The most crucial thing a person can learn to do is hear Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ speaking to them through the Holy Ghost, said Elder Dale G. Renlund in a social media post on Thursday, Oct. 15.
The member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles posted to social media as part of the Church’s #HearHim initiative focusing on the importance of learning to understand how the Savior communicates with each individual. A video of Elder Renlund sharing a personal experience of learning to listen to the Spirit accompanied the post.
“As I draw closer to Him, I have an ever-increasing desire to be like Him,” Elder Renlund said in the video.
Explaining an experience he had during his medical residency, Elder Renlund reflected on the need to actively seek a connection with the Spirit of the Lord daily.
After going through a slump in which his zeal for the gospel, attending church and his testimony seemed to have faded, Elder Renlund made a list of things he could do to reconnect with the Lord and rebuild his connection.
“Within just a couple of weeks that zeal and warmth of my testimony was back,” he said. “I shudder to think what would have happened if I’d continued down that course — if I had fallen asleep and found joy in skipping church. I believe our lives would have been very different.”
In a blog post accompanying the video on the Church's website, Elder Renlund wrote of another experience that reminded him of the importance of listening for the Spirit of the Lord in his life.
“Early in our marriage, my wife, Ruth, became ill with cancer. Our lives were shattered. For me it was a time when it seemed as though the heavens were closed,” Elder Renlund wrote. “I had a hard time praying because so many of our dreams were dashed, and I was so worried about Ruth.”
In a time of desperation and despair, Elder Renlund's wife reminded him of the blessings they shared through their faith in the Lord's plan. "I went from feeling like the heavens were closed to feeling like they were wide open, filling us with peace, joy, and comfort," Elder Renlund wrote.
That experience and others throughout his life have continually reminded the Apostle of the "importance of feeding myself spiritually." It is during the times when he struggles most or when he is busy that he feels the greatest need to "lean in and do my best to engage in personal revelation. Those are the times when I need heaven’s help most in determining my priorities."
Oftentimes, Elder Renlund explained, having a particular question to pose to the Lord can help clarify answers from the Spirit.
“The answers I receive are always in short, clipped statements, as opposed to something with a long explanation. I rarely, if ever, get a long explanation to any of the things where I hear the Holy Ghost whispering to me,” he wrote.
Every person goes through unique situations, especially in the age of COVID-19, Elder Renlund wrote, explaining the ever-increasing importance of personal revelation. “There is no rule book for navigating these challenging times. Each of us needs to plead for personal revelation, and then act on it. And once we have received that revelation, then we will know what to do.”
He concluded his social post by saying, "I hope that each of us can have personal revelatory experiences this year that teach us how to #HearHim."