Oftentimes, being "past feeling" is a sign of selfishness. One of my biggest vices. I used to only think of selfishness as it related to covetousness and jealousy. It was in wanting everything for yourself and for your benefit. But selfishness is also manifest in how our minds are occupied. I focus my thoughts on myself and my own happiness. Even praying or reading my scriptures becomes a selfish act as I focus on my needs and how it makes me feel vs. a form of worship. My mind is occupied so much with my own thoughts and concerns, it leaves little space for much else. In studying this topic, I was led to some helpful quotes that I think we can all benefit from:
“Our capacity to feel controls our behavior in many ways, and by inaction when our feelings prompt us to do good, we deaden that capacity to feel. It was Jesus’ striking sensitivity to the needs of those about him that made it possible for him to respond in action... When we become too encrusted with error, our spiritual antennae wilt and we slip beyond mortal reach. This can happen to entire civilizations... Imperviousness to the promptings of the still small voice of God will also mean that we have ears but cannot hear, not only the promptings of God, but also the pleas of men” ( , 59–60, Elder Neal A. Maxwell).It does sounds cliche, but moments of service have helped me get out of my own head and feel like "myself" again after dark periods. It brings you back to a place of refuge. Trying to be susceptible and aware of the promptings, especially when it seems they don't exist, is an act of faith. It IS faith. Some beautiful council on the topic from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin:
“I fear that some members of the Lord’s Church ‘live far beneath our privileges’ with regard to the gift of the Holy Ghost. Some are distracted by the things of the world that block out the influence of the Holy Ghost, preventing them from recognizing spiritual promptings. This is a noisy and busy world that we live in. Remember that being busy is not necessarily being spiritual. If we are not careful, the things of this world can crowd out the things of the Spirit... Some are spiritually deadened and past feeling because of their choices to commit sin. Others simply hover in spiritual complacency with no desire to rise above themselves and commune with the Infinite. If they would open their hearts to the refining influence of this unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, a glorious new spiritual dimension would come to light. Their eyes would gaze upon a vista scarcely imaginable. They could know for themselves things of the Spirit that are choice, precious, and capable of enlarging the soul, expanding the mind, and filling the heart with inexpressible joy” (in Conference Report, Apr. 2003, 27; or ).These are beautiful promises. Wouldn't we all benefit from them?