How to Be Guided by the Spirit


In recent messages, prophets and apostles have taught us how we can have the Holy Ghost as our constant companion.
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What do we know about the gift of the Holy Ghost? How does it operate in our lives? How do we recognize it? After we are baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, what must we do to have His constant influence, to be guided by personal revelation and inspiration?

Because these are such important questions for each of us, the members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speak about them frequently. Here are some of the principles they have taught recently.

How to Begin

  • “Seek heavenly guidance one day at a time. Life by the yard is hard; by the inch it’s a cinch. Each of us can be true for just one day—and then one more and then one more after that—until we’ve lived a lifetime guided by the Spirit.”1

  • “Sincere desire and worthiness invite the spirit of revelation into our lives.”2

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  • “(1) Sincerely desire to receive the Holy Ghost, (2) appropriately invite the Holy Ghost into our lives, and (3) faithfully obey God’s commandments.”3

How to Recognize Spiritual Guidance

young man praying
  • “The gift of the Holy Ghost … is a spiritual voice that comes into the mind as a thought or a feeling put into your heart.”4

  • “Sometimes the spirit of revelation will operate immediately and intensely, other times subtly and gradually, and often so delicately you may not even consciously recognize it. But regardless of the pattern whereby this blessing is received, the light it provides will illuminate and enlarge your soul, enlighten your understanding (see Alma 5:7; 32:28), and direct and protect you.”5

  • “Selfless acts of service and consecration refine our spirits, remove the scales from our spiritual eyes, and open the windows of heaven. By becoming the answer to someone’s prayer, we often find the answer to our own.”6

  • “Sometimes when you have made a mistake, you may have said afterward, ‘I knew I should not have done that. It did not feel right,’ or perhaps, ‘I knew I should have done that. I just did not have the courage to act!’ Those impressions are the Holy Ghost attempting to direct you toward good or warning you away from harm.”7

What to Do

  • “First on your ‘to do’ list, put the word prayer.8

  • “As we honor our covenants and keep the commandments, as we strive ever more consistently to do good and to become better, we can walk with the confidence that God will guide our steps.”9

  • “Take care of your body. Be clean. … Stay away from tattoos and similar things which deface your body.”10

  • “Exercise, reasonable amounts of sleep, and good eating habits increase our capacity to receive and understand revelation.”11

  • “Renew [your] covenants by partaking of the sacrament each Sabbath day.”12

  • “I am always humbled and grateful when my Heavenly Father communicates with me through His inspiration. I have learned to recognize it, to trust it, and to follow it.”13

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What to Avoid

  • “Yielding to emotions such as anger or hurt or defensiveness will drive away the Holy Ghost.”14

  • “Be cautious with humor. Loud, inappropriate laughter will offend the Spirit. A good sense of humor helps revelation; loud laughter does not.”15

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  • “Another enemy to revelation comes from exaggeration or loudness in what is stated. Careful, quiet speech will favor the receipt of revelation.”16

  • “You cannot lie or cheat or steal or act immorally and have those channels remain free from disruption. Do not go where the environment resists spiritual communication.”17

  • “Turn down the volume control of the worldly noise in our lives.”18

What You Are Promised

  • “You will not make a major mistake without first being warned by the promptings of the Spirit.”19

  • “The spirit of revelation is available to every person who receives by proper priesthood authority the saving ordinances of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost—and who is acting in faith to fulfill the priesthood injunction to ‘receive the Holy Ghost.’”20

  • “We can walk with the confidence that God will guide our steps. And we can speak with the assurance that God will inspire our utterances.”21

  • “Discovering how the Holy Ghost operates in your life is the quest of a lifetime. Once you have made that discovery for yourself, you can live in enemy territory and will not be deceived or destroyed.”22

Show References

    Notes

  1.   1.

    Thomas S. Monson, “Believe, Obey, and Endure,” Ensign, May 2012, 129.

  2.   2.

    David A. Bednar, “The Spirit of Revelation,” Ensign, May 2011, 87.

  3.   3.

    David A. Bednar, “Receive the Holy Ghost,” Ensign, Nov. 2010, 95.

  4.   4.

    Boyd K. Packer, “Counsel to Youth,” Ensign, Nov. 2011, 17–18.

  5.   5.

    David A. Bednar, “The Spirit of Revelation,” 90.

  6.   6.

    Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Waiting on the Road to Damascus,” Ensign, May 2011, 76.

  7.   7.

    Boyd K. Packer, “How to Survive in Enemy Territory,” New Era, Apr. 2012, 3.

  8.   8.

    Boyd K. Packer, “How to Survive in Enemy Territory,” 3.

  9.   9.

    David A. Bednar, “The Spirit of Revelation,” 90.

  10.   10.

    Boyd K. Packer, “How to Survive in Enemy Territory,” 3.

  11.   11.

    Richard G. Scott, “How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life,” Ensign, May 2012, 46.

  12.   12.

    Dallin H. Oaks, “Two Lines of Communication,” Ensign, Nov. 2010, 83.

  13.   13.

    Thomas S. Monson, “Stand in Holy Places,” Ensign, Nov. 2011, 84.

  14.   14.

    Richard G. Scott, “How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life,” 45.

  15.   15.

    Richard G. Scott, “How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life,” 46.

  16.   16.

    Richard G. Scott, “How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life,” 46.

  17.   17.

    Boyd K. Packer, “How to Survive in Enemy Territory,” 3.

  18.   18.

    Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Waiting on the Road to Damascus,” 70.

  19.   19.

    Boyd K. Packer, “Counsel to Youth,” 18.

  20.   20.

    David A. Bednar, “The Spirit of Revelation,” 87.

  21.   21.

    David A. Bednar, “The Spirit of Revelation,” 90.

  22.   22.

    Boyd K. Packer, “How to Survive in Enemy Territory,” 3.