How can I know when the Holy Ghost is trying to tell me when something is true? This really isn’t an easy question. Many churches have different understandings on what the spirit feels like. One very good clue comes from the life of the prophet Elijah in the Old Testament. When Elijah was trying to get direction from the Lord as to what he should do because the children of Israel were trying to kill him, the Lord said to Elijah:
“…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
(King James Version of the Bible, The New Testament: 1 KINGS: Chapter 19, Verses 11 & 12 underline added for emphasis)
I think that what this scripture is trying to tell us is that, although many times we would like the Lord to answer our prayers with blaring trumpets, most of the time he answers us in a still small voice. Not necessarily an actual voice that we can hear (although it certainly could be), but more a small, gentle feeling in our heart that tells us what the Lord is trying to say. So small that we will miss it if we are not paying close enough attention. Paul tells us that the fruit of the spirit is:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there
is no law.”
(King James Version of the Bible, The New Testament: The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians: Chapter 16, Verses 12 & 13)
In my mind, these feelings are more aligned with the quietness of the still small voice than with the loudness of earthquakes or great winds. This is why I believe that the world has such a hard time seeing the miracles that the Lord performs on a daily basis. Most times people are so busy looking for the big and the grand that they miss the quiet beauty that surrounds us on this earth. Think of the peace and love that we feel when we hold a new born baby in our arms, or the awe we feel when we lift up our heads and look at the night sky. These in general are all small quiet things, yet, when I really think about it, I can honestly say that in my life these quiet miracles are some of the most inspiring things that I have experienced.
I remember when I was in the process of determining if the Book of Mormon was true, I wanted God to send me an angel to declare it to me so there would be no doubt. If you will, I was looking for the Lord to be in the earthquake or the strong wind. I was very skeptical about it being true. I kept on trying to disprove it while I was reading by convincing myself that Joseph Smith could have made it all up. I was so caught up in trying to prove that it was wrong that I was not listening to what the still small voice was trying to say to my heart. At that point, I really didn’t even know what the still small voice felt like. It wasn’t until I read the following scripture, written by a prophet on the American continent by the name of Alma, that I was able to understand how the Holy Ghost was trying to communicate with me. Alma is speaking to a group of people that had been humbled by poverty and were ready to receive an understanding of the word of God.
“Now, as I said concerning faith –-that it was not a perfect knowledge—even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first,
unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge. But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and
exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until you believe in a manner that ye can give
place for a portion of my words.
Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place , that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves— It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.
Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge. But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow.
And now, behold, are ye sure that this is a good seed? I say unto you, Yea; for every seed bringeth forth unto its own likeness. Therefore, if a seed groweth it is good, but if it groweth not, behold it is not good, therefore it is cast away.”
(Book of Mormon-- The book of Alma: Chapter 32, Verses 26 through 32)
I realized from this, that I had been “resisting the spirit of the Lord” by trying to prove the book wrong at every step of the way. Instead of saying to myself “Is it possible that this is true?”, I was saying “This can’t be true, so I will just have to prove to myself that it is not”. After I realized what I was doing, I opened my heart and my questions started getting answered. I realized that what the book was saying made me feel good, and that I felt a sweet spirit in my heart when I read it. Since that time, every doubt I ever had about the Book of Mormon being false has been brushed aside one at a time.