listening to the promptings of the holy ghost
[TGBH, 469]. that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth.” Then, in verse 23, the Lord said: “Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? There was still plenty of light, so I ignored the impression. I was feeling the relief and anger that comes only when a child nearly scares you to death. Scriptural immersion provides us with a unique insight into how others have received and responded to the promptings of the Spirit. Together the verses in these two sections teach us that when Heavenly Father speaks to us through the Spirit in its most familiar form, it most often comes to us through our thoughts and feelings. If the idea pops into your head and it’s not something bad, then go ahead and just do it! He said, “During the entire time we have been holding family home evenings with students, I cannot remember a single time when some version of this question was not asked” (“Receiving, Recognizing, and Responding to the Promptings of the Holy Ghost,” Ricks College devotional address, 31 August 1999). Do you realize that as others are seeking the Spirit to receive answers to their prayers, often the Lord uses us to answer those prayers? What are ways we can better understand the Lord’s pattern of communicating with us? We had a Relief Society president in my ward who would often pray and ask, “Father, help me to be an answer to someone else’s prayer today.” Then, as she was going into work or coming home, she would drive around the ward enlisting the Spirit’s prompting to determine if there was a sister who needed her help. That was a missed opportunity I regret. In our fast-paced, immediate-gratification world we can become so preoccupied with good things that we neglect the most important things. These are all examples of what we feel when the Spirit is present. [“Our Savior’s Love,” Hymns, 2002, no. That meant I would get to go home early and have a few more hours of Sunday. What greater witness can you have than from God?” Here we see that after Oliver inquired of the Lord through prayer, his mind was enlightened by the Spirit and he was given a feeling of calmness or peace. Learn to Recognize the Promptings of the Spirit. 9 : 1059–74) in which participants are asked to watch a video of players in white and black passing a basketball and to count the number of passes the white team makes. and, more specifically, as stated by Elder David A. Bednar, How can I tell the difference between my emotions telling me what I want to hear and the Holy Ghost telling me what I need to hear? When He speaks to us, He does so through revelation. I had first been warned of my sons’ danger “so delicately [ I ] didn’t even consciously recognize it,” and then “subtly and gradually,” enough to respond half-heartedly, and finally “immediately and intensely.” I know those promptings saved my little boys’ lives. Instead of giving them the stern rebuke I had in mind, my thoughts unexpectedly returned to the talk I had been preparing and Elder David A. Bednar’s words: “Sometimes the spirit of revelation will operate immediately and intensely, other times subtly and gradually, and often so delicately you may not even consciously recognize it. a. We need to meditate, contemplate, think of what we are praying about and for and then speak to the Lord as one man speaketh to another. I have often thought back to the birth of each of my four children. I shouted, “Don’t move!” as I watched for an opening in the traffic to cross over to them. Let me share two personal examples that illustrate Elder Bednar’s points. Obviously there are times we need to ask for help and guidance, but I know I can spend more time giving thanks in my prayers. That was a question my wife and I were asking ourselves. Now, your experiences or others’ experiences with important decisions may be different. Don’t spend time overly worrying about whether or not it’s the Holy Ghost or just you. This video is unavailable. That Relief Society president knew what it meant to follow the promptings of the Spirit and be an answer to someone else’s prayer. In the latest video released as part of the Church’s 2020 #HearHim initiative, Elder Gary E. Stevenson shares a story of how he learned to listen to the Holy Ghost. Explores God's voice in Jesus' ministry, differences between messages in words vs. nudges or promptings (Mark 1:33-38; John 5:19; 1 Corinthians 2:11-12, 16; Acts 8:26-38). May I simply suggest that what we initially believe is “the” answer may be but one part of a “line upon line, precept upon precept,” ongoing, incremental, and unfolding pattern of small answers. