In a church that preaches the importance of seeking personal revelation (I’m referring to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or Mormons) we sometimes become a little obsessed about it. Whom to marry, what occupation to pursue, and where and how to pursue it are just a few of the major decisions for which people seek God’s seal of approval. Beyond these major concerns, there is also a myriad of smaller decisions for which we may also seek an answer. Whether or not to commit our time to a certain cause, how to repair a damaged relationship, or how to cope with a difficult task for example.
God, we know, is very concerned about our lives. He cares about what we eat and drink (D&C 89:5-20), our sleep habits (D&C 88:124), and how we spend our money (Marvin J. Ashton, “One for the Money,” Ensign, Sep 2007, 36–39). At the same time, God has told us that He will not direct us as to what we should be doing every minute of every day (D&C 58:26-28). Often getting answers as to how we should act is a matter of learning and applying the principles already taught by God’s prophets. However, when we need additional direction we can turn to a member of the Godhead whose mission is help us recognize the way to go: the Holy Ghost.
All those who are baptized members of The Church of Jesus Christ receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost does not possess a body but is a personage of spirit. Like God and Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost knows all things. We can rely on the Holy Ghost to always speak the truth. He will give us guidance and direction, even regarding what may sometimes be seemingly insignificant personal struggles.
The Holy Ghost can influence us in a few different ways. Sometimes the direction of the Holy Ghost comes as a thought to our minds. Other times we experience the Holy Ghost in our hearts, our emotional center, through feelings of peace, comfort, or warmth. A good friend of mine says she gets goose bumps when feeling the Holy Ghost’s influence.
As we learn to recognize and respond to the promptings of the Holy Ghost we will notice an increase in the direction we receive.
I am very grateful to have the Holy Ghost in my life. It connects me to my Father in Heaven and helps me to know the best way to act in confusing situations. I remember a time when I was single and having a difficult time with a girl I was rooming with at the time. I would often rehearse in my mind all the reasons I was justified in being mad at her. Yet as I searched in my soul for a solution to the problem, I had the distinct thought that I needed to quit focusing on my roommate and examine my own heart and motives. After that realization I was able to begin the process of forgiving the perceived offenses and from then on we became better friends. To this day I know that credit for that thought that turned things around belongs not to me, but to that kind guide sent from our Heavenly Father, the Holy Ghost.