Q&A: Questions and Answers


“I always feel good at church, but I don’t feel the Spirit as much throughout the week. How can I feel closer to God at home, school, and work?”

New Era

In the sacrament prayer, the covenant to keep the commandments and always remember the Lord comes with a promise: “That [you] may always have his Spirit to be with [you]” (Moroni 4:3; 5:2; D&C 20:77, 79). What an incredible blessing!

But how do you remember the Savior? You can apply the principles you learn at church to your life. To have the Spirit with you through the week, you need to do more than just hear the speakers and teachers on Sunday. Here are some suggestions:

1. Prayer. Prayer helps bring the Spirit into our Church meetings; it will do the same during your week. How many times do we pray at church? There are opening and closing prayers for each meeting, along with sacrament and individual prayers—a minimum of eight! Just as talking frequently on the phone helps you recognize the voice of friends, speaking to Heavenly Father through prayer helps you recognize the voice of the Spirit. Increasing the frequency and sincerity of your prayers during the week will invite the same Spirit that accompanies you on Sunday.

2. Testimony. Along with increasing your prayers, continuing to share your testimony will also increase the Spirit you feel, and there are many opportunities to do so. For example, you can share your feelings about the gospel during home evening or write about the Savior in your journal. Bearing testimony brings spiritual power.

3. Daily scripture study. President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said: “The Holy Ghost will guide what we say if we study and ponder the scriptures every day. … With daily study of the scriptures, we can count on this blessing even in casual conversations or in a class when we may be asked by a teacher to respond to a question.” 1

It takes more than glancing over a few verses. It takes serious study, reading not just cover to cover, but over and over. If you’re studying for an algebra exam, you don’t just glance over the material. You review notes, work out practice problems, and memorize formulas. So if you want to study the scriptures, look up references, write down what you learn, memorize passages, and so on.

4. Obedience. If you keep the commandments and honor the covenants you have made, the Lord has promised that you will have His Spirit with you.

5. Worthy music and thoughts. Uplifting music invites the Spirit. So do thoughts that are “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy” (Articles of Faith 1:13). Surround yourself with a spiritual environment, and the Spirit can accompany you wherever you go.

Readers

When you get home from church, reflect upon what you learned, and pray. Ask Heavenly Father to help keep the Spirit with you throughout the week. Participate in uplifting activities such as reading the scriptures, giving service, giving a family home evening discussion, or reading the Ensign or New Era. Don’t participate in activities that drive the Spirit away such as listening to bad music, watching bad movies, using bad language, or being immoral or unclean.

Ashton B., 15, Texas

From Monday to Saturday you can feel the same Spirit by saying your personal prayers, reading the scriptures, attending seminary, being obedient to your leaders, and reading the words of God in the Church magazines. In this way you can feel much closer to God. I also remember what my dad used to tell me: that the Spirit dwells in a pure heart and that you should be humble and do what your leaders ask.

Mele T., 17, Tonga

I often participate in activities that help bring the Spirit. These activities happen at school, home, work, and also church. Some of these activities include going to church, Mutual, and seminary, and reading scriptures, praying morning and night, listening to good music, and always having a positive and outgoing attitude.

Braun B., 16, Utah

To feel closer to God, I go to seminary and try to read the Book of Mormon every night. At school, when I have problems, I pray in faith and love, and I know the Spirit of God will always be with me. Try reading the scriptures and praying for guidance. You will feel the comfort and love of God.

Wichada W., 16, Bangkok, Thailand

What makes me feel the Spirit is singing hymns. Also, when I’m alone or in a quiet place such as in the car, I think about gospel topics or what I learned in church on Sunday. Missionary experiences with my friends or family always bring the Spirit to me also. I recommend taking a few minutes just to think about spiritual things.

Tia L., 14, Colorado

Instead of blasting the radio in your ears or turning on the TV, sing a hymn, memorize scriptures, or just reflect on your day. Keep good friends close to you who’ll invite the Spirit instead of drive Him out. Keep a picture of the Savior with you, in a place you will see it, like in a purse, locker, or in your bedroom. And if possible, attend seminary regularly.

Kathryn B., 17, Utah

Starting my day with a prayer, scripture study, and a spiritual seminary lesson changes my outlook on life. I work harder, feel happier, and act kinder when I take the time to do these things as I start my day.

Jesse M., 15, South Carolina

The best way I’ve learned to keep the Spirit with me throughout the week is to read my scriptures. I ask specific questions and then look in the scriptures for answers. Daily prayer, going to seminary, writing in my journal, reading my patriarchal blessing, and trying to let virtue garnish my thoughts unceasingly (see D&C 121:45) are also great ways to keep the Spirit with me the whole week.

Chelsea Cole, 15, Oklahoma

Try praying at least three times a day during the week. Stay away from anything unholy, and try to think about good, worthy things throughout the day. Keep your mind focused on your schoolwork during and after school. Set goals to read the scriptures for a certain amount of time each day. Doing these things should keep you closer to the Spirit.

Ashley S., 13, New York

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

  • Pray often during the week and during each day.

  • If you don’t have a chance to bear your testimony, write it in your journal.

  • Always remember to do your scripture reading.

  • Make a special effort to be obedient to the commandments and your parents.

  • Surround yourself with good music in a good atmosphere.

Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander

“The ordinances of baptism and the sacrament are bound together inseparably. Through baptism we receive a remission of our sins. Through the sacrament we ‘retain a remission’ of sins (see Mosiah 4:11–12). … In both instances, based upon our obedience to the ordinances, God extends the promise, or covenant, that we would have His Spirit to be with us. Understanding the nature of the covenant and living in accordance with its requirements give life and meaning to the ordinance itself.”

Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander of the Seventy, “Ordinances and Covenants,” Ensign, Aug. 2001, 20.

Next Question

“Some of my friends are dropping out of high school to get jobs. I don’t really like school either, but I know education is important. What should I do?”

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