“I’d be interested to see more references in scripture that talk about listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I’ve met many people who claim to follow these promptings and then do ridiculous things and even horrible things and say the Holy Spirit told them it was right…which then makes me wonder if it is happening at all…”

One of my friends wrote this comment last week on Facebook. I answered him some of what you’ll read here and at the same time realized that he had given me my topic for this week’s post.

Before I list any scriptural references, I’ll mention a few considerations that I have learned and that are important. There may be more points to make than these, but these are most basic.

First and foremost, in order to receive Him, one must have the indwelling of the Holy Ghost conferred by the laying on of hands by those in authority to do so.

“…the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.” Acts 8:16-17

Secondly, the heart must be pure and the hands clean. (James 4:8) And we must be humble. Very humble. We don’t call the shots. “God resists the proud…gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6) Obeying the commandments, (John 14:21) repentance and keeping the covenants (promises) we make with God are all important as well. If there is sin in a person’s life, the Holy Ghost will leave that person.

“We cannot have the companionship of the Holy Ghost-the medium of individual revelation-if we are in transgression or if we are angry or if we are in rebellion against God’s chosen authorities” Elder Dallin H. Oaks, (“Teaching and Learning by the Spirit,” Ensign, Mar. 1997, 9)

“Let him that is ignorant learn wisdom by humbling himself and calling upon the Lord his God, that his eyes may be opened that he may see, and his ears opened that he may hear; For my Spirit is sent forth into the world to enlighten the humble and contrite” D & C 136:33

And thirdly, we receive revelation for our own lives and those that we are responsible for. I may be prompted by the Spirit for myself or concerning a situation with my family. The Bishop of a ward may be led by the Holy Spirit regarding the care of one of his members; however, he would not receive revelation pertaining to the direction of the whole church.  That is not his area of responsibility.

“Behold, verily I say unto you, that there are many spirits which are false spirits, which have gone forth in the earth, deceiving the world” D & C 50:2

Lastly, I would say that if you feel folks “do the ridiculous and horrible” then you are able to recognize or discern that it cannot possibly be a truth. Remember the fruit of the Spirit? None of these fruit lead one to feel repelled or disgusted.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians 5:22-24

Here are some Scriptural References about listening to promptings or receiving personal revelation:

John 16:13-15 “When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears and He will tell you what is yet to come” (A favorite I’ve had marked for very many years)

Acts 8:29 “Spirit said unto Philip, Go near…”

Acts 10:19 “The Spirit said unto him…”

Acts 11:28 “and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world”

1 Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly”

Galatians 5:18, 25 “led of the Spirit”

1 Kings 19:12 “a still small voice”

2 Peter 1:21 “men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”

Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4 “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God”

Psalms 12:6 “The words of the Lord are pure…as silver-purified seven times”

Job 33:14 “God speaketh”

John 10:4 “sheep know His voice”

John 14:21 “I will love him and manifest Myself to him”

John 14:26 “The Holy Ghost shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance”

Hebrew 3:7, 15 and 4:7 “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts”

1 John 5:6 “it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth”

Galatians 2:2 “I went in response to a revelation”

Isaiah 58:11 “The Lord shall guide thee continually”

1 Nephi 11:11 “Spirit…spake unto me as a man speaketh with another”

Jacob 4:13 “for the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not…”

Doctrine and Covenants 8:2-3 “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”

Heavenly Father desires us to receive revelation.  Many times in the scriptures we are reminded to “Ask, and ye shall receive”.

“Ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, He will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. Moroni 10:4-5

I feel privileged to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints -to have come to the place that indeed does have the authority to confer that precious gift of the Holy Ghost.

“I am He which searcheth the reins (desires and thoughts) and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works” Revelation 2:23 

There is much to ponder as we read and study the scriptures. The condition of our heart is important when we consider our relationship with God. Searching all the scriptures that mention the condition of the heart may teach us much about purity and humility.

Jesus Christ lived, died and is resurrected. He lives. He has done what He said He would do. There is a connection between obeying His commandments, repentance when we do not and the guidance and inspiration from the Holy Spirit that we long for. He freely gives as we grow in righteousness.

How have promptings (personal revelation) helped you in your family and church responsibilities and other areas of your life? 

Why would personal revelation be so very important in our day?


4 Responses to Listening to the Promptings of the Holy Spirit

  • Graham says:

    I’m glad you included the verse from 1 Kings 19. It is one of my favourites. I think it does a great job in telling us how the Spirit communicates with us (a still small voice), but also how it usually does NOT communicate (great and strong winds, earthquakes, etc). Elijah knew the voice when he heard it, and that is when he went to speak to the Lord.

    1 Kings 19: 11-13 are as follows:
    And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:
    And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
    And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?
    Graham recently posted..The Calgary Alberta Temple has been dedicatedMy Profile

  • Raul Calinao says:

    Listening to the promptings of the spirit is like a hands on experience on the reality of being on the other end of the telephone line and with God on the other end. Some promptings come as impressions accompanied by a peaceful feeling of confirmation from God. This is just the basic and first step and then as you develop this skill you’ll level up to receiving more audible and at this point your spiritual faculties can access more and more communications that are beyond human comprehension. The early saints, or members of the church of God in the old testament times, and the Lord’s church in the new testament times were blessed with such gifts because their hearts, minds, and might were focused to God. Their love of God was not stained with worldly ambitions such as wealth, fame, and worldly power. They put God first in their lives and as a result of their obedience to God’s laws they were entitled to receive the above blessings without even thinking that they will receive them. Abraham and Moses were billionaires during their time. Each one of us know where we stand and know how close we are to God because of the promptings of the spirit. It’s hard to describe the mechanics of this communication because of its uniqueness and level of subjectivity as experienced by the recipient. In short, such communication is too personal and I’m not surprised why we only have few references in the scriptures on this subject. Unfortunately, only few were able to tuned in to such promptings because the magnitude of their spiritual wavelength is far below the required kilohertz. The skill to listen to the spirit should be a lifetime pursuit of every son and daughter of God. Personal revelations will lead us to the doors of the celestial kingdom and spare us from the bumps and humps that are present in the road to ETERNITY.

    • Lily says:

      Raul, I’m grateful for your perspective and added wisdom. This is beautifully written. I especially like “Each one of us know where we stand and know how close we are to God because of the promptings of the Spirit.” So true. Thank you for making time to comment.

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