​How do you know when you are following the spirit?

​How do you know when you are following the spirit?

I had a sweet moment with my daughter last night. As I laid next to one of my daughters in our three girls’ bedroom, helping them go to sleep, my oldest asked a question. "Dad, if you were going to explain what the Holy Ghost is to someone that already knows about the gospel what would you say?" I thought what a creative way to ask a question. I did my best to explain.

First, Understand the Godhead and our Origins

The first thing you should know is that he is part of the Godhead. God the father is our Spirit Father, it is him that we pray to. He loves us more than anything. We have a spirit Mother in heaven too. They both want us to return to them. We are a family. Jesus Christ is our brother, but has progressed to be become like God our father. He through his great kindness and mercy, was willing to be our Savior and Redeemer. Through Christ and his leadership, the earth was created. The stars were aligned and the earth was made habitable. Our father then placed Adam and Eve as the first of his children to be on the earth to receive bodies of flesh and bones. Prior to this we were all just spirits. He gave them commandments through their disobedience they were kicked out of the Garden of Eden.

The Father, because of his love for them and for all of their children, which means us, sent a Savior, an Intermediary, his own Son, our brother, Jesus Christ to be named Jehovah and to be the redeemer of all mankind. He would be known as the God of the Old Testament and the Savior of the New Testament. He gave glory to the father and represented our father on earth. Jehovah or Jesus taught the will of his father which became to be known as the gospel of Jesus Christ. And this is where the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit comes in.

He sent two Great Ambassadors: Jesus and the Holy Ghost

Because we were all first spirit beings before we had our physical bodies and God did not want to leave us detached from him and stranded in a fallen world. He sent two great Ambassadors to rescue us. His own Son Jesus Christ to physically come and redeem us and the Holy Ghost to spiritually come and purify us. The Holy Ghost would speak to us and teach and guide us, and eventually purifying us to allow us the privilege to come back to our Heavenly Father and Mother. The Holy Ghost is a spirit, as are we, and communicates to us spirit to spirit. His role is to testify of the Father and the Son and to bring us remembrance of them and their words.

Putting it all together

So let's put this all together. We pray to the Father rejoicing, because of the redeeming power of Christ. And we receive prompting of the Holy Ghost as answers to our prayers. God is our father, Jesus is our Savior and The Holy Ghost is our spiritual reminder, teacher, promoter, comforter and purifier.

Is it a Prompting or a Thought

"But how do you know if it's a prompting or if it's your thoughts?" She asks. I shared with her how I discern.

We all have thoughts and we can all have promptings. If you are living right and trying to be obedient to the commandments of God, as you see them, the spiritual promptings will come more frequently. The fruits of the spirit are taught to us in Galatians 5. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith". The only fruit that is constant and true and is the feeling I can always depend on is that of "Peace". If I feel a prompting or think I do and it is accompanied with peace than I know it is from God. The other 70% of the time I have promptings, or think I do. I have to ask myself. “If I put what is prompted into action would it hurt anyone or would it help?” and “Is it a good thing or is it bad?” If it is helpful and good. I don't question the source I just do it.

The night drew on and finally our conversation ended. What a sweet experience! A fulfilling and wonderful feeling that my daughter is sincerely trying to follow the Savior by learning his words.

"Goodnight, dad I love you" she said. "Goodnight, I love you too".

See other resources that can teach you more about the Holy Ghost.

Topic on LDS.org

Video on LDS.org

The Scriptures: The Bible, Book of Mormon,
Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great

Quad Combination, Regular and Large

The Holy Ghost is like a Blanket, by Annalisa Hall
How does the Holy Ghost make me feel?
Christopher Columbus - A Man among the 
by Clark B. Hinckley
The Holy Ghost is my Friend
by Rebecca Sorge