What Does the Spirit Feel Like?

The author lives in California, USA.

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My sister and I prayed about the same question—and our answers came in completely different ways.

sisters

Photo illustration by Christina Smith

A few years back a youth sacrament meeting speaker invited those who weren’t sure they felt God’s love to pray and ask whether Heavenly Father loves them.

I took that invitation to heart. Unbeknownst to me, my older sister also decided to do it. We each prayed individually that night. Months later we shared our experiences with one another. I told her how some time after praying, I’d allowed my mind to wander, eventually recalling a poem I had read about the Savior’s love. I had been overwhelmed by the Spirit, and I had felt of the joy of both my Heavenly Father’s and Savior’s love for me. Tears of joy had crept to my eyes, and I had again folded my arms, this time in a prayer of gratitude.

My sister, however, recollected to me that she felt as if she hadn’t received an answer like I had—no enlightening moment or warmth from the Spirit. At first she was disappointed. But in time, she came to realize that she didn’t need an answer like mine: she already knew. And that was her answer.

Do not be discouraged if an answer to a prayer is not what you want or are expecting. Everyone is different, and Heavenly Father can answer the question in different ways, but He does answer prayers.

Because I have pondered Heavenly Father’s love, I know that if we “ask God … with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ,” that “he will manifest the truth of it unto [us], by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost [we] may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:4–5).