In my life, I am trying to reflect my faith in the Savior Jesus Christ and His gospel, which is always nourished by hearing the word of God from the holy scriptures and from the teachings of the prophets. This spiritual effort has opened my ears and my mind and has helped improve my ability to listen to the Lord more intensely in my life.
Please allow me to share some of the ways that I “hear Him.”
I Hear Him by Aligning My Mind with Him
I have been making a daily effort to align my mind with things that are good, praiseworthy, and virtuous. At the same time, I have made an extra effort to eliminate everything that is not good from my mind and my heart. When an impure thought penetrates my mind, I work hard for it not to remain in there because I know this can lead me to make inappropriate choices and bring undesirable consequences to my life. I always try to substitute it for something good because I am sure that light and darkness cannot occupy the same space at the same time.
I Hear Him through the Book of Mormon
Another way I have tried to fill my soul with light is through the Book of Mormon. The introduction of the Book of Mormon reads: “We invite all men [and women] everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost.”
When I accepted this invitation to read and ponder the Book of Mormon, I also accepted an invitation to know the Lord. When I follow this pattern, I feel confident that this promise will be kept and that I will hear the Lord’s voice confirming the truth of what I have studied and read. This has happened step by step as I have continued to study the Book Mormon.
The combination of reading, pondering, and prayer was part of my preparation to hear the Lord, as the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ and His divine mission. When we place our faith on the Lord’s promises, we are also preparing to hear His voice, which is soft, sweet, clear, and unmistakable.
I Hear Him by Making Commitments to the Lord
In putting my faith in the Lord’s promises and His gospel, I have made commitments to love Jesus Christ above anything else, to forego the things that were not good in my life, and to respect God’s commandments. Fulfilling those commitments requires constant dedication, and I have learned that I can become more like Christ, walk in His light, and reduce the influence of evil over my life. This has helped to increase my spiritual sensibility, and my willingness to hear Him and understand His voice has been expanded. By accepting the Savior’s invitation to follow Him, I am submitting to the will of the Lord. I can say with certainty that this has helped me to develop a greater ability to listen to the Lord and to follow Him.
I Hear Him by Teaching the Gospel and Following the Spirit
I remember an experience when I served as mission president. I had prepared a speech for the missionaries in a zone conference that I thought was very good. I was completely prepared, and in the morning, I started to have a doubtful feeling—as if I heard the Lord’s voice saying, “This is not what your missionaries need.”
I knelt and prayed, and then the Lord directed me to section 33 of the Doctrine and Covenants, which is a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith for two men who were called to preach the gospel. I changed the speech completely, and it met the exact needs the missionaries had on that occasion. I remember that the feeling of peace that came to my heart was so strong, confirming in my mind and my heart that this was what the missionaries needed to learn on that day. That decision to listen to the Lord changed the direction of our mission, changed the missionaries’ vision, and changed the way we carried out the work.
The Lord gives me a warm, unmistakable feeling in my whole body when something is correct. The process with me is step by step. First, I must do my part. When I’m going in the wrong direction, I feel confused and lost. But when I allow my mind to reflect, the Lord starts to enlighten my mind, and the ideas start to come with more clarity.
This process has helped me to center my life more on the Savior and has helped me to hear Him more intensely and continuously.