Today in Sunday School we discussed how to hear or know when the Holy Spirit speaks to us. We had an enjoyable and in-depth discussion in our class that I really benefited from.
The first time I recall feeling the Holy Spirit I was twelve years old. I was in sixth grade and it was nearing the end of the school year. We were in preparations to make the jump to the middle school. I woke up one morning before school, and had this overwhelming and exciting feeling that I HAD to go to the bus stop early. It was an undeniable feeling.
I got up, dressed, and left early.
I will add here that I lived in a new neighborhood that was still under construction. I lived about one block from the school. Our bus stop was directly across the street from the school. The arrangement was rather ridiculous if you think about it. But because people were worried about young children crossing the street with so many trucks and other construction vehicles around, we got a bus ride directly across the street.
That morning as I left [early] for school, I remember a distinct feeling telling me to not go to the correct bus stop. Instead of turning left, I turned right. I went to the corner and waited.
I was too young to really know why I so blindly and faithfully went to a corner and just stood there. But I did it.
After a minute or so my music teacher pulled up. I remember she still had curlers in her hair. She was excited to see me standing there. She said she had been looking for me. She handed me a form and explained that she had just found out that if I wanted to audition for the middle school choir I had to do it that day, right after school. I needed to run home, get the form signed, and bring it back to school. My music teacher would be able to drive me and another student to the middle school if we got those forms filled out.
I had just enough time to run home, get my mother to sign the form, and get back to the correct bus stop on time. I went to the audition that afternoon and made it into the choir.
I remember so clearly the feeling that I needed to do this thing. I didn't know why, but I knew.
I've had several experiences in my life where I knew and felt that the Holy Spirit had guided me. This is one of the more simple examples, but it is the first one I remember.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve taught: “Visions do happen. Voices are heard from beyond the veil. I know this. But these experiences are exceptional. … Most of the revelation that comes to leaders and members of the Church comes by the still, small voice or by a feeling rather than by a vision or a voice that speaks specific words we can hear. I testify to the reality of that kind of revelation, which I have come to know as a familiar, even daily, experience to guide me in the work of the Lord” (“Teaching and Learning by the Spirit,” Ensign, Mar. 1997, 14).
Doctrine and Covenants 6: 22-23
22 Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might aknow concerning the truth of these things.