One of many lessons learned from Joseph Smith’s experience in the Sacred Grove is fighting through distractions with “muscular” and “urgent, determined prayer,” said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.
In the latest #HearHim video released on Sunday, Nov. 8, the member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said vocalizing prayers can foster greater communication with God.
“As Joseph did, I believe it is important for us to pray out loud,” Elder Holland wrote in an accompanying blog post on ChurchofJesusChrist.org. “It is basic to what God intends for us in our communication with Him. He invites a conversation, if you will, and wants so much to ‘hear us.’
“We should make every effort to let Him hear us — literally.”
Consider moving prayer earlier in the evening, rather than right before tumbling into bed, he added. “Prayer time ought to be quality time, not just time that happens to be left over when everything else is done.”
In addition to prayer, Elder Holland wrote that he hears the Lord’s voice through reading the scriptures, through his wife’s example and by trusting his feelings.
“There is a reason that the best blood of human history has gone into the writing, preserving and canonizing of those records. We ought to treat them with the adoration they deserve,” he said of reading the scriptures.
Elder Holland’s wife, Sister Patricia Holland, influenced his decision to serve a full-time mission before they were married. “My mission then became a pivotal experience in my gaining a testimony and hearing Him more clearly ever since,” he wrote.
Though it can be difficult to discern where feelings come from, if one’s searching is “honorable and true and clean and noble,” they should believe that instincts can be founded on truth, Elder Holland wrote.
“God wants us to be like Him. We mature, and with effort we become more like God. We think more of His thoughts and feel more of His feelings. … By striving to live as one with Him, you will be more like God and you will ‘hear Him’ and trust Him, even as you trust your own feelings when praying to Him.”