Come Listen to a Prophet’s Voice: The Holy Spirit

James E. Faust

Second Counselor in the First Presidency


James E. Faust
Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them (Neh. 9:20).

The Holy Spirit

During our lives, we each face hard decisions and hidden dangers. President James E. Faust explains how we can receive personal revelation that will lead us to strength and safety.

The right to enjoy the marvelous gifts of the Holy Ghost is conferred upon every member of the Church soon after baptism. …

This powerful gift entitles the leaders and all worthy members of the Church to enjoy the gifts and companionship of the Holy Ghost, a member of the Godhead whose function is to inspire, reveal, and teach all things. The result of this [gift] is that since the Church was organized, the leadership and members have enjoyed, and now enjoy, continuous revelation and inspiration directing them in what is right and good. …

Latter-day Saints, having received the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, are entitled to personal inspiration in the small events of life as well as [in the great ones]. …

Without seeking the inspiration of the Almighty God, how could anyone think of making an important decision such as “Who is to be my companion?” “What is my work to be?” “Where will I live?” “How will I live?”

Many faithful Latter-day Saints have been warned by the Spirit when they were faced with injury or possible death. Among these was President Wilford Woodruff, who said:

“When I got back to Winter Quarters from the pioneer journey [1847], President [Brigham Young] said to me, ‘Brother Woodruff, I want you to take your wife and children and go to Boston and stay there until you can gather every Saint of God in New England and Canada and send them up to Zion.’

“I did as he told me. It took me two years to gather up everybody, and I brought up the rear with a company (there were about one hundred of them). We arrived at Pittsburgh one day at sundown. We did not want to stay there, so I went to the first steamboat that was going to leave. I saw the captain and engaged passage for us on that steamer. I had only just done so when the spirit said to me, and that, too, very strongly, ‘Don’t go aboard that steamer, nor your company.’ Of course, I went and spoke to the captain, and told him I had made up my mind to wait.

“Well, that ship started, and had only got five miles down the river when it took fire, and three hundred persons were burned to death or drowned. If I had not obeyed that spirit, and had gone on that steamer with the rest of the company, you can see what the result would have been.”

Some guidelines and rules are necessary if one is to [receive] revelation and inspiration. They include (1) to try honestly and sincerely to keep God’s commandments, (2) to be spiritually attuned as a receiver of a divine message, (3) to ask God in humble, fervent prayer, and (4) to seek answers with unwavering faith. I testify that inspiration can be the spring for every person’s hope, guidance, and strength. …

How do revelation and inspiration operate? Each person has a built-in “receiving set” which, when fine-tuned, can be a receiver of divine communication. …

One does not necessarily hear an audible voice. … “I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart,” says the Lord (D&C 8:2).

How was the voice of the Lord heard by Elijah the Tishbite? It was not the “strong wind [which] rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks,” nor “after the wind an earthquake,” nor “after the earthquake a fire.” It was “a still small voice” (see 1 Kgs. 19:11–12).

The inner voice of the Spirit [can] whisper through and pierce all things (see D&C 85:6). …

I pray that we may so live as to enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

(Ensign, March 2002, pages 3–7.)

[illustrations] Illustrated by Dan Burr