Image of the Dove of the Holy Spirit
Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Dove of the Holy Spirit: Public domain image courtesy of Wikipedia


An Honored and Invited Guest

By Naida Stephens Tims as retold by Stephen M. Bird   Print this Article

“My marriage was over,” wrote Naida Tims. She been married in the temple twenty years earlier and had four children, but she felt she could no longer live with the strife and contention in her marriage so she met with a lawyer.

“I knew exactly who was destroying our marriage. It was my husband, Ken.”

Fortunately, her attorney recommended she visit with a counselor before initiating divorce proceedings. She agreed to meet with her bishop. When he recommended she visit with her stake president she agreed, but felt angry as she went to meet him. She said, “I knew he was going to tell us it was Satan who was destroying our marriage. I did not need to hear that. I knew exactly who was destroying our marriage. It was my husband, Ken. I could no longer tolerate the criticism, the lack of consideration, the constant bickering. If he would show more thought and care, everything would be just fine.”

The stake president had the Spirit

However, she noted that the spirit in her stake president's home touched her and so she listened as he reminded both her and her husband that they had “made sacred covenants with the Lord.” As a covenant family they were at war with Satan and his angels. In the Spirit, she listened.

He told them to gather their children and explain their feelings to them. Then they were to “gather every morning and invite the Holy Ghost” into their home and to pray for a spirit of love and affection for each person in the family. They should then act as if the Holy Ghost were an “honored and invited guest” actually present in their home. At the end of the day they were to “thank Heavenly Father for the blessings of that day” and ask Him to fill their home with his Spirit while they slept.

“Things began to change immediately.”

Naida wrote, “Things began to change immediately.” Their children had been horrified to learn of the impending divorce and eagerly agreed to participate in the plan.

The extent of change occurring in their home became clear one morning when she heard her “teenage daughters shouting at each other.” She rushed upstairs to quiet them, but suddenly their yelling stopped so she paused on the stairs and heard her “oldest daughter say: ‘Wait a minute! You know what we’re doing don’t you?” Her sister whispered, ‘Yes.’ It was quiet again. Then, ‘Let’s kneel down and pray.’” Naida didn’t hear their prayer, but after some time she did hear, “I love you, Sissy.” “I love you too.” She heard “rustling as they embraced and sniffles as the tears flowed.”

Naida backed quietly down the stairs thanking Heavenly Father for the privilege of hearing her daughters. She said, “That was more than 30 years ago, and we are still together as family.” She had no more need for her attorney. (Naida Stephens Tims, “An Honored and Invited Guest,” Ensign, June 2007, 50-51.) 

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