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How do you #HearHim? President Nelson’s timely invitation during a year of uncertainty and fear

Screenshot from a #HearHim video produced for the Church in March 2020. Credit: ComeUntoChrist.org screenshot
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is featured in a new Church-produced video series about how to #HearHim. Credit: Screenshot, Facebook
As part of the Church’s #HearHim initiative, Elder Gerrit W. Gong posted a video on his social media channels and wrote a blog post on staying close to the Savior Jesus Christ during times of loneliness. Credit: Screenshot Elder Gong Facebook
The illustration of the First Vision accompanying President Russell M. Nelson’s Feb. 26, 2020, invitation to Church members to “Hear Him!” Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
President Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society general president, is featured in the Church’s “How I Hear Him” video series. Credit: Screenshot, Facebook
The First Vision, by Kenneth Riley. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
“The First Vision” by Del Parson Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
Latter-day Saint artist Minerva Teichert’s “The First Vision” (1934) depicts a key moment of the Restoration. Credit: Provided by Brigham Young University Museum of Art
President Russell M. Nelson speaks at the conclusion of the Sunday morning session of general conference on April 5, 2020. Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
Elder Ronald A. Rasband and his wife, Sister Melanie Rasband, answer questions from young adults during a Face to Face event in Goshen, Utah, on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Elder Ronald A. Rasband and his wife, Sister Melanie Rasband, stand with their grandchildren, nieces and nephews at the end of a Face to Face event for young adults broadcast from Goshen, Utah, on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
Young adults perform a musical number during a Face to Face event broadcast from a set replica of ancient Jerusalem in Goshen, Utah, on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
Elder Ulisses Soares and his wife, Sister Rosana Soares, speak to youth worldwide during the Youth Music Festival on July 29, 2020. Credit: Screenshot ChurchofJesusChrist.org
Yahosh Bonner, left, and his brother, Oba Bonner, right, perform “Peace in Christ” during the virtual Youth Music Festival broadcast on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women general president, and Brother Steven J. Lund, Young Men general president, film a segment for the upcoming virtual Youth Music Festival. The event was being filmed at the Conference Center Theatre in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Credit: Steve Griffin, Deseret News

The scriptures include very few references in which the voice of God the Father has been heard. Yet, repeatedly, He has personally introduced His Son, Jesus Christ, with a charge to “Hear Him,” President Russell M. Nelson said. 

God uttered this plea while introducing His Son to Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration; to the Nephites in ancient Bountiful; and to Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove. In each instance, just before the Father introduced the Son, the people were in a state of fear or desperation. 

“Our Father knows that when we are surrounded by uncertainty and fear, what will help us the very most is to hear His Son,” President Nelson told his worldwide audience during the April 2020 general conference. “Because when we seek to hear — truly hear — His Son, we will be guided to know what to do in any circumstance.”

President Russell M. Nelson speaks at the conclusion of the Sunday morning session of general conference on April 5, 2020.
President Russell M. Nelson speaks at the conclusion of the Sunday morning session of general conference on April 5, 2020. | Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

A year designated to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the First Vision and onset of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, 2020 has also been marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, economic hardship, social issues, political turmoil and uncertainty. 

“In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting and constant influence of the Holy Ghost,” President Nelson said during his first general conference as President of the Church

President Nelson’s emphatic invitation to “Hear Him” — first issued on social media in February and repeated in subsequent general conference addresses — is an echoed plea of his counsel to Latter-day Saints to do “whatever it takes” to increase spiritual capacity to receive revelation. 

Throughout this year, many across the globe have responded to President Nelson’s invitation by posting experiences on social media using #HearHim. Apostles and other Church leaders have participated in a series of blog posts and videos describing ways in which they hear the voice of the Lord. The topic has also been a focus of devotionals and events for youth and young adults. 

‘How I Hear Him’ series

President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, experienced a defining spiritual moment as a 20-year-old missionary in England. He didn’t hear a voice or see angels, but it had an impact within his heart that has never left him. 

“Receiving revelation only comes, at least in my case, when I have those still and quiet moments,” he wrote in a July 17 blog post. “I have found I cannot connect with heaven in a mass of clutter.”