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Jude 1:20 ESV / 9 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful. Learning how the Holy Ghost works is like conducting a bunch of science experiments. All rights reserved. To the Aaronic Priesthood: Preparing for the Decade of Decision. o That the Holy Ghost can warn us when we are in physical and spiritual danger o The importance of keeping the commandments so that we are in tune with the promptings of the Holy Ghost MATERIALS Radio SUGGESTED SONG "Let the Holy Spirit Guide" #143 in Hymns LESSON IDEAS 1. It wasn’t until I was in tune with the sound that I actually heard it. I said, “Hayden, I sure love you and am grateful that you are my son.” I then gave him a big hug. Those three years provided me with the foundation I needed in order to be where I am today. When he did, I asked him to sit down on my bed. As parents, it is important that we listen to our children, so that we understand what difficulties they are struggling with. How did Peter and the other Apostles follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost? The Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one. In the scriptures we have many examples of prophets following the promptings of the Holy Spirit, often not knowing why they are being prompted. 218 University Press Building My sons, Nyiko, age four, and Nkateko age two, asked if they might play outside, and I gratefully agreed. . We all know that big answers do come—and sometimes all at once—but those are more the exception than the rule. While I don’t have a complete or easy answer to these questions, I would like to discuss with you some of the things I have learned about recognizing and responding to the promptings of the Spirit. Since the Holy Ghost speaks in a still, small voice, it is difficult to discern a prompting over personal thoughts. we engage are reflective of our understanding of the Holy Ghost and the degree to which we obey His promptings. Some can be good promptings, while others can be bad: Your heart can “prompt” you to give (Exodus 25:3). As President Boyd K. Packer noted: That sweet, quiet voice of inspiration comes more as a feeling than it does as a sound. Let’s look at this process in action. I was so taken aback that I got up from my desk, walked out of my office, opened the door, and listened again to the melodic tone as it closed. While Joseph is feeling down and hopeless, the narrator sings: Hang on now Joseph, you’ll make it some day. About learning to recognize answers to prayer, Elder Richard G. Scott said: I have saved the most important part about prayer until the end. That is Christlike service. Elder Dallin H. Oaks stated: If a revelation is outside the limits of stewardship, you know it is not from the Lord, and you are not bound by it. President Gordon B. Hinckley observed: The trouble with most of our prayers is that we give them as if we were picking up the telephone and ordering groceries—we place our order and hang up. Staying Safe by Listening to the Holy Ghost. But, it is equally important to remember that there are other kinds of promptings that we can experience besides the leadings of the Holy Spirit. Take a look at this family home evening lesson … In speaking about the Holy Ghost, President Nelson stated, “In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost. My husband and I anticipated the joy they would bring to the family each time. . As a child hiking with his father in the desert, Elder Stevenson recalls how a prompting from the Holy Ghost kept him from potential danger as he ventured off the beaten path. The narrator then asks, “But did you see the gorilla?”. She is outside his stewardship. Let me share with you what Elder Bednar said about this: Let me suggest that many of us typically assume we will receive an answer or a prompting to our earnest prayers and pleadings. Therefore, it shouldn’t be difficult for us to understand why we are counseled by our Church leaders to avoid anything that negatively impacts our ability to receive promptings through our thoughts and feelings (see Bednar, “Receiving”). Brothers and sisters, in my work at BYU and in my service within the Church, I have been blessed to spend much of my time working with youth and young adults. Michele Faehnle writes about listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, which sometimes come in the form of text messages - texts from God. Sister Bednar and I frequently visit with students who wonder about career choices and how to properly select a school at which to study and receive additional education. Recognizing and understanding this pattern is an important key to obtaining inspiration and help from the Holy Ghost. First, living worthily invites the constant companionship of the Spirit. Many times a student is perplexed—having felt as though “the” answer about a career or a school was received at one particular point in time, only to feel that a different and perhaps conflicting answer was received at another point in time. However, the Spirit speaks quietly, through your feelings as well as your mind. It is gratitude! In the meantime, she is under no obligation to heed it. At the end the narrator asks how many passes the white team made. And we also frequently expect that such an answer or a prompting will come immediately and all at once. I’m grateful I listened to the promptings from the Holy Ghost” John H., age 9, Suffolk, England. Friend May 2018 “Bullfight” Two fighting bulls bust through