The Lord calls Samuel, and he responds. Samuel honors the Lord.
4 That the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.
5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.
6 And the Lord called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again. . . .
8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the Lord had called the child.
9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth. . . .
19 And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.
Elder Walter F. González wrote:
“When a young man named Samuel uttered the words ‘Speak; for thy servant heareth’ (1 Samuel 3:10), they changed his life. They can change our lives as well.
“Samuel, who ministered in the temple, uttered these words thousands of years ago. One night, as he was falling asleep, he heard a voice calling out to him. He thought it was the priest Eli, so Samuel called back, ‘Here am I’ (1 Samuel 3:4).
“Eli was asleep, so he did not respond. Samuel then ran to Eli, woke him, and said, ‘Here am I; for thou calledst me’ (1 Samuel 3:5). Eli said he had not called Samuel and sent the young man back to bed. This happened two more times that night.
“The third time Samuel went to Eli, the priest perceived that it was God who had called Samuel. So he instructed the young man to return to bed, and if the voice called him again, he was to say, ‘Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth’ (1 Samuel 3:9). When the voice called to Samuel later that night, he answered, ‘Speak; for thy servant heareth’ (1 Samuel 3:10). Mighty Jehovah then revealed His will to young Samuel (see 1 Samuel 3:11–14).
“There is much we can learn from Samuel’s experience. Note that the Lord called three times, and all three times Samuel replied simply, ‘Here am I.’ Only after he showed his willingness to listen—‘Speak; for thy servant heareth’—did the Lord reveal His will.
“This experience also teaches us something about the way in which the Lord speaks to us. While it is true that occasionally there may be other ways in which He reveals His will to His children, including the ministering of angels and the granting of visions, . . . [He most often communicates] through the [whisperings of the] Spirit. [This means of divine communication is] as current as [it is] ancient.”
(“Listening As Samuel Listened,” Ensign, Aug. 2010, 38.)