9 And their meetings were conducted by the church after the manner of the workings of the Spirit, and by the power of the Holy Ghost; for as the power of the Holy Ghost led them whether to preach, or to exhort, or to pray, or to supplicate, or to sing, even so it was done.
Moroni tells us that church meetings in his day were conducted “after the manner of the workings of the Spirit.” Decisions about when to sing, pray, or teach were directed by the Holy Ghost, and the members therefore needed to hear and follow the Spirit of the Lord.
The phrase “the workings of the Spirit” appears three other times in the Book of Mormon (2 Nephi 1:6, Jacob 4:15, and Words of Mormon 1:7). Additionally, Nephi says that he has “workings in the Spirit” (1 Nephi 19:20), which weary him. The implication is that, by receiving the Holy Ghost, we empower Him to work within us, not only so that we can do God’s will, but also so that we can be transformed and even sanctified. (See 3 Nephi 27:20.)
Consider the process of planning a General Conference talk, as described by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland:
With rare exception, no man or woman who speaks here is assigned a topic. Each is to fast and pray, study and seek, start and stop and start again until he or she is confident that for this conference, at this time, his or hers is the topic the Lord wishes that speaker to present regardless of personal wishes or private preferences. Every man and woman you have heard during the past 10 hours of general conference has tried to be true to that prompting. Each has wept, worried, and earnestly sought the Lord’s direction to guide his or her thoughts and expression (“An Ensign to the Nations,” General Conference, April 2011).
It seems clear to me that this struggle to understand and follow the will of God has two outcomes: it produces not only an inspired talk but also a better man or woman. By choosing to follow the Holy Ghost, we not only ensure that we are doing the will of the Lord, but we also allow Him to change us.
Today, I will strive to conduct myself in accordance with “the workings of the Spirit,” knowing that the Holy Ghost will not only guide me to do what is right but will help me to become more righteous.