For more information on this topic read “In Tune with the Music of Faith,” by
Elder Quentin L. Cook, Ensign, May 2012, 41.
God loves all His children. He wants all of them to return to Him. He desires everyone to be in tune with sacred [things].
(Quentin L. Cook, “In Tune with the Music of Faith,” Ensign, May 2012, 41.)
“Let the Holy Spirit Guide,” Hymns #143.
And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.
(1 Nephi 4:6)
To become proficient in basketball, players have to practice shooting countless shots. By repeating successful approaches and changing failures, they finally get the uncanny ability of knowing, as soon as the ball leaves their hands, whether or not the shot will be good. In spiritual things we need to learn to recognize when we have had a witness of the Spirit, and we must be able to recognize a counterfeit thrown at us by Satan or self-imposed by our own ambition and desire.
If it were possible, I would lay down a formula for instant and certain success. But one of the reasons it is so hard to enjoy consistent success is that the variables change each day. We are often more in tune with the Spirit on one day than on another. We may be more vulnerable emotionally on one day than on another. Satan may work harder on us on one day than another. However, with all the variables there is one constant: The Spirit witnesses only to the truth.
If your success ratio for recognizing the Spirit is low, ask yourself these questions:
1. How well am I living the commandments?
2. Am I studying the scriptures in order to be more attuned to spiritual things? 3. Am I praying with real intent?
4. Have I done my homework and gone to the Lord with a well-thought-out
5. Have I learned to recognize a stupor of thought?
6. Can I honestly say “Thy will be done,” and am I willing to take no for an
(Glenn L. Pace, Spiritual Plateaus, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1991], p. 36.)
Many years ago John Burroughs, a naturalist, one summer evening was walking through a crowded park. Above the sounds of city life he heard the song of a bird.
He stopped and listened. Those with him had not heard it. He looked around. No one else had noticed it.
It bothered him that everyone should miss something so beautiful.
He took a coin from his pocket and flipped it into the air. It struck the pavement with a ring, no louder than the song of the bird. Everyone turned; they could hear that.
It is difficult to separate from all the sounds of city traffic the song of a bird. But you can hear it. You can hear it plainly if you train yourself to listen for it.
One of our sons has always been interested in radio. When he was a little fellow, his Christmas present was a very elementary radio construction set.
As he grew, and as we could afford it, and as he could earn it, he received more sophisticated equipment.
There have been many times over the years, some very recently, when I have sat with him as he talked with someone in a distant part of the world.
I could hear static and interference and catch a word or two, or sometimes several voices at once. Yet he can understand, for he has trained himself to tune out the interference.
It is difficult to separate from the confusion of life that quiet voice of inspiraton.
Unless you attune yourself, you will miss it.
Answers to prayers come in a quiet way. The scriptures describe that voice of inspiration as a still small voice.
If you really try, you can learn to respond to that voice.
In the early days of our marriage, our children came at close intervals. As parents of little children will know, in those years it is quite a novelty for them to get an uninterrupted night of sleep.
If you have a new baby and another youngster cutting teeth, or one with a fever, you can be up and down a hundred times a night. (That, of course, is an exaggeration. It’s probably only twenty or thirty times.)
We finally divided our children into “his” and “hers” for night tending. She would get up for the new baby, and I would tend the one cutting teeth.
One day we came to realize that each would hear only the one to which we were assigned and would sleep very soundly through the cries of the other.
We have commented on this over the years, convinced that you can train yourself to hear what you want to hear, to see and feel what you desire, but it takes some conditioning.
There are so many of us who go through life and seldom, if ever, hear that voice of inspiration, because “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14.)
(Boyd K. Packer, Memorable Stories and Parables, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1997], p. 24.)
One person is blindfolded. The other players spread out around the room. One at a time, they softly whistle or hum. The blindfolded player points in the direction of the sound.