Voice of God
Voice of God
Every person who has ever lived is one-of-a-kind. You can “hear” God’s voice, but how it comes to you may be different from how it comes to anyone else. Frequently the description we get in scripture is merely “the word of the Lord came” to the prophets. It comes to the mind, or it is “heard” in the mind, or it is sensed in the impressions, or it is dreamt, or it is a conviction that comes with palpable certitude. However it comes, and in any individual case it may do so in an altogether unique way; it comes from a source outside of you. Often it is surprising, not at all what was expected. It can be inconvenient, requiring from you what you would not voluntarily seek. These are not just “emotions” or “feelings”, rather there is an intelligence to it which originates from outside of you and which delivers a message to you — not feelings, but a message. After receiving the “word,” confirmation follows. The confirmation allows a person of faith to see evidence or support for their belief and trust in God. Again, when it comes to the confirming sign that follows faith, the variety of forms is unique to the person.
First, however, remember you are unique and will have unique experiences in relating to God. Given the care with which you have been organized as an individual creation, how can you expect communication with the Lord to be standardized? Why would the way in which He speaks with you be identical to the way in which He speaks to all others? Why wouldn’t He carry on a conversation with each of His children in ways adapted to the individual child? But as you see His “voice” through the eyes of faith, you begin to realize it comes from Him. The ordinary contains the extraordinary. You must see the extraordinary in the ordinary before the truly extraordinary opens up to you. You must have faith before you are shown signs.
The great difference between prophets and others is not in God’s willingness to speak but in the refusal to listen. Some listen, and they are prophets. Others do not and struggle to believe the prophets. God, however, has and does speak to us all. We are unique, and God’s ways of speaking to each of us is as unique as each of us. We do ourselves a great disservice when we attempt to fit ourselves into a singular, stereotypical persona seeking only a singular way for God to talk with and to us. We make ourselves into something we aren’t, in the search to find what cannot be found that way. If we demand only the extraordinary before we will recognize His voice, we run the risk of looking in the wrong way for Him. His voice is there. He speaks to all of us. But we can miss it if we are not attuned to listen. You may never be able to hear God speak to you in the way in which others hear Him. If you determine He must speak to you in a specific way and not in any other way, you can go a lifetime without ever having a conversation with Him. He longs to speak with each of us. Within each of us there is something uniquely attuned to Him. How He reaches out to you may be as singular and unique as you are, and you can be assured He is reaching out. In fact, God is rather noisy if you will allow Him to be. We were never intended to live without a direct connection to Him. How each of us receives contact with God, how we hear His voice, and what gifts we possess are unique. There is no single, universal way for one to “hear [His] voice and know that [He] is” (T&C 36:8). And so it is a mistake to ignore your own unique talent for “hearing” your Father in Heaven. He did not send you here powerless to hear Him. But it will require you to develop the capacity. Relying merely upon your “feeling” or “emotions” alone is insufficient; you must learn to hear His voice. All of the prophets referred to above, from Moses to Gideon to Elijah, received contact from God. They were certain Who it was that spoke to them. They obtained intelligence, heard His voice, and learned from Him. None of them relied upon mere “feeling” but instead “heard” words from Him. He spoke with them just as He did with Nephi.1 (See Nephi’s Isaiah, chapter 18 for a more detailed discussion.) See PRAY.