For example, the first time the Spirit spoke to me was when I was considering serving a Mormon mission. I couldn't make up my mind. That's when the Spirit said, "Go already. What could it hurt?"
The second occurred when pondering whether to marry my wife. Marriage hadn't been anywhere in the picture until she just showed up and swept aside all my idiot plans.
Out of nowhere, the Spirit said, "You damn well better marry her. Do you know how long it took your Heavenly Father to arrange this?"
Finally, there was the spiritually trying time when the faith in our household split. I was one thing and she was becoming something else. One night, in deep frustration, I went into the backyard and shouted up at the stars, "What am I supposed to do now?"
The answer came in a harsh whisper as the Spirit said, "Try shutting thou the $&^@# up for once."
Yeah, I know, many of you believe the Holy Spirit wouldn't say things like that. I say you weren't there and so what the hell do you know about it? Furthermore, the Holy Spirit speaks all kinds of languages to get its message across.
Anyway, I accepted the advice and things worked out great. It wasn't always easy, mind you. But I'm not complaining now.
Despite being a believer in uncorrelated prayer, I was asked to open Friday's session of the Utah House with prayer. I agreed to do it after some mild threatening from Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry, who is also Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Lee Perry. Here's what I said Friday morning as reverently as I could. (See Kirby's prayer.)
Our Father in Heaven,
We open this morning of the Utah State House of Representatives with gratitude in our hearts for the privilege it is to live in this great state.
We give thanks that we live in a society wherein government, even when run amok, can still be brought to heel by the voice of the people it's obliged to serve.
We ask thy guidance today in resolving our matters of state with the least amount of rancor and ego that is humanly possible. Remind us painfully if necessary, Father that we are family first and partisans second.
We ask thy help with the public, Father, that upon learning what occurs here today they will make every effort to understand it before going nuts.
Keep the media awake and alert through the proceedings, which may at times become annoyingly tedious.
Finally, please bestow a special blessing over our police officers, whose job it is to make reality of the laws enacted here, sometimes at the expense of their lives. Watch over our firefighters, EMS personnel, military and all those who serve to keep us safe.
These things we ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
It's probably not your typical prayer, but given the way things sometimes turn out on the Hill, I don't think it hurt anything.
Robert Kirby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/stillnotpatbagley.