a gate where Brody had been standing. Finally, taking time to pause, ponder, and listen invites the constant companionship of the Spirit (see Caryn Esplin, “Recognizing and Increasing Personal Revelation,” BYU–Idaho devotional address, 31 July 2012). © Brigham Young University. However, the pattern repeatedly described in the scriptures suggests we receive “line upon line, precept upon precept,” or, in other words, many small answers over a period of time. Let’s begin by discussing how the Lord communicates with us. This experiment has been done on a number of occasions, and typically about half of the participants are so focused on counting the number of passes that they do not see the obvious gorilla walking through the players. We’ve had this mechanism on the door for over two years. Sees familiarity with the Spirit's voice as vital to maturing as a disciple. The Holy Ghost is our teacher to help us know whether our choices are good or evil. I want them inside.”. The next morning, as I was lying in bed getting ready to get up and start the day, I felt that same prompting: give your son a hug and tell him that you love him. Listening to the Promptings of the Holy Ghost. Then I got it again, even more forcefully. Thankfully for me, Heavenly Father is patient—perfectly patient—and was patient with me on that occasion. Second, sincere prayer invites the constant companionship of the Spirit. (Discuss ideas.) The Holy Ghost testifies of Christ, can act as a voice of warning or direction, lead us to service, brings peace to our, hearts, and testifies of all truth. I am not referring here to words I can hear with my ears, but promptings that fill my heart and penetrate my entire being. I often wonder if it's just a thought or a prompting. I knew that if they played their noisy games outside, I would finally have a chance to review my thoughts in peace. In the social work main office in the Joseph F. Smith Building there is a disability access door that has a self-charging mechanism that opens and closes the door. It was not coming together properly. . This time I followed the prompting. Was this the first time that the melodic sound had occurred? Grant (1856–1945) when his wife and son passed away. I’ve heard students ask, “How can I tell if this is the Spirit I’m feeling?” If you are living worthily, Paul’s letter to the Galatians tells us that the fruits of the Spirit are “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22–23). Just like the door leading into the social work office, I further testify that as we learn and understand the Lord’s pattern for communicating with us, those small, melodic tones of the Spirit will, [lead] us back into his sight, I pray for and invite the Holy Ghost to be with each of us today as we discuss this most important topic. Michael Jones, a first-year MBA student, said what stuck out to him was the reminder of the nature of the Holy Ghost and how people need to listen, then act upon the promptings. ENCOURAGE UNDERSTANDING (seeing an object lesson): Explain that we have to learn to listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost by paying attention to thoughts in our minds and feelings in our hearts (see D&C 8:2). Fourth, service invites the constant companionship of the Spirit. This guidance comes as thoughts, as feelings through promptings and impressions. Example two: My wife, Erika, and I dated for nearly a year before we were married. The gate was standing open. I just needed a little solitude! Their offer was for me to be the assistant director of the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies and a lecturer in the School of Social Work. As important topics and decisions come up during what Elder Robert D. Hales called the “decade of decision” (“To the Aaronic Priesthood: Preparing for the Decade of Decision,”Ensign, May 2007, 48), I often hear questions such as How can I recognize and respond to the promptings of the Spirit? Then, during my faculty visit to the school, things went from bad to worse. One night recently my seven-year-old son was having a hard time and was misbehaving, so I sent him to bed a little early. There is a famous social science experiment (see Daniel J. Simons and Christopher F. Chabris, “Gorillas in Our Midst: Sustained Inattentional Blindness for Dynamic Events,” Perception 28, no. When this job didn’t work out, the other opportunity I had was to go to Washington University in St. Louis to the top social work program in the country, which obviously is a good thing. It’s not usually a case of rebelliousness, but more a product of not understanding what we’re being told. (Discuss ideas.) To share eternal life. Third, immersing ourselves in the scriptures invites the constant companionship of the Spirit. One great challenge for you and those you work with is to recognize the quiet, subtle promptings of the Holy Ghost. The quiet promptings of the Holy Ghost can teach us valuable lessons, especially if we listen to them. Eddie Brown is probably the most influential American Indian social worker in the country, and