“Global Positioning System” (GPS) apps have gained widespread use in recent years. The purpose of such an app (which may go by the name Waze or Google Maps) is simple — it helps you get to where you want to go. Using a GPS app is quite easy:
- Start up the app.
- Tell it where you want to go.
- Follow the instructions it gives you.
Although the app is easy to use, there are a few things you need to do to ensure a successful trip:
- You need to be able to articulate where you want to go.
- You need to be able to hear the directions (turn down loud music, hush loud family members).
- You need to have faith in the app (it can’t help you if you don’t follow its directions).
In 1 Nephi 16, Lehi discovers a “ball of curious workmanship” (later identified as the “Liahona”) that operates very similar to a GPS app:
- It has two spindles, one of which points the way that they should go in the wilderness.
- The spindles work according to the “faith and diligence and heed” which is given to them.
- Words appear on it which give additional understanding concerning the ways of the Lord.
Since it would be over 2,500 years until GPS satellites would be launched, clearly this Liahona device was operated by God. In this and subsequent chapters, the people discover that as long as they are seeking to follow God and exhibit faith, the device shows them the way to go. When their faith and service are lacking, the device fails to operate.
Today, God offers each of us our own spiritual GPS — it’s called the Holy Ghost. How do you use it?
- You need to “start it up.” How? By getting baptized and having the ministry pray for you afterward. You then receive the Holy Ghost.
- You need to tell it where you want to go. Here’s where it can be a little tricky. The temptation is to actually try to tell it where you want to go. The correct answer is to tell the Holy Ghost you want to go where God wants you to go.
- You need to be able to hear the directions. When you pray for direction, listen for the response. You may hear it as a voice, it may come as a thought or it may come as a feeling. It may come immediately or it may take some time until the response comes. If you’re having a hard time hearing the response, turn down some of the distractions in your life so you can focus on your communication with God.
- You need to have sufficient faith to follow God’s direction. Just like when you’re driving in a totally unfamiliar area and you have to trust the GPS app to direct you, you need to trust God to lead you through areas of your life where you have no idea what lies ahead but you just know where you want to end up (exactly where God wants you to be).
Hopefully this little “operator’s manual” will help you to get the most out of your spiritual GPS. The directions for this GPS come from a lot higher up than the GPS satellites — imagine how much better the view of the big picture is from up there!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.