Learn to listen to and recognize the Holy Ghost, Elder Soares encourages youth in the Caribbean

Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles emphasized recognizing and listening to the Spirit to youth in the Caribbean during the concluding devotional of a For the Strength of Youth conference July 26-30. 

More than 3,000 youth from 27 Caribbean countries participated in the weeklong virtual conference, according to the Church’s Dominican Republic Newsroom. Activities were broadcast in English, Spanish and French, and the conference also included a closing musical and artistic program.

“We need the influence of the Holy Ghost in our lives, and we need to recognize how that influence can help us to walk in the covenant path,” Elder Soares said in Spanish as he spoke from Salt Lake City.  

Using a cellphone as an analogy, Elder Soares said that while it has many functions that can help make life easier, it doesn’t work unless the battery is charged. To charge a cellphone, it has to be connected to a charging source and needs to be repeatedly charged.  

“Likewise, we all have a spiritual battery that needs to be recharged constantly,” he said. “This battery is our faith, that leads us to act in the principles of righteousness.”

Individual and regular prayer and scripture study, fasting, obeying the commandments, doing family history, attending seminary, providing service and acting on prophets’ teachings can help charge spiritual batteries.  

“As we do these things regularly, we charge our spiritual battery and we draw closer to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of spiritual energy that we need to receive daily to be able to get the guidance of the Spirit that we need in our lives,” Elder Soares said. As the battery represents faith, the charger and cord are like the applications of the teachings of the gospel, and the source of energy is Jesus Christ.  

Also important is to learn how to recognize answers to prayers that come through the Holy Ghost.  

“Our task is to study our concerns, carefully decide the direction we should follow. Then, in sincere prayer and with true intent, we should go to the Lord and then we should listen,” he said.  

These answers can come in feelings, such as the “sweet assurance that only comes from the Holy Ghost.”  

“President Nelson taught that repeating this process regularly will help us grow in the principle of revelation,” Elder Soares pointed out. 

There are times when the Lord doesn’t give a specific answer, such as with the Brother of Jared and how to have light in the boats, Elder Soares said. There are also decisions where there could be multiple correct answers, such as where to go to school, career paths or where to live.  

“Each one of us wants to receive answers to the questions that we have for you to be successful in life as well,” he said. “It is very important to do our part to qualify to receive the impression of the Holy Ghost.” 

Elder Soares noted that trials are part of life and they can be overwhelming.  

“One of the great lessons that I have learned in my life is to see trials through the eyes of faith,” Elder Soares said.  

Strength to work through trials and to push away temptations comes through seeking the Lord, he said.  

“I testify that as we put our trust in Him and follow His counsel our capacity to avoid temptation will increase significantly,” he said. “Our spiritual maturity will grow at a higher rate each time, and the influence of the Holy Ghost will be more intense and more constant in our lives. And, therefore, we will have a happier, purer and more consecrated life.”