2023 October General Conference, Saturday Afternoon Session

Promptings of the Spirit
Elder Gary E. Stevenson, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Main Points

  • All gifts, whether spiritual or temporal in nature, require a lifetime of hard work, study and practice to refine.
  • We can take actions that will increase our opportunity and ability to feel and recognize the Spirit.

Gospel Principles taught

The Holy Ghost, The Lord’s Covenant People, The Gift of the Holy Ghost, Gifts of the Spirit, Developing Talents

Gospel Doctrine taught

The Godhead, Covenants


Doctrine and Covenants 46:13–25, Doctrine and Covenants 46:8–9, 26, Doctrine and Covenants 87:8, Matthew 18:20, Helaman 5:30

Related talks: 

Sources Cited: 

Look for Jesus Christ:

  • Testimony of Christ.
    • I add my testimony to you, gifted Latter-day Saints, of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, who bears testimony of Them. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
  • Description of His Teachings.
    • The Savior said it this way: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Inspiring Words & Phrases

  • The Spirit cannot be restrained from attending a gathering of holy people.
  • If you hope to feel the Spirit, be with people with whom the Spirit can easily dwell.
  • Choose to be with people and go to places where righteousness is found. Find your strength in numbers. Find good friends. Be good friends. Support one another wherever you are. Stand with holy people.
  • The Comforter always shares His voice when we testify with our voice.
  • The Lord invites us to earnestly seek the best gifts, even spiritual gifts.
  • A gift alone does not a master make.
  • Even those gifts received and unwrapped are often accompanied by the dreaded language “some assembly required.”
  • Exercising spiritual gifts requires spiritual exercise.
  • As we listen and act on spiritual promptings, the Holy Ghost magnifies our abilities and capacities to far exceed what we can do on our own. These precious spiritual gifts will help us in every aspect of our lives.
  • The constant companionship of the Holy Ghost is one of the greatest spiritual gifts Latter-day Saints enjoy. How important is this gift? President Russell M. Nelson answered this question categorically when he stated that “in coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.”
  • Promptings of the Spirit are very personal and come in different ways.
  • If you hope to feel the Spirit, be in a place where the Spirit can easily dwell.
  • Our temples and homes are the most sacred of these dedicated spaces.
  • Be patient and trust that you will receive what you need when the time is right.


How to invite and recognize the promptings of the Spirit:

  • Stand in Holy Places
  • Stand with Holy People
  • Testify of Holy Truths
  • Listen to the Holy Spirit

Gifts of the Spirit bestowed on covenant-keeping members of the Church:

  • the gift of a testimony of Jesus Christ as our Savior
  • the gift of the Holy Ghost
  • the gift of faith to heal 
  • the gift of faith to be healed 
  • the gift of discernment
  • the gift of receiving miracles 
  • the gift of wisdom
  • the gift of knowledge

The Lord gives spiritual gifts:

  • To bless us
  • For us to use to bless others

Spiritual work required to have the guidance of the Holy Ghost in your life:

  • fervent prayer
  • consistent scripture study
  • keeping your covenants 
  • keeping God’s commandments
  • worthily partaking of the sacrament each week

The fruits of exercising spiritual gifts are:

  • promptings from the Spirit that help us face our daily needs
  • promptings from the Spirit that show us what to do 
  • promptings from the Spirit that show us what to say
  • blessings of peace 
  • Blessings of comfort 

Places where the Spirit can easily dwell:

  • The temple
  • Our home
  • Meetinghouses
  • Seminary & Institute
  • Church History sites
  • Visitor’s centers


  • Choose to be with people and go places where righteousness is found.
  • Find your strength in numbers
  • Find good friends
  • Be good friends
  • Support one another
  • Stand with holy people
  • Find a quiet place, a holy space where you can seek to receive direction from the Spirit.
  • You can cultivate an attitude and an environment that invite the Spirit, and you can prepare yourself, but you cannot dictate how or when inspiration comes.
  • Often the Lord wants us to use our God-given intelligence and act in ways that are consistent with our best understanding.
  • (An invitation for all youth) Tomorrow, this week, this year, always, pause as you look at yourself in the mirror. Think to yourself, or say aloud if you like, “Wow, look at me! I am awesome! I am a child of God! He knows me! He loves me! I am gifted—gifted with the Holy Ghost as my constant companion!”


  • (The Spirit) caresses so gently that if we are preoccupied we may not feel it at all.” (quoting Boyd K. Packer)
  • The noise, clamor, and contention prevalent in the world may overpower still, quiet impressions of the Holy Spirit.
  • Impressions from the Spirit will align with the scriptures and the teachings of the living prophets.
  • Be certain that the feelings you receive are consistent with your assignment.
  • Spiritual matters cannot be forced.


  • As you seek and take opportunities to share your testimony with others, you will create moments to recognize the Spirit for yourself.

Personal Stories Told:

  • An experience in the Tokyo Japan Temple celestial room during the open house, when a prominent government official commented, “Even the air that I breathe in this room feels different.”
  • An experience of a popular sports arena filled with youth commemorating the life of Joseph Smith, where the Spirit was present.
  • Bearing simple testimony to a taxi driver in New York City.


  • A gift ≠ a master
  • Listen to spiritual promptings + Act on spiritual promptings = the Holy Ghost magnifies our abilities and capacities
  • IF we testify THEN the Spirit will testify

Application Ideas

  1. Make a list in your journal of holy places in your life. Find a way to spend more time in those places.
  2. Identify the ‘holy people’ in your life. Think about ways you might become more like them.
  3. Think about what makes a good friend. How can you find good friends? How can you be a good friend?
  4. Write out “Wow, look at me! I am awesome! I am a child of God! He knows me! He loves me! I am gifted—gifted with the Holy Ghost as my constant companion!” and put it on your mirror. Read it every day.

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