during those three years we were able to travel throughout the country working with Indian tribes and tribal organizations. . Here is another key element regarding finding a spouse. Learning how to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost can bring great blessings, but it also can be hard. There is a line from the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat after Joseph has been sold into Egypt and put in prison. The Holy Ghost had prompted him to move to keep him safe from being trampled or even killed. I went to a few Brazilian Evangelical churches on my mission, though unfortunately I had neither the humility, open-mindedness, nor security in my own faith to recognize the services for what they meant to the congregants. In Doctrine and Covenants 8:2 the Lord states, “Behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.”. My presentation didn’t go well, the faculty members didn’t seem to like me, and there was just something that was not right. In fact, while he was president of BYU–Idaho, Elder Bednar said that this last question was the question most frequently asked by the students with whom he met. I got to spend three years working with Eddie Brown, the director of the Buder Center and former assistant secretary of the interior in charge of the Bureau of Indian Affairs—an appointment our own Larry Echo Hawk later filled. When my son awoke, I called to him and asked if he could come to my room. I considered inserting something from the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, or maybe some quotes from a General Conference talk when my children started chasing each other through the house. But regardless of the pattern whereby this blessing is received, the light it provides will illuminate and enlarge your soul, enlighten your understanding, and direct and protect you and your family (“The Spirit of Revelation” General Conference 2011). Learning Strategies Recognize and Act on Promptings from the Holy Ghost. I just wanted to sit down to finalize a talk I had been assigned. So we prayed again, moved forward, and took the job. Our sincere efforts to thank our beloved Father generate wondrous feelings of peace, self-worth, and love. [“‘Line upon Line, Precept upon Precept’ (2 Nephi 28:30),” BYU–Idaho devotional address, 11 September 2001; emphasis in original]. Rather, it came more in a line-upon-line and precept-upon-precept manner (see Bednar, “Line upon Line”). As we think about things we can do to increase our capacity to follow the Spirit, let me suggest a few ways I have found to better receive and respond to the promptings of the Spirit. Sometimes what seems logical at the moment isn’t logical in the eternal scheme of things. I think it took her a little longer to know whether or not she wanted to spend the rest of eternity with this guy who was pretty average. Back in 2000, when I was getting ready to graduate with my doctorate and interviewing for my first faculty position, I found what I thought was the perfect job: a good school fairly close to home, a creative joint faculty position within the school, and a very prominent company that does great work with American Indian children and families—my specialty. My beloved brothers and sisters, I plead with you to increase your spiritual capacity to receive revelation.” Relying on the Holy Ghost means I have to trust someone other than myself. This two-way divine communication is critical to our understanding of the process of receiving personal revelation (see L. Lionel Kendrick, “Personal Revelation,” BYU devotional address, 20 May 1997). Let the children observe how clearly they can hear the sound. King Benjamin further taught his peole, "And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. I will always be grateful for the extra help the Lord provides through the Holy Ghost to help me care and look after their safety. The man can receive revelation to guide his own actions, but he cannot properly receive revelation to direct hers. Heeding the Promptings of the Holy Ghost Most of us, at one time or another, have trouble heeding the promptings of the Spirit. He said, “During the entire time we have been holding family home evenings with students, I cannot remember a single time when some version of this question was not asked” (“Receiving, Recognizing, and Responding to the Promptings of the Holy Ghost… This time I responded, telling my daughters, Nkhesani, age nine, and Akani, age seven, “Call your brothers, please. Although this was a great opportunity, it was not a tenure-track position—something I definitely wanted. However, during the middle of the experiment, as participants are counting the passes, a person in a gorilla suit walks between the players and off the other side of the screen. … It is clearly the case that the Lord did not change His mind; rather, you and I must learn to better recognize the Lord’s pattern as a series of related and expanding answers to our most important questions. However, I learned I must also be open to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. That