Wondering how to open your heart to the Spirit? Sister Burton has nine specific answers.
Being sensitive to the Spirit is an important part of successfully navigating life. But learning how to be sensitive to the Spirit requires effort. Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, said, “Just as learning an instrument or a language is a process, learning the language of the Spirit is also a process, one that is vital for each of us to learn, whether we are recently baptized or long-time members of the Church.”
Sister Burton has offered nine ways to tune your heart to the voice of the Spirit:
1. Sincerely and humbly pray.
The Lord hears sincere and tender prayers. Sister Burton encouraged youth to pray often, adding, “Heavenly Father wants children to know He is there early in their lives so they will continue to trust in Him as they grow to maturity.”
2. Act promptly on spiritual impressions.
President Monson is a great example of following promptings from the Lord. “No one can understand President Thomas S. Monson who does not understand the frequency, the repetition of those kinds of spiritual promptings in his life, and his absolute loyalty in responding to them,” said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.
3. Search the scriptures daily.
Daily scripture study is important to opening your heart to the Spirit. “As we feast daily upon the words of Christ in the scriptures and ponder the things we read, we can experience daily revelations through the gift of the Holy Ghost, especially as we carefully record thoughts and feelings we receive,” Sister Burton said.
4. Live the law of the fast.
Do you have a meaningful fast every month? “In order to increase our ability to hear the voice of the Spirit, we would all do well to fast for 24 hours each fast Sunday and freely give our fast offering to help those in need,” she said.
5. Be worthy and worship in the temple.
The Holy Ghost cannot be with you unless you are worthy. Sister Burton taught, “Focusing on and living worthy to enter the temple, and doing so as frequently as our circumstances allow, enables us to grow up in the Lord and receive a fulness of the Holy Ghost.”
6. Trifle not with sacred things.
“Recognize that revelation from the Lord is a sacred trust,” Sister Burton said. “Elder Richard G. Scott taught that ‘inspiration carefully recorded shows God that His communications are sacred to us. … Such recording … should be protected from loss or intrusion by others.’”
7. Be prepared to move forward in faith.
Have you ever had to take a leap of faith? When life isn’t easy, try filling your life with faith and pray for help with taking one step forward. Remember this phrase: “Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see, the distant scene—one step enough for me” (“Lead, Kindly Light,” Hymns, no. 97).
8. Let the Lord decide the details of what He chooses to reveal and when He chooses to reveal it.
Although we cannot see what will happen tomorrow, God can see everything in our future. “When the Lord’s timing conflicts with our own desires, trust that there might be some preparatory experiences the Lord needs us to have before our prayers are answered,” she said.
9. Heed prophetic warnings.
Prophets have warned about listening to bad music, following temptations, and harboring negative feelings. Specifically, President Thomas S. Monson has cautioned, “Be alert to anything that would rob you of the blessings of eternity.”
The Holy Ghost can enlighten our minds and direct our life’s path. “Of all the gifts our Heavenly Father could have chosen to bestow on His sons and daughters as we leave the waters of baptism, He chose to give us the gift of the Holy Ghost,” Sister Burton said. “The Holy Ghost can do for us physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and intellectually what no man-made remedy can begin to duplicate. … I testify it is worth every effort on our part to obtain and retain [the Holy Ghost].”
Watch a Mormon Message where James E. Faust explains how to tune out the world’s voices and tune into the Spirit’s voice.
Read more about each of these nine points in Sister Burton’s address “Tuning Our Hearts to the Voice of the Spirit.”
What do you do to invite the Holy Ghost into your life? Share your experience with other youth by commenting below.