Communication with our Heavenly Father, the controller of the universe, is a sacred privilege. This marvelous opportunity is available and encouraged for all his sons and daughters on the earth.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1: 5, in the Bible)
What is Required of Us Personally in Order to Receive Inspiration
Keep the Commandments of God:
Strive to keep the commandments of God the best you can. The Savior said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14: 15 in the Bible)
Study the Scriptures for Answers
We should make scripture study a part of our daily schedule. “search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39 in the Bible)
Recognizing the Lord’s Guidance and Inspiration
Feelings of The Heart:
“Yea behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.” (Doctrine & Covenants 8: 2, p. 15) Personally when I have felt divine inspiration it is accompanied by a feeling of love, joy and an increase in faith.
Revelation is spiritual in nature rather than physical. “He intends that when you have reached your extremity that you turn to Him for comfort, peace and assistance. He will send it through the quiet prompting of the Spirit…When you seek inspiration to help make decisions, the Lord will give gentle promptings that require you to think, to exercise faith, to work, to struggle at times, then to act. It is a step-wise process to finally reach an inspired conclusion.” (“Making the Right Choices” Richard G. Scott Fireside for YA 13 January 2002)
Most dreams are not communications from God, but the Lord may give his children information, warnings or prophecies in the form of dreams while they are sleeping. “And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.” (Dan 2: 1 in the Bible) The wise men were warned in a dream. “And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt…” (Matthew 2: 12-13 in the Bible)
A vision is a form of revelation from God and a visual mode of divine communication in contrast to hearing words spoken or receiving impressions to the mind. Visions can be closely associated with dreams. Daniel the prophet of the Old Testament received the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. “Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven” (Daniel 2: 19 in the Bible) The heavens can be opened to show visions: The disciple Stephen said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” (Acts 7: 56 in the Bible)
We cannot Force Divine Guidance and Inspiration
How the Lord communicates to us and the timing is under His control, not ours. Such words as compel, coerce, constrain, pressure, demand do not describe our privileges with the Spirit. That is where humility, patience, meekness, long suffering and love of the Lord comes in.
The Lord chooses how and when He will guide us. Divine guidance can come through a voice to our mind, while reading the Scriptures, dreams, visions and through others influenced by the Spirit. Primarily answers come through the “feelings of the heart”. This brings “peace of mind” to us that we are doing the right things. When we feel this “influence of the Spirit” in our lives, we want to learn more about God, be a better person, we feel more love for others, want to keep His commandments and draw closer to God in every way we can. This is a witness to us that the Spirit of God is working with us. When we feel inspiration through the Spirit we should treasure it, record it, follow it and thank the Lord for it; and it will come again.