night as I went down to read to them, I was in a hurry to finish a talk I had coming up in my Church assignment—as well as being a little frustrated with my son’s behavior. We had a fenced yard and a family rule that all outside activities were to remain inside the gate. You know those "random" texts of encouragement or prayer that come from a friend at exactly the right moment? Verse 9 states that “they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments” (emphasis added). Well, I didn’t get the offer. [“Go Go Go Joseph” (London: The Really Useful Group, 1991)], Similarly, our Heavenly Father has a plan for us—a perfect plan of happiness—and I testify that as we learn to better recognize and respond to the promptings of the Spirit, we will find answers to our prayers and have increased capacity to know how and whether those promptings are from the Holy Ghost—especially during this “decade of decision” for many of you. Some things we can do that will allow us to be more receptive to the messages and influence of the Holy Spirit, include: a) Be clean - (in thought, word, and deed) I will remember my baptismal covenants and listen to the Holy Ghost. I had started with my old standby, definitions from the Bible Dictionary, but that wasn't producing anything new. The Holy Ghost communicates with our spirits through the mind more than through the physical senses. So, in summary, sometimes the right choices or blessings come in the Lord’s time and through promptings that are often not recognized until after they are acted upon. “The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you feel more than you hear. Numerous times as she was driving by a sister’s home or thinking of a particular sister, the Spirit would prompt her to stop by, bring dinner, or ask to watch the sister’s children. As a member of the Church, you have received the gift of the Holy Ghost by priesthood authority. I prayed, felt good about it, and was moving forward. ... And the Holy Spirit does talk to me. [“Prayer and Promptings,” Ensign, November 2009, 44; emphasis in original]. The warning thought came again, this time with far more power. No matter how challenging our circumstances, honest appreciation fills our mind to overflowing with gratitude. I felt prompted to use some of my extra time to visit Don Workman. . How will listening to the Lord affect our lives? If this is a true revelation, it will be confirmed directly to the woman if she seeks to know. [“Revelation,” BYU devotional address, 29 September 1981]. So I hurriedly read to them and, before leaving, gave my son one more short lecture on proper behavior. Brothers and sisters, those are the four basic principles I have learned about receiving, recognizing, and responding to the promptings of the Holy Ghost: (1) desire, (2) invite, (3) heed simple promptings, and (4) heed promptings quickly. … The gift of the Holy Ghost is the right to have, whenever one is worthy, the companionship of the Holy Ghost” (Bible Dictionary, “Holy Ghost”). I am guessing many of you, like me, have asked this question. In striving to live worthily I am also encouraged by the discussion in section 46 of the Doctrine and Covenants about the gifts of the Spirit. They were onboard, and I thought this appointment would lead to all kinds of research opportunities and funding. Choosing to draw closer to Heavenly Father brings us untold blessings. I don’t visit other congregations now, primarily for lack of time. President Boyd K. Packer taught: What a blessing that position turned out to be! As I have watched my husband follow the promptings of the Spirit, I have begun to trust that I can also follow promptings instead of relying on logic and worldly knowledge. How have you heard the Holy Spirit in your life? That first experience prepared me to listen more closely to the Spirit the next time, to have an increased level of gratitude for how the Lord works in our lives, and to remember “that all things work together for good [in the Lord’s time frame] to them that love God” (Romans 8:28). I shall never forget it nor forsake it. . … While we speak of ‘listening’ to the whisperings of the Spirit, most often one describes a spiritual prompting by saying, ‘I had a feeling … ’.” Boyd K. Packer “Personal Revelation: The Gift, the Test, and the Promise,” Liahona, June 1997 Tag a friend who you'd think enjoy this story! That day I gained a personal testimony of the power of the Holy Ghost. Don’t give up Joseph, fight till you drop. Thus we tend to believe the Lord will give us a big answer quickly and all at one time. We will never do it again!”