Questions & Answers: Revelation or My Own Thoughts

“How can I know when I have received a revelation and not just a thought of my own?”

If you’ve asked this question, you’re not alone. For many of us, revelation sometimes can be hard to recognize. In part, the answer depends on how you’re living and how humble you are. If you do your best to be worthy of the Spirit and strive to be humble so that the Lord can direct you, answers will come (see D&C 112:10).

As you ponder whether a thought or feeling is from the Spirit, consider this counsel from the prophet Mormon: “Every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God” (Moroni 7:16).

Along these lines, President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) taught, “That’s the test, when all is said and done. 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” (Preach My Gospel [2004], 97).

So do your best to be worthy of the Spirit, listen carefully, pay attention to those thoughts and promptings, and act. The Lord will help you along the way, and over time you’ll learn more about how the Spirit speaks specifically to you.

For more on this topic, see Q&A: “How Can I Tell the Difference between Inspiration and My Own Thoughts?” New Era, Apr. 2003, 16.

Notice the Spirit

When I have personal revelation, I can feel the Spirit. Often, when I have personal revelation, I am doing spiritual activities like going to church, praying, or reading the scriptures. I can tell when it isn’t personal revelation if I don’t feel the Spirit.

Benjamin T., 13, Indiana, USA

Be Guided

The scriptures tell us that anything good comes from God (see Moroni 7:16). So when we have righteous thoughts, we can know it comes from our Father in Heaven. I know He will only lead us to do good. Sometimes promptings and personal revelation will come as thoughts to us in a way that allows us to be guided.

Sarah T., 16, Arizona, USA

Seek Diligently

If I’m looking for an answer from my Heavenly Father or just seeking help in general, I like to study my scriptures and pray to God, asking for help. Revelation often comes to us when we seek diligently and are committed to learning something or getting help, not just simply waiting for an answer.

Jordan W., 16, Oregon, USA

See How You Feel

Whenever I receive personal revelation, I feel a peaceful swelling inside. Even though you may not notice it at first, you will learn to realize that you have received personal revelation. I am grateful for it in my life.

Devin R., 16, North Carolina, USA

Open Your Heart and Mind

From my experience, personal revelation comes at moments when the Spirit is strong. If you’re not sure whether you have received revelation, the Holy Ghost will always show you. He will provide the means to understand it if you open your heart and mind and do the things necessary to receive a revelation from God. Turn to your scriptures, pray, and be worthy to have the Holy Spirit and you will know the truth of all things.

Sejdi L., 18, France

Act on It

When you get a righteous thought, it comes from our Heavenly Father. If you think you need to do something good, do it even if it comes from your mind. If you’re listening to the Holy Spirit and living righteously, even the little thoughts in your mind that are righteous should be acted upon.

Ruth R., 17, Illinois, USA

Learn How the Spirit Speaks to You

The way the Holy Ghost speaks to us is different for each person. But you should notice a significant difference in the way you feel [see Galatians 5:22–23]. Pray to know how the Holy Ghost speaks to you. He will show you.

Julia Lyne R., 20, Utah, USA

Responses are intended for help and perspective, not as official pronouncements of Church doctrine.

What Is Personal Revelation?

Elder Robert D. Hales

“Personal revelation is the way Heavenly Father helps us know Him and His Son, learn and live the gospel, endure to the end in righteousness, and qualify for eternal life—to return back into Their presence.”

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Personal Revelation: The Teachings and Examples of the Prophets,” Ensign, Nov. 2007, 87.

Upcoming Question

“I love the Church, but my parents don’t. How do I show them that I love the Church and would like to have my whole family active?”

Send your answer and photo by June 15, 2014.

Go to , click “Submit Your Work,” sign in with your LDS Account, and then select “New Era.”

You can also write to us at or

New Era, Q&A, parents
50 E. North Temple St., Rm. 2420
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-0024, USA

Responses may be edited for length or clarity.