Communicating with God

How do you talk to God?  How does God talk to you?  How do you know that He hears you, and that you are really hearing Him and not just hearing what you want to hear or what some other source has to say?

These are all important questions.  I heard a lesson today in Sunday School that had some good answers.  The lesson is online, if you would like to read it: “I Will Tell You in Your Mind and in Your Heart, by the Holy Ghost”

To outline it briefly, God communicates with us through the Holy Ghost.  We can hear this communication only if we are listening (just like you can only hear the radio if you have it turned on).  We also need to know how the Holy Ghost communicates with us, as it isn’t just like hearing a voice most of the time (and if I’m not listening and tuned in, I won’t even register what a person talking to me in the same room is saying – we have to listen).

This is how the Holy Ghost communicates:

  • He uses a still, small voice to communicate to our minds and hearts.
  • He enlightens our minds.
  • He brings peace to our minds.
  • He may cause a burning in the bosom.  (This is most likely felt as a sensation of warmth or comfort – I have felt it at times, and you will know it when it comes to you).
  • He often reveals things “line upon line, precept upon precept” rather than all at once.

There is more discussion of these points in the lesson, if you want to follow the link.  Or feel free to ask me if you want to know more, or if you don’t understand anything here.

 There are a few more things to remember.  First of all, we don’t always get the answer that we want, and we need to be willing to accept God’s answer.  He isn’t going to change His mind because we don’t like what we hear.  And sometimes it is really hard to hear what we don’t want to hear.  Especially when it isn’t clear or we aren’t used to communicating this way.  Also, this isn’t an answers on demand service.  God will show us His answers in his own time, and in His way, which isn’t always what we are looking for.  Keep listening.

 There are a couple of other points worth mentioning.  We aren’t going to get answers for other people that we aren’t responsible for.  I can expect to find out God’s will for me and sometimes for my children, or people who are placed in my care.  But I’m not going to get answers for you.  Maybe I will get a suggestion of what God would like me to do to help, but that’s as far as it goes.  So if I think that the Holy Ghost is whispering to me that you ought to move to Utah and be my new neighbor, then I need to check the source there.  It’s probably wishful thinking and maybe I’m confusing what I want to hear with what God really has to say about it (He’s not going to tell me something like that, because it isn’t my decision to make).

 And sometimes you ask, but you don’t get an answer.  What then?  Remember that God answers when He decides that we are ready, and in His way.  It can take a long time.  It is also possible that we might not be listening to what we need to listen to, or that we need to do something first (study, prepare, etc.)  Sometimes we just need to be patient.  But the answers will come when the time is right and when we need them and are ready.

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