The Redeemer is our Rock of defense from the storms. As we build upon His gospel, we are strengthened and blessed. I think a story from Elijah’s life will be illustrative of one way the Lord protects us from the storms. Elijah was hiding in a cave in the wilderness because the wicked Jezebel desired his life. As he bemoaned his sufferings and the wickedness of the people, the Lord asked him to go stand out on a mountainside: “And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-12).
Elijah was asked to stand out on the mountain by the Lord; he experienced a great and strong wind that broke up the rocks, he experienced an earthquake, and he experienced a fire. The Lord was not in any of those but the Lord came as a still small voice. The whisperings of the Holy Ghost were there to comfort Elijah but also to tell him to continue on in his calling as a prophet. As we face storms in our lives, the Holy Ghost will be there to provide comfort if we are listening. It can be difficult to hear that still small voice if we are surrounded by a cacophony of commotion. As piercing as the still small voice is, it can be easy to miss. The more our lives are founded upon righteousness, the better able we are to hear the voice of the Lord.
If the voice of the Spirit does not come (usually) with the voice of thunder, wind, earthquakes, and fire, what does His voice sound like? The Savior said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). The Savior’s sheep know His voice. They recognize it and follow it. We know the Lord’s voice because we knew Him in our pre-earth life. He is no stranger to us just as we are not strangers to Him. However, learning to recognize His voice can take effort. We also need to listen carefully and closely.
Bishop H. Burke Peterson said: “Listening is an essential part of praying. Answers from the Lord come quietly—ever so quietly. In fact, few hear his answers audibly with their ears. We must be listening so carefully or we will never recognize them. Most answers from the Lord are felt in our heart as a warm comfortable expression, or they may come as thoughts to our mind. They come to those who are prepared and who are patient” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1973, p. 13; or Ensign, Jan. 1974, p. 19).