Listening and Feeling the Spirit

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“Every worthy, confirmed member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the right to the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Fasting, prayer, scripture study, and obedience greatly enhance our ability to hear and feel the promptings of the Spirit.
 
“When your mind is filled with doubt and confusion, the Father and the Son will send the Holy Ghost to warn you and guide you safely through the dangers of this mortal journey. He will help you remember, comfort you, and fill you ‘with hope and perfect love.’ ”
 
Carole M. Stephens, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments,” 2015 General Conference

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“The world calls to you with unrelenting, noisy voices to ‘live it up,’ ‘try everything,’ ‘experiment and be happy.’

“Conversely, the Holy Ghost whispers and the Lord invites you to ‘walk in the paths of virtue,’ ‘lay aside the things of this world,’ ‘and cleave unto [your] covenants.’ ”

Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women General President
Remember Who You Are!” April 2010 General Conference

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“At the end of the day, a pair of missionaries starts toward home when one suddenly turns to the other and says, ‘I feel we need to stop at this one last place.’ A home teacher is prompted to call one of the families he visited just a few days before. A young woman plans on attending a school friend’s party yet feels impressed to stay home this time.

“How did the missionaries know to knock on the door of someone who had been praying for them? or the home teacher to call a family that was in desperate need? or the young woman to stay away from a situation where her values could be compromised? In each of these situations they were guided by the influence of the Holy Ghost.

“Similar experiences happen repeatedly to members throughout the world on a regular basis, and there are those who desire to feel the Spirit guiding them daily in their lives. While each person can learn to recognize the whisperings of the Spirit, that learning process can be facilitated as others help us understand about the Holy Ghost, share their personal testimonies, and provide an environment where the Spirit can be felt.”

Vicki F. Matsumori, Second Counselor, Primary General Presidency
Helping Others Recognize the Whisperings of the Spirit,” October 2009 General Conference

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“We can help others become more familiar with the promptings of the Spirit when we share our testimony of the influence of the Holy Ghost in our lives. Remember that some experiences are too sacred to relate. However, by sharing testimony of the Spirit in our lives, those who are unfamiliar with these promptings are more likely to recognize when they have similar feelings.”

Vicki F. Matsumori, Second Counselor, Primary General Presidency
Helping Others Recognize the Whisperings of the Spirit,” October 2009 General Conference

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“I was the first member of my family to join the Church. As an eight-year-old, I waited to feel somehow different because of my baptism. To be honest, the only thing I felt when I was brought out of the water was … well, dripping wet. I thought something more profound would happen when I was confirmed. However, after receiving the Holy Ghost, again I felt happy but certainly no different than I had just a few minutes before.

“It wasn’t until the following day at fast and testimony meeting that I experienced what I now recognize as the influence of the Holy Ghost. A brother stood to bear his testimony and tell about the blessings of his membership in the Church. I felt a flood of warmth sweep over me. Even as an eight-year-old, I recognized that this was something different. I felt a peace descend on me, and I had the distinct feeling that Heavenly Father was pleased with me.”

Vicki F. Matsumori, Second Counselor, Primary General Presidency
Helping Others Recognize the Whisperings of the Spirit,” October 2009 General Conference

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“As a young woman attending youth conference, I felt the Spirit bear witness to me of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. In preparation for a testimony meeting, we sang ‘The Spirit of God.’ Now, I had sung that hymn many times before in sacrament meetings. But on this occasion, from nearly the opening note, I felt the Spirit. By the time we sang, ‘The latter-day glory begins to come forth,’ I knew that these were more than nice lyrics; they were beautiful truths.”

Vicki F. Matsumori, Second Counselor, Primary General Presidency
Helping Others Recognize the Whisperings of the Spirit,” October 2009 General Conference

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“A Sunbeam teacher wrapped each of her class members one by one in a blanket to teach them how the Spirit feels like the comfort and security of that covering. A visiting mother also heard the lesson.

“Many months later the mother thanked the teacher. She told how she had been less active when she accompanied her young daughter to Primary. Several weeks after the lesson, the mother suffered a miscarriage. She was overcome with grief when suddenly she felt a great warmth and peace. It felt like someone had covered her with a warm blanket. She recognized the reassurance of the Spirit and knew that Heavenly Father was aware of her and that He loved her.”

Vicki F. Matsumori, Second Counselor, Primary General Presidency
Helping Others Recognize the Whisperings of the Spirit,” October 2009 General Conference

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“The scriptures and the prophets teach what this constant companionship feels like. The Lord tells us, ‘I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.’ Enos stated, ‘While I was … struggling in the spirit, behold, the voice of the Lord came into my mind.’ Joseph Smith said, ‘When you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas.’ President Henry B. Eyring described the influence of the Holy Ghost as ‘peace, hope, and joy.’ He added, ‘Almost always I have also felt a sensation of light.’

