One of the great lessons that each of us needs to learn is to ask. Why does the Lord want us to pray to Him and to ask? Because that is how revelation is received.
When I am faced with a very difficult matter, this is how I try to understand what to do. I fast. I pray to find and understand scriptures that will be helpful. That process is cyclical. I start reading a passage of scripture; I ponder what the verse means and pray for inspiration. I then ponder and pray to know if I have captured all the Lord wants me to do. Often more impressions come with increased understanding of doctrine. I have found that pattern to be a good way to learn from the scriptures.
There are some practical principles that enhance revelation. First, yielding to emotions such as anger or hurt or defensiveness will drive away the Holy Ghost. Those emotions must be eliminated, or our chance for receiving revelation is slight.
Another principle is to be cautious with humor. Loud, inappropriate laughter will offend the Spirit. A good sense of humor helps revelation; loud laughter does not. A sense of humor is an escape valve for the pressures of life.
Another enemy to revelation comes from exaggeration or loudness in what is stated. Careful, quiet speech will favor the receipt of revelation.
On the other hand, spiritual communication can be enhanced by good health practices. Exercise, reasonable amounts of sleep, and good eating habits increase our capacity to receive and understand revelation. We will live for our appointed life span. However, we can improve both the quality of our service and our well-being by making careful, appropriate choices.
It is important that our daily activities do not distract us from listening to the Spirit.
Revelation can also be given in a dream when there is an almost imperceptible transition from sleep to wakefulness. If you strive to capture the content immediately, you can record great detail, but otherwise it fades rapidly. Inspired communication in the night is generally accompanied by a sacred feeling for the entire experience. The Lord uses individuals for whom we have great respect to teach us truths in a dream because we trust them and will listen to their counsel. It is the Lord doing the teaching through the Holy Ghost. However, He may in a dream make it both easier to understand and more likely to touch our hearts by teaching us through someone we love and respect.
- Richard G. Scott, “How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for your Personal Life“, April 2012 General Conference
I don't know how all of that makes you feel, but suddenly any undue anxiety about the times in which we live dissipates for me, and I am humbled, spiritually thrilled, and motivated at the opportunity we have been given. God is watching over His world, His Church, His leaders, and He is certainly watching over you. Let's just make sure we are the "pure in heart" and that we are faithful. How blessed you will be. How fortunate your children and grandchildren will be. -Jeffrey R. Holland, “This, the Greatest of All Dispensations,” Liahona, July 2007
Those who engage in self-congratulation over a supposed strength have lost the protection of humility and are vulnerable to Satan's using that strength to produce their downfall. In contrast, if we are humble and teachable, hearkening to the commandments of God, the counsel of his leaders, and the promptings of his Spirit, we can be guided in how to use our spiritual gifts, our accomplishments, and all of our other strengths for righteousness. And we can be guided in how to avoid Satan's efforts to use our strengths to cause our downfall. - Dallin H. Oaks, “Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall,” Ensign, October 1994
Prayer offers each of us the privilege of divine guidance in a troubled world. God, our Heavenly Father, desires that His children speak with Him. Take time to pray. Go to Him in humility, in faith, and in the sacred name of Jesus Christ. He hears. He knows. He answers. "For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened" (Matt. 7:8). God be thanked for the precious and wondrous gift of prayer. -Keith B. McMullin, “Words of Jesus: Prayer,” Ensign, January 2003
The most important thing in our lives is the Spirit. I have always felt that. We must remain open and sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost in all aspects of our lives. - Ezra Taft Benson, “Seek the Spirit of the Lord,” Ensign, April 1988
There seems to grow upon us a film of worldliness when we move away from the Lord. It might be like the film of grease spread over the body of the swimmer who would cross the English Channel. It fills the pores and covers the skin so there can be less penetration of the cold. It might be like the skin-diver's rubber suit. But when we pierce the shell and penetrate the covering and humble ourselves with naked soul and sincere supplication and cleansed life, our prayers are answered. We can reach the point where Peter stood, and like him we may "be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
All too frequently, one who has done many splendid things in life and made an excellent contribution will let pride cause him to lose the rich reward to which he would be entitled otherwise. We should always wear the sackcloth and ashes of a forgiving heart and a contrite spirit, being willing always to exercise genuine humility, as did the publican [see Luke 18:9-14], and ask the Lord to help us to forgive. - “Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball,” p.101
All through the scriptures the loftier expectation is expressed by the Lord and His apostles: Believe, repent, obey the ordinances, walk in the light of the Spirit, endure in faith--yes! But also, manifest your discipleship in civility, in gentility and tender compassion, in kindness and consideration, in patience and forbearance and refusal to condemn, in forgiveness and mercy. - Marion D. Hanks, “More Joy and Rejoicing,” Ensign (CR), November 1976, p.31
To my young friend, and to all wherever you may be, never give up on the Lord. The answer to your prayers may not be as clear or as timely as you would like, but keep praying. The Lord is listening! As you pray, ask for help in understanding the promptings of the Holy Spirit. And then do your very best to be worthy to receive those promptings. As you recognize or feel the impressions and whisperings of the Spirit, then act upon them. - Donald L. Staheli, “Securing Our Testimonies,” Ensign (CR), November 2004, p.37