Taught by the Spirit


From the beginning, God has taught His faithful followers through the Holy Ghost. Often referred to as the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, the Comforter, or simply the Spirit, the Holy Ghost teaches us in a variety of ways. Our scriptures are filled with dramatic examples of visions, dreams, or the appearances of angels as a means of teaching prophets and others. More often, however, the Spirit communicates to us through less dramatic but still powerful ways—promptings; a still, small voice; or a feeling of warmth, peace, and comfort.

We see in the scriptures that those who were taught by the Spirit first prepared themselves by opening their heart and mind to receive divine inspiration in their lives. We must do the same as we seek answers to our prayers. Setting aside a time and a quiet place to pray invites the Spirit and allows us to hear and feel His inspiration. We can take an active role in being taught by the Spirit by often exerting ourselves spiritually, mentally, and physically, and then listening for an answer.

Abraham and the Three Angels, by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. After Abraham and his wife Sarah made a covenant with God, the Lord sent three angels to tell the couple that they would have a son, Isaac (see Genesis 17–18).

Photo © National Gallery of Canada / National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

I Did Raise My Voice That It Reached the Heavens(click to view larger)

I Did Raise My Voice That It Reached the Heavens, by Walter Rane. Enos “hungered” and cried unto God in “mighty prayer” (see Enos 1).

Courtesy of Church History Museum

Saint Paul Writing, by Jacob Adriaensz Backer. After Paul’s dramatic spiritual experience on the road to Damascus and subsequent conversion (see Acts 9:3–18), he spent the rest of his life writing epistles of support and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout Asia Minor.

Scala / White Images / Art Resource, New York / Musee des Beaux-Arts, Rouen, France

The Spirit of Prayer(click to view larger)

The Spirit of Prayer, by Claudio Roberto Aguiar Ramires. The Spirit taught Nephi, son of Lehi, how to build a ship (left) that would take Lehi’s family to the promised land (right)—though Laman and Lemuel bound Nephi with cords during the journey (center). The story is found in 1 Nephi 17–18.

© IRI

Mary’s Visit to Elizabeth(click to view larger)

Mary’s Visit to Elizabeth, by Carl Heinrich Bloch. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s salutation, “the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost” and knew that Mary would be the mother of the prophesied Messiah (see Luke 1:39–45).

Used by permission of the National Historic Museum at Frederiksborg in Hillerød, Denmark, may not be copied

The Conversion of Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah(click to view larger)

The Conversion of Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah, by David Linn. Alma and the sons of Mosiah flattered the people to do iniquities (left). An angel of the Lord appeared unto them and said, “I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God” (center). Their hearts were changed, and they became instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth (right). (See Mosiah 27:8–37.)

Courtesy of Church History Museum

John the Revelator Shown the Heavenly City(click to view larger)

John the Revelator Shown the Heavenly City, by Innes Fripp. The Apostle John wrote, “Behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard … said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter” (Revelation 4:1).

Courtesy of Church History Museum

Jacob’s Dream, by Jusepe de Ribera. The Spirit taught Jacob in a dream: “Thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, … and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (see Genesis 28:11–18).

Erich Lessing / Art Resource, New York / Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain