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How Do I Know If I’m Having a Spiritual Experience?

By Mormon.org
girl with temple and sunset in background

Thoughts and Feelings

When you think about it, all human experiences have an underlying spiritual quality. Each day we think and we feel, both of which are spiritual, and the things that happen to us and around us trigger thoughts and feelings. So, are we physical beings having a spiritual experience, or are we spiritual beings having a physical experience? Which question resonates more with you? Mormons are firm believers of the latter.

Recognizing spiritual experiences can be as simple as changing our perspective and being more attentive. Once you’re paying attention, you might be surprised by the spiritual things happening all around you and within you. Life can become more meaningful in many ways when you’ve become attuned to the spiritual. You can begin to see for yourself that God is mindful of you, that you are deeply loved, and that you’re never really alone.

Mind and Heart

Jesus Christ explained in the Doctrine and Covenants how to recognize the Spirit of God. He said: “Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart” (D&C 8:2). Another scripture describes what it might feel like when we receive an answer to our prayers: “But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right” (D&C 9:8).

Most spiritual experiences are gentle, quiet, and never intrusive. They usually appear in our minds as suggestions that invite us to do good things. Consider the following scripture from the Book of Mormon: “But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God” (Moroni 7:13).

The most powerful spiritual experiences occur in the heart and mind simultaneously. An experience of this nature leaves one with new knowledge and a powerful, lingering impression of love. These are special experiences that one can seek through prayer and fasting, but they can also occur randomly when the Lord feels it will be most meaningful for the individual.

Use Prayer to Recognize the Spiritual

Form a habit of prayer. If you make humble requests for the things you feel you need in the morning and return to your Heavenly Father with gratitude in the evening, you’ll be preparing yourself to notice the spiritual and witness how the Lord is working in your life.