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Why you should act on an impression, no matter how unusual, President Oaks says in #HearHim video

Why you should act on an impression, no matter how unusual, President Oaks says in #HearHim video

When President Dallin H. Oaks was serving as a counselor in the Chicago South Stake presidency more than 50 years ago, he received an invitation to be the sacrament speaker in a unit near Aurora, Illinois.

Usually when he received an invitation to speak, he received impressions about what he should speak about. “On the occasion of my invitation to speak in Aurora, I didn’t have any impression,” recalled the first counselor in the First Presidency. 

President Oaks detailed this experience in a new #HearHim video and blog post released Thursday, April 15, and what it taught him about acting on impressions from the Spirit. 

As President Oaks made the hour drive to Aurora, he pondered what he would speak about. Halfway to the destination, he received an impression to speak about things he had observed in the Chicago criminal courts. Though he rarely spoke about personal experiences in his talks, he followed the impression.

“I spoke of young people who were brought into court for thievery of various kinds, including shoplifting,” President Oaks said in the video. “I talked about how serious this kind of crime was and how effective the storekeepers — with the aid of the police — were in apprehending young offenders and what happened to them when they were found guilty of such offenses.” 

As President Oaks concluded his talk, a mother came up to him, tearfully expressing gratitude for the message. She told him that she had a son who had been involved in shoplifting.

This mother said, “When I learned that you were going to speak this evening, and when I knew about your background, I prayed to the Lord that you would say something that would help our son. You did. He listened to you in a way he has never listened to us, and I thank you for hearing the Spirit of the Lord and following it.”

President Oaks said of the experience: “When you get an impression, act upon it, however unusual it seems or however inadequate you feel in following it. Act upon it.”

“There’s a reason,” he said. “You may not know the reason, but blessings will follow to you and to someone else if you hear Him.”

Watch more #HearHim videos from Church leaders here.

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