On February 26, the prophet, Russell M. Nelson, sent out this message:
I love that we have been hearing from the prophet more and more frequently. His messages aren’t just reserved for General Conference and the occasional Ensign article. President Nelson uses social media fairly regularly to share messages with us. And when he speaks, I try my best to listen and apply.
So throughout this past week, I (and the kids) have been pondering on this question: “How do I hear Him?” As thoughts and ideas came to me throughout this past week, I wrote them down. This is what has come to me so far:
How do I hear Him?
I hear Him through feelings. These can be feelings of peace, joy, love, gratitude, etc. Or sometimes they are feelings of discomfort and feeling that something needs to change or I need to do something. Sometimes I feel divine discontent – recognizing where my actions or thoughts are not aligned with my beliefs.
I hear Him through reoccurring thoughts. I will have a thought about something (that often seems to come out of nowhere) and then that thought keeps coming up several times.
I hear Him through multiple witnesses. This goes along with the last one. I may have a thought about something and then I start noticing it everywhere. I hear the message through a song and/or a book, or I’ll read the message on social media or through a poem or a friend.
I hear Him through music. This is one of the most potent ways that I recognize and feel the spirit. Good, uplifting, Christ-centered music. I feel warm and spiritually energized.
I hear Him line upon line, layer upon layer. Ideas will come to me and they are like puzzle pieces that start to form a picture. I have noticed that the more I write these puzzle pieces down, the more I receive. Writing helps me to receive more personal revelation.
I hear Him through the emotional and physical response that happens within my body. Satan stresses, the spirit stills and stirs (moves me to act). If I am feeling paralyzing anxiety and fear, then I can be pretty sure that those messages are not coming from Him. The spirit stills me and speaks peace to my soul. And when needed, the spirit stirs me and moves me to act.
I hear Him through light – moments of understanding, clarity, and ideas. Sometimes these light experiences are instant like turning on a light switch in a dark room. But more often, they are like the sunrise where the light increases gradually. And other times, the light is just bright enough to help me to see a couple of steps ahead of me and as I walk into the fog, the light moves ahead of me to light my way one step at a time.
I hear him when I am reading something that is good. I feel the spirit speak to me and teach me through the stories and experiences of others. The spirit likens the things that I am reading to my own personal life.
Sometimes when my mind is occupied on something that is uplifting (a book, a podcast, music, etc.), my spirit will be taught something entirely unrelated (to the message that my mind is reading/listening to) by the Holy Ghost. It’s like my mind is focused on something (almost like a meditation) and it frees up my spirit to be able to be taught.
This one is hard to explain so hopefully that makes sense. An example is that there will be times when I’ll be reading out loud (so I know that my brain is engaged and focused), but I will be thinking about something entirely different. Of course sometimes this is just my mind wandering to random things, but there are times when I recognize that the Holy Ghost is teaching me about something in that moment.
I hear Him through the scriptures. It is through the scriptures that I learn to recognize His voice.
I hear Him in the temple. Especially when I am sitting in the celestial room, praying and pondering.
Throughout all of these instances, I am being persuaded to do good.
“For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.”