Follow the Little Promptings
June 2014

“Follow the Little Promptings,” New Era, June 2014, 9

Follow the Little Promptings

Every whisper from the Holy Ghost is worth listening to.

tree in wind

Illustration by Greg Newbold

If a tornado were going to hurl an enormous tree trunk onto your bed during the night, you’d probably want to know ahead of time.

Wilford Woodruff (1807–98), who later became the fourth President of the Church, was once sleeping outside in his wagon with his wife and child when the Spirit whispered, “Get up and move [your] carriage.”1 He could have dismissed it as a strange idea, but instead he obeyed. Half an hour later, a whirlwind snapped off an enormous tree and flung it through the air. The tree landed exactly where the wagon had been.

There are many such examples of miracles that happened as a result of following promptings (see more on pages 20 and 47).

But what about a prompting that inspires you to call a friend just to say hello? Or a prompting to put an extra pair of socks in your backpack for your next hike? Following such promptings likely won’t lead to dramatic outcomes, but they’re still important.

The friend you call might be having a hard day. A phone call could cheer him up. On the hike, an extra pair of socks could mean the difference between a comfortable outing and painful blisters if your feet got wet unexpectedly.

President Thomas S. Monson has taught: “We watch. We wait. We listen for that still, small voice. When it speaks, wise men and women obey. We do not postpone following promptings of the Spirit.”2

Sometimes spiritual promptings are urgent. More often, however, they are gentle. Heavenly Father has promised to instruct us “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little” (2 Nephi 28:30).

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has taught: “Most frequently, revelation comes in small increments over time and is granted according to our desire, worthiness, and preparation.”3

Most likely, none of us will need to dodge a tree trunk tossed at us by a tornado. Yet we can be certain there will always be some small and simple good we can do as we pay attention to the Spirit.


  1. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff (2004), 47.

  2. Thomas S. Monson, “The Spirit Giveth Life,” Ensign, May 1985, 68.

  3. David A. Bednar, “The Spirit of Revelation,” Ensign May 2011, 88.