“My favorite description, though, comes from an eight-year-old boy who had just received the Holy Ghost. He said, ‘It felt like sunshine.’ ”

Vicki F. Matsumori, Second Counselor, Primary General Presidency
Helping Others Recognize the Whisperings of the Spirit,” October 2009 General Conference

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“Sam is beginning to understand the feelings that come from the Holy Ghost. When his mother asked, ‘Who is the Holy Ghost?’ he said, ‘It is a warm feeling inside me.’ Sam also understood that when his little two-week-old brother was sick, it was the Holy Ghost encouraging him to pray for the Lord’s help.”

Coleen K. Menlove, Primary General President
All Thy Children Shall Be Taught,” April 2005 General Conference

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“I have learned from my own experience, and I learn from those I meet, that we are never left to our own resources. We are never abandoned. A wellspring of goodness, of strength and confidence is within us, and when we listen with a feeling of trust, we are raised up. We are healed. We not only survive, but we love life. We laugh; we enjoy; we go forward with faith.”

Kathleen H. Hughes, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Blessed by Living Water,” April 2003 General Conference

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“The Spirit doesn’t always give us warm, fuzzy feelings. Most of the time, the voice of inspiration is a quiet voice, a still, small voice.”

Carol B. Thomas, First Counselor, Young Women General Presidency
Developing Our Talent for Spirituality,” April 2001 General Conference

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“You might ask yourself, How can I tell it’s the Holy Ghost teaching me and not my emotions or circumstances? Think of a time when you know you felt the Spirit of the Lord. Maybe it was during testimony meeting at camp or you were with your family or you were reading the scriptures or praying. Maybe sometime during this meeting as you listen to the music or hear our prophet speak, you will feel that warmth in your heart. That is the Holy Ghost bearing witness to you. Remember, remember how the Spirit feels. Use that experience to help you identify the Spirit again and again.

“The Holy Ghost will teach you in different ways at different times…Learn how the Lord communicates with you.”

Sharon G. Larsen, Second Counselor, Young Women General Presidency
Your Celestial Guide,” April 2001 General Conference

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“It is almost impossible to be an effective instrument within our own families, with our neighbors, or even from the pulpit unless we can discern the whisperings of the Holy Ghost.”

Mary Ellen Smoot, Relief Society General President
We Are Instruments in the Hands of God,” October 2000 General Conference

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“What does it mean to stand as a witness of God? It means we will not bow down or give in or be persuaded to do anything contrary to God’s will. It means we will risk speaking up when our knees are shaking. It means we will listen and follow the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost.”

Sharon G. Larsen, Second Counselor, Young Women General Presidency
Standing with God,” April 2000 General Conference

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“…In standing as a witness at all times, we promise to love the Lord, to honor Him all the time—daytime and nighttime, summer and winter, good times and bad times—love the Lord and let that love show by the way we live. We also take time to thank Him, take time to ask for help, take time to seek guidance, and then take time to listen. Take time for that still, small voice which will whisper to us, help us, and give us courage.”

Margaret D. Nadauld, Young Women General President
Stand as a Witness,” April 2000 General Conference

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“May we suggest three things that will help you see the light and follow it in your lives. First, and most important of all, pray. As you talk to Heavenly Father and pour out your heart to Him, you will draw closer to Him. Then pause, stop, and listen to the feelings of your heart. Seek to understand the promptings of the Spirit. As you pray sincerely, you will come to feel Heavenly Father’s great love for you.

Margaret D. Nadauld, Young Women General President
Follow the Light,” April 1999 General Conference

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“Each of us has memories of spiritual feelings. Some of us remember spiritual feelings from our earliest childhood. Some of us may have memories of feelings when we first discovered the Lord’s true Church. Almost all have spiritual feelings connected with the love of mother, father, brothers, and sisters. We may remember feelings of love and belonging that have come while serving in the kingdom with our fellow Saints. We may remember feeling spiritually renewed on a Sabbath evening after attending church, studying the gospel together, and sharing testimonies. We may remember earnest feelings that have accompanied fervent prayer, the comfort of the Holy Ghost in times of trial or sadness. We may remember the sorrow and the joy of deep repentance—of feeling forgiven and cleansed. We may remember profound feelings of gratitude for the Savior’s atoning gift of love to us.

“Remembering our spiritual feelings draws us to our Heavenly Father and to His Son, Jesus Christ. It gives us a sense of our true identity.”

Susan L. Warner, Second Counselor, Primary General Presidency
Remember How Thou Hast Received and Heard,” April 1996 General Conference

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“Sisters, I ask you to stand close to one another. Love one another, even cherish one another that you may have the Spirit to teach you ‘the truth of all things.’ Instruct one another. Look with the discernment God has given you through the gift of the Holy Ghost. Listen for the still, small voice.”

Aileen H. Clyde, Second Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
What Is Relief Society For?” October 1995 General Conference

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“I’ve heard some of you say, ‘I don’t know if I have a testimony or not. I’ve never felt the Spirit.’ You may not have recognized it, but you probably have. Maybe you’re feeling it right now. Very often it’s the influence of the Spirit that gives you a warm feeling about an experience; it makes a message sound right and true, and sometimes it makes you feel as if you want to cry. Always it brings peace.”

Elaine L. Jack, Second Counselor, Young Women General Presidency
Identity of a Young Woman,” October 1989 General Conference

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