Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke at Tuesday’s BYU Devotional. He spoke about listening to and learning from the voice of the Spirit.
Elder Uchtdorf began with a story about renowned violinist Joshua Bell. As part of an experiment with the Washington Post, Bell played his multi-million-dollar violin in a subway station – where less than ten people stopped to listen to him.
Like those busy subway patrons who did not stop to hear the music, Elder Uchtdorf said that “[w]e sometimes get so caught up in the grind of everyday life that we fail to recognize the sublime voice of the Spirit, and disregard the profound and beautiful message our loving Heavenly Father imparts to us.”
“In every hour of the day and throughout the night, He communicates through the divine music of the Spirit. Can you hear it?”
How Can You Hear?
So, how do we recognize the voice of God? According to Elder Uchtdorf, answering that question is the quest of a lifetime. For some people, listening to the voice feels intuitive. For others, the process is more difficult and frustrating. We all must travel our own paths to find the answers.
“We are here to learn how to find God, to recognize and follow His voice, even amid the clamor and noise of the world,” said Elder Uchtdorf.
However, God has given some instructions for how to listen in the scriptures. The Doctrine and Covenants describes how Joseph Smith and the early saints asked their questions and received revelation. Modern saints can follow their example and learn from their experiences.
Elder Uchtdorf said that receiving revelation comes with some fine print. First, it will come in God’s time. Second, it will come in God’s way. Third, it only comes as we believe. If we feel that we cannot believe, we must start with a desire and a hope to believe. That is enough to start hearing the voice of the Spirit.
In our modern society, we are used to instant answers and it is not always easy to be patient as we wait to hear from God. “But if you want something of true and lasting value, something of eternal significance, something that connects the Now with the Eternities, patience and diligence are required,” said Elder Uchtdorf.
“The process of learning to hear the voice of the Spirit not only refines us and allows us to enjoy the wondrous music of the Spirit, but it also blesses us, directs our steps and brings us the favor and guidance of heaven.”
But What If We Feel Unworthy?
Sometimes, Elder Uchtdorf acknowledged, we may feel unworthy to hear the music of the Spirit. But we do not need to feel that way. We are all mortal and we all make mistakes.
“Mistakes are events on the timeline of your life. But they don’t define your life,” he said.
What does define your life, said Elder Uchtdorf, is what you do about your mistakes. You can allow godly sorrow to lead you to change for the better. You can repent and strive to improve.
“Your mistakes have not disqualified you from heaven’s reach,” said Elder Uchtdorf. “Even when – perhaps especially when – we feel inadequate, weak, or of little worth, we can still hear the sublime heavenly music, we can still learn to hear the voice of the Spirit.”
The Music of Heaven
As he concluded his remarks, Elder Uchtdorf asked attendees to do five things:
- Ask “Can I hear the music of the Spirit?”
- Believe – or desire to believe.
- Trust God and have a little patience with the process of spiritual maturity.
- Remember that following Christ will refine and develop you.
- Keep trying. Don’t ever give up.
“Please know that the Savior’s love for you is greater than any of your mistakes,” said Elder Uchtdorf.
He concluded by saying, “My dear friends, open your hearts, minds and souls to hear the wondrous music of the Spirit, and you will surely rejoice in God’s goodness and grace.”
Next Devotional: Lawrence E. Corbridge, General Authority Seventy
Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge, a General Authority Seventy of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will deliver the next BYU Devotional on Tuesday, January 22, at 11:05 a.m. in the Marriott Center.
His remarks will also be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org, KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM and BYUradio.