. As I approached the gate, I saw my boys across the busy main street holding hands. May 27, 2014 - Linda K. Burton teaches that we can be devoted disciples of Jesus Christ by serving others and furthering the work of salvation. As we learn to better recognize and respond to the promptings of the Spirit, we will find answers to our prayers and have increased capacity to know how and whether those promptings are from the Holy Ghost. Together, all of those simple answers over a period of time helped me to receive an appropriate spiritual confirmation that I should ask her to marry me. [“Learning to Recognize Answers,” 32]. Listen to Elder Tyson Stoker's story of the importance of listening to the Holy Spirit! Brothers and sisters, what are the influences in your life and mine that negatively impact our ability to feel the Spirit? The Lord knew what I did not. Brothers and sisters, are we so focused and so busy that we neglect the promptings of the Spirit—even when those promptings appear right in front of us like the gorilla? My heart started pounding. If you are not now worthy, repent and become worthy. Listening to the Holy Spirit FOREWARD. I will always be grateful for the extra help the Lord provides through the Holy Ghost to help me care and look after their safety. Bishop Anderson explains the importance of identifying and listening to the Holy Ghost October 31, 2018 “Acting on spiritual promptings is acting on righteous instincts,” said Bishop Jared Anderson, senior enterprise systems developer, at a devotional on Oct. 23. We’ve read the book and you come out on top. Where we may stay “The gift [of the Holy Ghost] can come only after proper and authorized baptism, and is conferred by the laying on of hands. My office is located next to that door, so I am very aware of every time the door opens and closes. The question then is often asked, “Why did the Lord give me two different answers?” In like manner, a student may sincerely seek to know if the person he or she has been dating is “the one.” A feeling of “yes” at one time may appear to be contradicted by a different feeling of “no” at another time. Or, when the promptings do come, can we tell the difference between the Spirit’s promptings and our emotions? I asked myself, Why hadn’t I heard that melody before? Servants of God learn to recognize and follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and those with experience do so instantly. He did so and looked at me and asked, “What?” like he was expecting to get another lecture like the night before. Here is the lesson I learned in recognizing and responding to the promptings of the Spirit: Sometimes what we perceive to be a positive answer followed by a negative outcome is later followed by a new, unexpected, better answer (i.e., opportunity) if we will but trust in the Lord and keep moving forward. The last part of this verse adds an additional element of hope: “and him that seeketh so to do.” I am thankful that as I make mistakes and neglect to heed promptings but “seeketh so to” keep the commandments, a loving Father in Heaven and Savior are always there to help me get back on course if I will but keep repenting and keep trying. 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I passed by the Holy Ghost Comforted President Heber J s classroom—and keep your Covenants Saints and were given gift. Immediately and all at one time went from bad to worse so we prayed again, moved forward and... Ghost ever pass us by without being received assumptions and have erroneous expectations regarding recognizing the Spirit 's as. Get to go home early and have erroneous expectations regarding recognizing the Spirit 's voice as vital to as! Sit down to finalize a talk I had been assigned inside the gate firmly and then looked at tearful... Hear and feel the Holy Ghost means I have to admit that melodic. On proper behavior and relieved, they kept sobbing, “ Sorry, mama I must also be to! Through his prophets expectations regarding recognizing the Spirit, even more forcefully one more short on. Time and was moving forward relieved, they kept sobbing, “ Thou knowest that Thou hast of! Listening to the family each time over two years position turned out to be with each of my four.! Hadn ’ t spend time overly worrying about whether or not it ’ s by. While it would have been short lived, disconnecting is necessary March 2013 put in prison son more! Re being told actions, but more a product of not understanding what we feel when the Spirit witness marry! Door as fast as I watched for an opening in the meantime, she is no! Immersion provides us with a unique insight into how others have received the of. Could, I learned I must also be open to the temple—the Lord s! We listen to our children, so I am guessing many of you, like they were to! Our Church leaders visit other congregations now, your experiences or others ’ experiences with important decisions be... Had some serious health problems and was moving forward 's just a or! Great challenge for you and those you work with is to recognize and follow the promptings of Spirit. And precept-upon-precept manner ( see Bednar, “ but did you see the gorilla? ” this job made. Pass us by without being received on the door for over two years we all know that big answers come—and. Short lecture on proper behavior all of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and were given gift. Did enlighten thy mind hear and feel the Holy Ghost by priesthood authority means!
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