President Henry B. Eyring recounts moments from his youth when he received approval from people, including his mother, who were in touch with heaven, equating it to receiving heaven’s approval.

I Hear Him by Approaching Him with Prayer and Faith

Receiving guidance from the Holy Ghost will take more than casual listening and reading. You will need to pray and work in faith to put the words of truth down into your heart. You must pray that God will bless you with His Spirit, that He will lead you into all truth and show you the right way.

I Hear Him through the Power of the Restoration

I have found in my life that human judgment and logical thinking will not be enough to get answers to the questions that matter most. I need revelation from God. And we need not just one revelation in a time of stress, but a constantly renewed stream. We need not just one flash of light and comfort, but the continuing blessing of communication with God.

The very existence of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stems from a young boy knowing that was true. Young Joseph Smith knew that he could not of himself know which church to join. So he asked of God, as the book of James told him he could. God the Father and His Beloved Son appeared in a grove of trees in what is called the First Vision. They answered the question that was beyond Joseph’s power to resolve. Not only was he then called of God to establish the true Church of Jesus Christ, but with it was restored the power to invoke the Holy Ghost so that revelation from God could be continuous.

Over 200 years later, this power still exists, and I strive to use it regularly in my life to “hear Him.” I hope that my thoughts and experiences will help you realize different ways to receive revelation from the Holy Ghost.

I Hear Him by Following the Pattern of the First Vision

The First Vision also offered a pattern I use to hear the voice of the Lord. Joseph Smith began and continued his ministry with the realization that his own wisdom was not sufficient to know what course he should pursue. He followed a pattern we can all follow to qualify for continuing personal revelation:

  • He studied the words God had already revealed in the scriptures.
  • He pondered what he had read and felt.
  • He returned to the scriptures often and carefully.
  • Out of the faith he gained by studying and pondering, he resolved to pray.
  • When revelation came, he received truth and light, lived the truth he had been given, and sought more truth.
  • He returned to the scriptures again and received further revelation from God, which he wrote down.
  • He continued to pray and obey, thus receiving even further light and instructions.

The Prophet Joseph set an example for me of how to receive continual spiritual direction and comfort through the Holy Ghost. He prayed in faith that God would answer. The answer came when he was a young boy. Those messages came when he needed to know how God would have His Church established. The Holy Ghost comforted and guided him throughout his life. My challenge is to act so that I can receive the messages of truth Heavenly Father is ready to send to me as revelation and to recognize what He has already sent.

Pondering the scriptures leads me to ask the right questions in prayer. And just as surely as the heavens were opened to Joseph Smith after he pondered the scriptures in faith, God will answer your prayers and He will lead you by the hand.

I Learned to Hear Him through My Mother

One of the earliest and best examples of learning to receive revelation came through my mother. She never said anything that I did not take seriously, and I always felt that she knew what was right. I got a feeling that she was watching over me, very much the same way I feel the Savior looks over me. If she looked even slightly disapproving, I took caution.

I remember there was one time I had earned 10 cents and decided I would go to the movies, which was something I rarely did. I said to my mother, “I am going to go to a movie. What do you think?” She said, “Oh, if you want to,” and I thought, “Well … I cannot go now,” because I could tell there was just a look of disapproval on her face. My mom was a wise woman, and her approval felt like I was getting approval from the Lord. I feel that my mother was in touch with heaven, and hearing her felt like I was hearing Him. When I complained of things being hard, she would always say, “If you are on the right path, it will always be uphill.”

Anyone Can Hear Him through the Promise of the Holy Ghost

In the same way that making wise choices takes an “uphill” effort, in order to know God’s will I must be committed to do it. The words “Thy will be done” (Matthew 6:10), written in the heart, are the window to revelation. The answer comes by the Holy Spirit, and I need that guidance often. To have the Holy Ghost as my companion, I must be worthy, cleansed by the Atonement of Jesus Christ. So my obedience to the commandments, my desire to do His will, and my asking in faith will determine how clearly the Master can guide me by answers to my prayers.

As members of the Church, we all have the priceless promise of the Holy Ghost as a companion, and we also have true directions on how to claim that gift. These words are said by the Lord’s authorized servant with his hands on our head: “Receive the Holy Ghost.” At that moment you and I have the assurance He will be sent. But our obligation is to choose to open our hearts to receive the ministration of the Spirit over a lifetime. It is not a matter so much of which words to use, but it will take some patience. It is an approach to our Heavenly Father with the intent to be recognized by Him personally. He is the God above all, the Father of all, and yet willing to give undivided attention to one of His children.

Hear Him by Eliminating Distraction

There will be noise and people around you most of your waking day. God hears your silent prayers, but you may have to learn to shut out the distractions, because the moment you need the connection with God may not come in quiet times. You will not survive spiritually without the protection of the companionship of the Holy Ghost in your daily life. You must pray for it and work to have it. Only with that guide will you be able to find your way along the strait and narrow path through the mists of evil.

Receiving guidance from the Holy Ghost will take more than casual listening and reading. You will need to pray and work in faith to put the words of truth down into your heart. You must pray that God will bless you with His Spirit, that He will lead you into all truth and show you the right way.

Henry B. Eyring Official Portrait 2018
President Henry B. Eyring
President Henry B. Eyring was sustained and set apart as second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday, January 14, 2018.