Hearing Him is one thing, but then trusting what I am hearing and acting upon it—that makes all the difference.

I Learned to Hear Him in My Youth

I learned to hear the voice of the Lord as a little girl through the scriptures and recognized how the Lord spoke to people and blessed them. I love the story of the brother of Jared and how the Lord spoke to Him, and as a young girl, I was amazed that I was learning to hear Him in my life on a very small scale.

As I learned to hear Him throughout my youth, it helped me to remember that I was a beloved daughter of God, that He knew my name and my circumstances. That gave me a desire to hear Him more often. It was such a sweet experience to always come to Him for the little things and to learn to trust Him. I would like to share a few more experiences on how I have heard Him throughout the years.

I Heard Him in the Missionary Training Center

As I grew a little older, the little things became a little bigger. The process of deciding whether to go on a mission was an experience that solidified my trust in God. One of my biggest worries about leaving for the Missionary Training Center (MTC) was that I would be the only missionary in the whole world that had not yet graduated from high school, but I moved forward in faith.

When I met my companion in the MTC, I discovered we were ten years apart in age. Even though this caused me some anxiety, I had an overwhelming feeling that I could trust the direction of the Holy Ghost—even in the smallest details of my life.

The blessing that followed was that the MTC president was an educator and knew I could graduate from high school by passing the necessary tests. On preparation days (free time), I tested for my school classes, and before I left to go to my mission, I had graduated from high school. I am grateful that the Lord sees the big picture.

I Hear Him When I Act in Faith

I remember one time my husband Derek and I were at a crossroads in our lives. He had a change of assignment in his work, and it increased his travel to other states. He was gone a lot, and we pondered moving so he could be home more often. We prayed about it for months without receiving an answer.

Some time went by, and we were not even thinking about it when an answer came. We were in the temple enjoying the peace when all of a sudden, an idea came to me: we should sell our home in Idaho, move to Utah, and then care for our parents’ home while they were on assignment in Europe. It was so fascinating how quickly and easily the answer came after so much time.

I shared the idea with Derek, and he was thrilled. We told my father about our plan, and he said, “Oh, your brother has already offered to take care of the home, so we will not need that.” We were kind of perplexed—why would we have been given the thought that we would need to take care of the home when it was already resolved? Nevertheless, we decided to go forward with our preparations to move. About a month later, my father called and said, “Would there be any possibility that you would still be open to caring for the house? Your brother got a job and is going to be moving out of state.” The Lord wanted me to learn patience and to realize that He comprehends things that I do not even realize.

I Hear Him When I Trust in His Timing

As much as hearing Him involves acting in faith, it also involves trusting in His timing. He can comprehend things that are going to bless our lives that we had no idea about.

About four days into a family vacation, our oldest grandson Derek suddenly stopped breathing. We were with him in the intensive care unit at a children’s hospital for about three days before he passed away. It was so unexpected, and we were just devastated. About a week after coming home, I had an assignment to go up to the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah , to visit the children there. Before the assignment, I remember getting on my knees and asking Heavenly Father, “Can I skip this assignment?” And the Lord said in my mind, “I want you to go.” In my heart I thought that it was just not fair and the timing was bad. But the thought came strongly: “Just go.” So I got ready, and I cried all the way to Primary Children’s Hospital.

As I walked in, all the sights and sounds that I had experienced with the death of our little Derek came back to me. When I came into one particular little boy’s room, there on his little white board on the wall, it said, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding” [Proverbs 3:5]. My heart just filled with a joy and a vision of the eternities that I would never have imagined. That scripture to me is so special and had a huge impact on me in that moment and helped heal my heart. If I had not gone, I would not have shown trust in the Lord’s prompting, and I probably would not have received the healing and joyful knowledge that Derek was OK.

We All Hear Him Differently Because He Knows Us Personally

A question I get often from missionaries, young men, or young women is this: “How do I know if what I feel is from the Lord or if it is just from my own mind?” I remember when I was a teenager, people would always talk about this warm feeling they felt when the Holy Ghost was guiding and directing them. But for me, that is not how it comes; instead, ideas come to me like a thought or an impression.

As I learned to act on impressions, I realized that they were from the Lord, and I knew when to move forward, be cautious, or be at peace. It works differently for each of us because He knows exactly how to speak to us personally in our heart, but trusting in Him is always the same. It can be the hardest thing to trust and act on a spiritual nudge or initial impression.

I am always intrigued by how in the scriptures every single situation is different in how the Lord connects with people and how they hear Him. I must have the confidence and trust that I am hearing the Spirit and that I will move forward. Hearing Him is one thing, but then trusting what I am hearing and acting upon it—that makes all the difference.

Bonnie H. Cordon
Bonnie H. Cordon
President Bonnie H. Cordon was named the Young Women General President on March 31, 2018 and served until August 1, 2023.