You can talk with people every day who say that God does not exist or is far, far away. A woman who sat next to me on a plane once told me that she believed God was “one of our distant ancestors.” The woman was right—in one way. God is our ancestor, but he is not distant; he is close. He is the Father of our spirits; we are his children. But, like that woman, we all at times feel far removed from him.
If you want to stay close to someone who has been dear to you, but from whom you are separated, you know how to do it. You find a way to speak to him, you listen to him, and you discover ways to do things for each other. The more often this happens, the longer it goes on, the deeper is the bond of affection. If much time passes without the speaking, the listening, and the doing, the bond weakens.
God loves you and offers you the same opportunity to draw closer to him as would a loving friend. And you do it in much the same way: speaking, listening, and doing.
Heavenly Father has not only invited you to speak to him, he has commanded it. The Lord says in the Doctrine and Covenants, “Pray always, and I will pour out my Spirit upon you, and great shall be your blessing” (D&C 19:38).
After you pray, you need to listen with great care. The Spirit will bear record to your heart as you read the scriptures, as you hear the Lord’s authorized servants, and as God speaks directly to your heart.
You will act after you have listened, because when you hear his voice by the Spirit, you will always feel that you must do something.
Now, even the Savior, when he was on the cross, felt that his Father was far from him. You will have moments, perhaps long moments, of feelings of separation. But the way to draw closer to God is to pray, and listen, and obey him all your days.