Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Still Small Voice of the Spirit

by Elder Boyd K. Packer

“Many years ago John Burroughs, a naturalist, one summer evening was walking through a crowded park. Above the sounds of city life he heard the song of a bird.
“He stopped and listened! Those with him had not heard it. He looked around. No one else had noticed it.
“It bothered him that everyone should miss something so beautiful.
“He took a coin from his pocket and flipped it into the air. It struck the pavement with a ring, no louder than the song of the bird. Everyone turned; they could hear that!
“It is difficult to separate from all the sounds of city traffic the song of a bird. But you can hear it. You can hear it plainly if you train yourself to listen for it.
“One of our sons has always been interested in radio. When he was a little fellow, his Christmas present was a very elementary radio construction set.
“As he grew, and as we could afford it, and as he could earn it, he received more sophisticated equipment.
“There have been many times over the years, some very recently, when I have sat with him as he talked with someone in a distant part of the world.
“I could hear static and interference and catch a word or two, or sometimes several voices at once.
“Yet he can understand, for he has trained himself to tune out the interference.
“It is difficult to separate from the confusion of life that quiet voice of inspiration. Unless you attune yourself, you will miss it.
“Answers to prayers come in a quiet way. The scriptures describe that voice of inspiration as a still, small voice.
“If you really try, you can learn to respond to that voice” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1979, 27–28; or Ensign, Nov. 1979, 19–20 ).

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