Sunday School general president Mark L. Pace invited students to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, in a March 16 BYU devotional.
Brother Pace promised blessings and comfort to those who listen to and feel the influence of the Holy Ghost.
“The need for us to hear the voice of the true Shepherd has never been greater. His sheep still hear His voice. The influence of the Holy Ghost is available for us in our lives, every day,” he said. “As the prophets of this dispensation have taught, ‘Seek always to have the Spirit of God, and it will direct you aright.'”
Brother Pace shared two specific ways he hears the voice of the Good Shepherd that help strengthen his ability to invite the Holy Ghost’s presence into his life.
First, he reads the scriptures, with a particular focus on the Book of Mormon.
He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to read a different book of scripture each year with “Come, Follow Me” as a guide. However, he warned members not to forget the blessings of reading the Book of Mormon daily.
Second, he prays with a humble willingness to listen and act in faith.
Brother Pace shared an example of how early on in his marriage, he would often ask the Lord to change his wife’s mind when they argued. He realized this approach would never better himself or improve their relationship.
He said his prayers changed to include thoughts like, “what can I do to make changes in my life that would bless our marriage? I am willing to change. I have paper and a pen here so I can take notes. Please forgive me for my weaknesses and let me know what I can do to be better.”
Brother Pace also gave examples of when the Holy Ghost’s influence allowed members to come closer to Jesus Christ.
The first example he presented was the clear witness early Saints received from the Holy Ghost that Brigham Young was the successor of the prophet Joseph Smith after his martyr.
The Saints were distressed about who would lead them in their faith and to the Western United States as they tried to escape persecution, Brother Pace said. However, Brigham Young gave a powerful testimony about the proper authority a prophet is called with.
“That afternoon, the influence of the Holy Ghost rested on the Saints. These were the true sheep of the true Shepherd, and they recognized His voice — it was the familiar voice of the Spirit,” Brother Pace said. “So when they raised their hands to sustain the leadership of the Apostles, they did not sustain just with their hands. They sustained with their whole souls.”
A more modern example of how members can feel the Spirit is dedicating time and effort to participate in the Church’s “Come, Follow Me” scripture curriculum, he said.
“As I read the scriptures each week, with ‘Come, Follow Me’ as a guide, I write this question in my copy of the manual: ‘What has the Holy Ghost taught me this week during my scripture study?’ Then I seek and write down the answers,” Brother Pace said.
He encouraged students to follow suit, promising upliftment and deeper insight as they study each day.
The challenges people face throughout their lives will be lessened and lifted as people turn to Jesus Christ and His gospel, Brother Pace promised. He said a significant part of the blessings students can receive are found in their personal experience with the word of God and the Holy Ghost.
Brother Pace said students would be blessed as they read the scriptures and as their prayers reflect humble desires to listen and act in faith. “As you do so, no matter what the future may bring, the Holy Ghost will be your comforter and guide on the covenant path throughout your life.”