In a Nov. 8 blog postElder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained how vocalizing prayers can foster greater communication with God.

“We need to carve out time — good time, high priority time — when we can kneel, if possible, and be vocal. Say the words. I believe that this process is basic to how God communicates with us and how He intends for us to communicate with Him,” wrote Elder Holland.

During moments in Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s professional and family life when he didn’t know what to do, he would find a quiet spot to connect to Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, through the Holy Ghost. Then, a stream of answers would come. 

“I have the same experience today as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ,” the member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote in a Sept. 4 blog post. “Some have asked me, ‘Does the Lord speak to you all the time?’ I answer that He speaks to me in the same way He’s spoken to me all my life — by the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Why the Church’s 2020 #HearHim initiative is an important reminder of the Restoration

In a blog post dated April 21, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described several ways he hears the Lord’s voice, including service, righteous music, scriptures, sincere prayer and recording spiritual impressions. 

“As I make time for simple moments of pondering and prayer, I am blessed by the power of the Holy Ghost to see with new eyes and ‘Hear Him’ with new ears,” he wrote. 

While traveling around the world, Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said he has felt the Holy Ghost testify to him that God is mindful of all of His children. 

“He wants each of us to hear the voice of His Son, Jesus Christ, through the Holy Ghost. This applies to everyone, wherever they may be — the taxi driver in Calcutta, the engineer in London, the elementary school child in Ghana and the farmer in Chile,” he wrote in a June 21 blog post

Early in Elder Dale G. Renlund’s marriage, his wife, Sister Ruth Renlund, became ill with cancer. It was a time for Elder Renlund when it seemed as though the heavens were closed. One night in prayer together, Sister Renlund thanked the Lord for priesthood power that would bind them together, regardless of the outcome. 

“I went from feeling like the heavens were closed to feeling like they were wide open, filling us with peace, joy and comfort,” the Apostle wrote in a blog post dated Oct. 15. “That experience, and many others, taught me about the importance of feeding myself spiritually.”

Though many are staying physically distant from others during the COVID-19 pandemic, “we do not have to be spiritually distant from Jesus Christ,” wrote Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in a June 26 blog post. “You and I can use this unique time as an opportunity to ‘hear Him.’ …

“When you truly know that He sees you, He knows you, and He loves you, you can understand that you are not isolated. You could never be isolated, because you have a knowledge of and a relationship with the living Son of God.”

The first time Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham shared her testimony in Church, her 12-year-old knees were shaking and she was “petrified.” She stumbled through a simple testimony and felt Heavenly Father’s affirmation that He loved her. 

“The more I can hear Him, the more of an effective instrument I will be to bring others to that same love that I feel,” she wrote in a blog post on May 14.

Encouraging youth and young adults

One of the most powerful ways to hear the Lord’s voice is through music, Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon said during the first ever Youth Music Festival held July 29. “It invites the Spirit, and it tunes our heart to hear Him.”

In a prerecorded message during the virtual event, Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told the youth, “I promise you that you will continue to hear His voice as you strive to live His gospel and treasure in your heart the words of the Prophets, both ancient and modern.”

Elder Soares and his wife, Sister Rosana Soares, introduced a video of youth around the world sharing experiences of hearing the Lord’s voice. “How I hear Him is reading the Book of Mormon every day and praying with my family before going to bed at night,” said 12-year-old Koim Theanuth from Cambodia. 

During a Face to Face event for young adults on Sept. 14,  Elder Ronald A. Rasband and his wife, Sister Melanie Rasband, answered questions and shared insights focused on the Restoration of the gospel and the bicentennial proclamation

Elder Rasband invited young adults to reflect on what they have learned by following President Nelson’s invitation to hear the voice of the Lord and share a brief thought on social media using #HearHim. 

“I hear Him by putting down my phone and blocking distractions,” one young adult posted. Another wrote, “I hear Him through others’ testimonies and kind words.”

The Spirit communicates in various ways, Elder Rasband said. “Heavenly Father knows you. He loves you. You are His children. He will respond to you in ways that are familiar and correct to you.”

Learn more ways to follow President Nelson’s invitation at HearHim.org.

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