts. There's a schedule that's followed (though not necessarily strictly). Children are relatively clean as is the home (I put emphasis on "relatively"). The dynamic between parents and children (as well as children and their siblings) seems healthy. Children may be quiet but not sullen or high-spirited but not out of control. But I do think it comes down to some sort of structure imposed over the family activities.

There's a young woman in our ward with four small children (I think the oldest is eight). From what I see, she's a great mother. She's stays at home while her husband works and always seems busy caring for the house (and her children help), doing things with her children (I seem them out bike riding a lot), and efficiently carrying out her calling (she's in the primary presidency). I'm sure their lives aren't perfect (I sense the father is as laid back as she is "no nonsense" which can lead to conflicts though, as an outsider, I see no evidence of this). I think they have a good spirit about them because of it.
So through the dusk of dead, blank-legended And unremunerative years we search to get where life begins, and still we groan because we do not find the living spark where no spark ever was; and thus we die, still searching, like poor old astronomers who totter off to bed and go to sleep, to dream of untriangulated stars.
---Edwin Arlington Robinson---

AmyJ
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Re: Feeling a Good Spirit in the home

Post by AmyJ » 22 Jul 2019, 05:25

What It Looks Like:
I agree with the relative cleanliness (a sense of the family is taking care of what they have).
I think that there are pictures of the family (or at least the husband and wife) on the wall and children artwork displayed.

Family members have a sense of control not to be explicitly angry or quietly blatantly hostile (light to moderate passive-aggressive stuff is ignored) around others.

There is a clear non-verbal connection of love and respect between family members (even when they are fussing at each other).
I think that there is a clear sense of the boundaries that won't be crossed by any family member (repeated deliberate abuses of any kind in extreme).

What Causes It:
Restraint & Boundaries - I could say or do certain things (with a certain amount of consequences), but I choose my actions carefully to strengthen the household.
Compassion & Tolerance - Parents looking out for children and children learning to look out for parents.
Vision - Parents determining which values are important and which actions represent that value for their family.
Executive Functioning - People making and completing assignments to keep the physical surroundings (and themselves) relatively clean, organized, and fed.

Unseen Forces:
I absolutely believe that the spirit of the household is greater then the sum of the actions that the members of the household contribute to it. In my household, the spirit of our home has changed as my husband and I have become wiser.

Before my transition, I absolutely believed that a couple was blessed literally to be closer to God and strengthened by God specifically because of sealing covenants. There were several fights that I was convinced we got over because God stepped in.

Now, I do't know if God steps in and helps with marriages. I know that my husband still believes that (and I am grateful for that belief). I chose to hope that God helps with relationships (or at least provides a listening ear) because my personal narrative would be much more bleak if God did not care about those things. I also think that God helps those who help themselves, and I am more likely to try to improve things in my area then rely on God to do so.

Roy
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Re: Feeling a Good Spirit in the home

Post by Roy » 22 Jul 2019, 12:13

What do you think this means?

I believe it means that there is a feeling that the members of this family are loved and supported and relatively well behaved within this home. Also that the home serves as a safe zone or refuge from some of the world's harsher realities.

What causes it?

I agree with the other responses. Great thoughts! I believe that "feeling" a good spirit is something experienced with the senses. If you walked into a home without anybody present then some major visual clues would be relative cleanliness and happy smiling pictures on the wall - maybe childhood artwork on the fridge. Some audio clues might be some nice music in the background or the sound of a child practicing an instrument. Some olfactory clues could be the absence of foul odors and perhaps the smell of baked goods or dinner in the oven. As an Latter Day Saint, I imagine that it would be pleasing to find examples of LDS iconography that provide us with comfort and remind us of our own families. Perhaps pictures of a temple wedding, temples, or signs saying families are forever.
If there are people present in the home then you may also observe how they interact with each other and how that supports or contradicts the evidence gathered from your other observations.

Do you believe some unseen forces are at play in that home?

I do not believe that feeling a good spirit is related to supernatural or unseen forces. I do believe that rituals such as blessing a home can be symbolicly meaningful and helpful.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Havefaith
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Re: Feeling a Good Spirit in the home

Post by Havefaith » 02 Aug 2019, 11:30

I think this is an interesting topic. I am deffinetly been thinking about the spirit in homes. As a teanager i didnt think i felt the spirit in my home. I wanted it though. I wasnt in my marriage tlike i thought it would be. Ive been thinking about the spirit in general alot lately.
Im been thinking alot about feeling accepted vs the spirit. I had a girl invite me to a singles ward as a young adult. You know when ypu here at church that if you feel the spirrit to talk to someone you should do it. I felt that is what happened to that girl. I defenetky felt accepted. But now i wonder if i was or was not feeling the spirt. That could be why at times i thoughti wasnt feeling the spirit in my home at times. I just didnt feel accepted at times.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Feeling a Good Spirit in the home

Post by Curt Sunshine » 02 Aug 2019, 17:12

Our kids' friends regularly told them there was a special feeling in our house, which is why those friends spent so much time in our home. The ones who felt it the most strongly were the ones whose homes were the furthest from that.

I once had a co-worker tell me, after hearing I am LDS, "I thought so. I know a few Mormons, and they shine in a unique way."

I do believe in different "spirits", but I don't know exactly what that means: an actual spiritual presence, a vibe, an essence, a reflection, etc. I would say people exude energies that are different, in kind and degree, that is discernible. I don't pretend to know if there really is a spiritual element to that, but I like to believe it.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Minyan Man
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Re: Feeling a Good Spirit in the home

Post by Minyan Man » 03 Aug 2019, 07:06

Whenever I hear a topic like this, I think of specific people I've known over the years.
The first that came to mind was a man who used to be our Stake Patriarch.
He & his family immigrated from Germany. He was baptized before WWII in Germany.
He & his wife decided that they would do everything they could to invite the "spirit" into their home on a daily basis.
They always had spiritual or religious music playing. The television was usually off.
Members of the family treated each other with dignity & respect.
They did have challenges in life but they seemed to met them with dignity & grace. (no weeping, wailing or gnashing of teeth.)
They always had a strong testimony & spiritual presence.
Whenever he or his wife spoke, you wanted hear what they had to say. They did more listening than speaking.

My point is: they made a conscience decision to do whatever was needed to promote that spirit. And their children supported it.
I wish I was more like that.

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Heber13
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Re: Feeling a Good Spirit in the home

Post by Heber13 » 03 Aug 2019, 22:10

Good answers. Thanks.

Generally, if people are kind, and happy, and calm...I feel a good spirit about them.

If they are angry, crude, or yelling...not.

There is a positive energy around people who have love on their heart.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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