In a World Full of Noise, Are You Making Time to Feel God’s Stillness?
June 2024

“In a World Full of Noise, Are You Making Time to Feel God’s Stillness?,” Liahona, June 2024.

Young Adults

In a World Full of Noise, Are You Making Time to Feel God’s Stillness?

As I’ve taken time to be still, I’ve drawn closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and felt Their peace.

Jesus leading some sheep

The Lord Is My Shepherd, by Yongsung Kim, courtesy of LDSart

When I was in grade school, my mom would pick me up from school every Wednesday so we could get a little exercise by swimming laps together. At first, I did not enjoy this. I had little to no athletic talent, and I only went because it meant I would not have to ride the bus home from school.

But I soon realized the benefits of this weekly appointment. My mom taught me how to strengthen my strokes, how to align my body in the water, and when to breathe. I found an unhurried rhythm as I pulled myself through the water.

Pull, pull, pull, breathe.

What I treasured the most, though, was the uninterrupted time with my mom. I never had to worry about keeping up with my more gifted peers or keeping track of the number of laps I swam. It was just my mom and me keeping a rhythm.

Not long ago, I started to swim again. Relearning the rhythm has been easy. Pull, pull, pull, breathe. The stillness of the experience has felt familiar and become a medicine for my often-frenzied mind. I have found that by finding a place where I can’t hear much of the noise around me, my thoughts are less susceptible to external influences.

During this dedicated time to myself, when I’m not reaching for my phone or checking things off my to-do list, I have seen just how valuable a still environment can be. Eliminating some of the excessive noises of my day-to-day life makes it much easier to turn my thoughts to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

And by regularly seeking out this quietness, I’ve been able to invite more frequent spiritual experiences into my life. Turning off my phone or stepping away from my daily tasks for a moment is a way for me to say, “Heavenly Father, I have prepared myself to draw closer to Thee. I’m ready to listen.”

Many times, as I wait and listen, there isn’t an audible voice or even a specific thought, but instead a feeling of stillness. With the stillness comes warmth, peace, and a closeness to God and Jesus Christ (see Psalm 46:10). I can feel my efforts to be aligned with Them strengthened. Ultimately, it is the seeking of uninterrupted quiet moments like this that has allowed me to feel close to my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ, to know Them, and to hear Them.

Hearing the Good Shepherd

Over the years I have learned to find God’s stillness in other ways. For most of my adulthood, I have studied paintings, with a special focus on those of a sacred nature. I have found many paintings that may not look to be religious to the casual observer but are nonetheless sacred to me.

A simple painting of a shepherd ushering a small flock of sheep through a landscape veiled with fog is one such painting. The familiar symbol of the shepherd in this painting calls to mind John 10:27: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

As taught many times throughout the scriptures, Heavenly Father has invited us to hear the voice of His Son, Jesus Christ (see Matthew 17:5; 3 Nephi 11:7; Joseph Smith—History 1:17). Since seeing this painting for the first time, it has served as a reminder to me of what it can mean to hear the voice of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, in our daily lives.

The artist of this painting, Granville Redmond, became deaf at an early age and, as a result, developed a particular ability to paint images that somehow feel quiet.

Just as the artist has created a sacred and meaningful atmosphere through this expressive painting without words, so too does the Good Shepherd often speak to His flock in a voice not uttered but felt—only for those with “ears to hear” (Matthew 13:9). This image, painted by an artist who keenly understood the value of wordlessness, has taught me the power in hearing of a different kind—not of the physical realm, but of the spiritual. Not voice to ear, but soul to soul.

A close friend of Granville Redmond once said of him: “Sometimes I think that the silence in which he lives has developed in him some sense, some great capacity for happiness in which we others are lacking. He paints solitude as no one else can convey it, and yet, by some strange paradox, his solitude is never loneliness.”

As I’ve considered this painting over the years, it has brought up feelings familiar to what I have experienced in the calm of the swimming pool, seeking to feel close to God and hear the voice of the Good Shepherd. In that seeking I have found that my personal thoughts and actions are influenced by the feeling of being near Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and I do not need to hear Their voices audibly to have a spiritual experience with Them.

Finding Stillness

President Russell M. Nelson has taught: “Listening is an essential part of prayer. Answers from the Lord come ever so quietly. Hence He has counseled us to ‘be still and know that I am God’ (D&C 101:16).”

The ways we find to be still and listen for the voice of the Lord will be different for everyone. And I’ve found that, depending on the circumstances of my life, some approaches to finding stillness have been more feasible than others.

There have been times when I have felt stillness by offering comfort to a worried friend, listening to the testimony of a loved one, or sitting with my sisters in a Relief Society class. Other times I have found stillness by simplifying my overburdened schedule, spending time outside, or opening my scriptures.

When I sit in a sacrament meeting and hear the rustling of trays and cups and fussy babies, I’m comforted by the fact that even among the people around me, I can turn my thoughts inward and commune with God. As President Nelson has declared, I can “find rest from the intensity, uncertainty, and anguish of this world by overcoming the world through [my] covenants with God.”

When I sit in the celestial room of the temple—whether there are many people there or few—I can again commune with God. It is in those sacred spaces that I remember most to be unhurried, quiet, and still. And it is in those sacred spaces that I feel most prepared to pour out my heart to my Father and receive the sacred stillness He has for me. (See Galatians 5:22–23.)

Drawing Close to God

Throughout His ministry, the Savior drew Himself apart from the growing crowds of His disciples. In the Joseph Smith translation of Matthew, we read that “Jesus was led up of the Spirit, into the wilderness, to be with God” (Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 4:1 [in Matthew 4:1, footnote b]). The Savior had a balance of priorities in His life, and I am grateful to know that among His miracles and teaching, He took time to be alone with His Father.

I cannot know what might have been shared between the Holy Father and Son in those moments, but I have tried to seek out those experiences for myself. Even when there are good things that occupy my busy life, little else has invited more spiritual experiences than finding time to be still and connect with my Father in Heaven.

Little did my grade-school self know that when my mother invited me to swim with her each week, she was also teaching me how to seek after stillness and listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd. As I have grown and practiced seeking out times and places to commune with God, the more I have realized that God is always there and has been anxiously waiting for me to draw nearer to Him.

Making time to regularly commune with God is an opportunity for us to hear the voice of His Beloved Son. And as we seek out our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, we receive from Them peace, calm, and direction. There are sweet experiences available to us when we draw ourselves apart from the world. And I have found that the more I do, the more I can feel God’s stillness.


  1. A.V. Ballin, “Granville Redmond, Artist,” The Silent Worker, vol. 38, no. 2 (1925), 89.

  2. President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015), President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, stated, “The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you feel more than you hear” (“Personal Revelation: The Gift, the Test, and the Promise,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 60).

  3. Russell M. Nelson, “Listen to Learn,” Ensign, May 1991, 24.

  4. Russell M. Nelson, “Overcome the World and Find Rest,” Liahona, Nov. 2022, 97; emphasis in original.