The Holy Ghost will not tell us every answer on an exam but it will surely remind and help us to study. Simple truths like this show how important it is to seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost. But because life nowadays can be so overwhelmingly busy and stressful, it sometimes takes extra effort to feel the influence of the Spirit.
But aside from keeping the commandments and staying away from sin, what else are you actively doing to receive guidance from the Holy Ghost? Here are three ideas to consider.
Do every good thing.
We can exert a bit of extra effort to try and do every good thing, even if it seems mundane. Prophet Moroni taught “All things which are good cometh of God”. When we’re prompted to do good, we can be sure that it is an errand from Heavenly Father. When you are prompted to greet a particular person at church, do it. When you are prompted to bring home snacks for your little sister or brother, do it.
It does not matter how ordinary or subtle the impression, because many promptings come that way. What is ordinary for us may not be so for Heavenly Father. As taught by Elder Rasband, we should not doubt an impression whether it seems to come from our own thoughts or from God. He also taught that we must act on the first prompting. Consistently acting on the first impression will enhance our capability to listen to the still small voice because we are actively tuning our spiritual ears.
Surround ourselves with good.
President Thomas S. Monson declared, “[The] Spirit cannot be present at the kinds of activities in which so much of the world participates.” He also taught that we must be alert in our world that has moved so far from spirituality and “reject anything that does not conform to our standards.”
When we stand in holy places, no worldly frequency can block out the Spirit. We do this by befriending people that share our standards, listening to uplifting messages, joining in church activities, performing community service with different faiths and basically staying in a positive environment.
The Apostle Paul taught that “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God.” We become a natural man if we choose “to be influenced by the passions, desires, appetites, and senses of the flesh rather than by the promptings of the Holy Spirit.” So remember that the power to decide who or what influences us is also the power to gain the Spirit.
Seek the Spirit’s guidance and then act on it.
President Monson, while relating a childhood experience with prayer, said “Not a day has gone by that I have not communicated with my Father in Heaven through prayer, … as you do so, you will be entitled to His inspiration and guidance in your life”
Note how he chose to use the word “entitled.” Being entitled means having a right to something, but maintaining that right means doing something else. In how many instances, do we only pray for guidance because it has become part of our daily prayer script, or as part of a rote prayer in class. Praying for guidance is by all means good, but what do we do afterwards? Do we rely on it during the course of our day? Do we ponder and seek for what Heavenly Father is trying to tell us?
Jesus Christ taught “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” This verse contains three actions words; ask, seek, and knock. Praying for guidance doesn’t mean that all things will automatically be put into place. The guidance of the Spirit requires action and work, sometimes even hard work, which is sometimes described in the scriptures as “wrestling” with God.
Are your spiritual ears still listening?
The world is changing rapidly and many of those changes are harmful for our spirituality. Temptations are everywhere, even in the mobile phones we carry in our pocket. The Internet, which we use every day, is filled with misleading concepts and the philosophies of men. The guidance of the Holy Ghost had never been more vital. Through conscious effort, we can filter out the unwanted noise, and allow the still small voice of the Spirit to guide us safely back to our heavenly home.