“Tune In to the Spirit,” New Era, June 2014, 10–11
You’ve been assigned to give a family home evening lesson about listening to the Spirit, but you’re not quite sure how to teach your family with a fun and engaging lesson. Well, here’s an object lesson that’s perfect for you! All you need is a radio, and you’re ready to go.
Our Heavenly Father has blessed us with the Spirit to help us through our mortal journey, and although there are many other voices to distract us, we can have the continual guidance of the Spirit. To listen to the Spirit we need to be tuned in so we can recognize His promptings and follow them. Tuning in to the voice of the Spirit is a lot like tuning in to a radio station. Each station is transmitted on a specific frequency, so in order to hear the broadcast of a certain station, you have to tune in to the correct channel, avoiding all the static and other stations around it.
Here’s where your object lesson comes in. Grab your radio, and set it to a random radio station or frequency (don’t let others see where you set it). Then as a family, pick a radio station that everyone wants to find. Start turning the radio dial and scan through all the stations trying to find it. You’ll notice that some frequencies will come in clear and others will come in as static. Some will be easy to tell that they’re not the station you’re looking for (they’re classical and you’re looking for jazz, for instance). Others may at first seem close to what you want (another jazz station) but won’t be the exact pick.
Once you’ve found your station, talk about the similarities you see between the activity and tuning in to the Spirit. For example, we may hear some messages coming from stations that can sound appealing but that keep us from tuning in to the right station. We may also be distracted by static—things in life that don’t really harm us but that prevent us from truly focusing on the message of the station we want to hear.
You may want to have your family pick a second station as well. But this time, let them see where the radio dial is set as you scan—you’ll be able to go right to it this time. Once you’ve found it, consider discussing what you can do as a family to learn how to quickly recognize and tune in to the Spirit. For example, we can tune in to the Spirit by praying, studying the scriptures, following the words of living prophets, and listening to our parents. We’re in the best position to feel the Spirit when we’ve repented of our sins and when we listen to and follow His promptings.
It’s important that we know how to recognize and listen to the Spirit in our lives. That way we won’t get distracted from all the other voices that seek to keep us from the influence of the Holy Ghost and God’s messages to us. President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency (1920–2007), taught, “The adversary tries to smother [us] with a multitude of loud, persistent, persuasive, and appealing voices.” These voices will lead us away from the joy of the gospel. President Faust added that we must “filter out the static generated by Satan.”1
If we’re to listen to the voice of the Spirit, how do we know that we’re tuning in to His guidance? President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) said that we can know by asking ourselves, “Does it persuade one to do good, to rise, to stand tall, to do the right thing, to be kind, to be generous? Then it is of the Spirit of God. …
“If it invites to do good, it is of God. If it inviteth to do evil, it is of the devil. … And if you are doing the right thing and if you are living the right way, you will know in your heart what the Spirit is saying to you.”2 (See also Moroni 7:13, 16–17.) This is how we know we’re tuned in to the Spirit.