The world today is full of noise—blaring televisions,cell phones, iPods, & video games. We all suffer from a case of sensory overload. Is it any wonder that we sometimes miss the soft voice of the Lord?
“They heard this voice, and beheld that it was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul.” (Hel. 5:30; italics added.)
As a parent, I’ve found that my children respond more quickly and positively when I use a soft voice. I think our Heavenly Father is the same, although he has the skill perfected. He doesn’t force us to do anything. He calmly and quietly encourages us, and then loves us regardless of our choices.
His soft voice rejoices with us when we make good decisions and softly comforts us when we don’t. He steers us toward repentance when it is needed, but calls from Him are always tender and free from condemnation.
“Every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that gentleness is better than brutality, that kindness is greater than coercion, that the soft voice turneth away wrath.” –Howard W. Hunter
“We seldom get into trouble when we speak softly. It is only when we raise our voices that the sparks fly and tiny molehills become great mountains of contention.” –Gordon B. Hinckley
In our homes, this can be a model for the way we talk to our family members. Let us not use a loud voice but a soft voice when we talk to those we love. This is the way Heavenly Father speaks to us and wants us to speak to each other.
I hear the voice of the Lord often in my life. At times his voice seems louder than others. I think that is the time when I am more in tune, and when my life is more in line with His teachings. Although there have been times in my life when I have known He is there and heard His voice at times when I probably didn't deserve to have his help. He is a loving father and will never leave us alone. He is always talking, but our ability to hear His voice is based on our own worthiness. Never hesitate to go to Him. Even if it feels like He isn't listening, He is. It's likely that you just aren't hearing Him back.
So what are some things we can each do individually to hear the voice of the Lord more in our lives?
It is our responsibility to step away from the noise of the world. We need to put ourselves in a quiet time and place conducive to hearing His voice. If we strive to hear, he will respond. We can do this through personal meditation, prayer, scripture study, and temple attendance. It is in these moments, away from the cares of the world, that we are more likely to hear His voice.
If we aren’t doing those things, He will still attempt to talk to us. He will never leave us alone, but it’s possible we may not be able to hear. The breakdown of communication will be on our end. Obeying the commandments opens up a line of communication we are otherwise unable to access.
We need to ask for his help and then we need to take the time to listen. He always answers, but we are often too busy going about our noisy, busy lives that we fail to hear. There are lots of outside noises, but often we have inside noises as well. Sin creates inner noise. So do simple things such as hurrying, stress, deadlines, and just being too busy. If we take the time to step away from the noise, we are often more receptive to his voice. We will have a greater desire to follow the counsel we receive, and we will be more aware of His love.
His voice will never get louder. We need to tone down our environment so that we can hear Him. And when you hear him--follow.
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