Tag Archives: personal revelation

Do you know how to receive revelation? Part 3 (final part)

As mentioned previously, the May topic for Come, Follow Me is on Prophets and Revelation. I spent two weeks discussing the ideas in the “How do I receive personal revelation?” topic.

I thought the talks by Richard G Scott and David A Bednar gave some good information. Here are some quotes:

Richard G. Scott, “How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life,Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 45–47

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.

Based on this quote, I tried to emphasize the following:

  • Anger/hurt/defensiveness drive away the Spirit
  • Be cautious with humour. It was interesting that he noted that a good sense of humour (not inappropriate or too loud) helps revelation
  • Do not exaggerate things unnecessarily
  • Get a good amount of sleep and  eat well
  • That last paragraph is simple but powerful… It is important that our daily activities do not distract us from listening to the Spirit

David A. Bednar, “The Spirit of Revelation,Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 87–90

He starts at the beginning of his talk and talks about light. He talks about how the sun rises and that from moment to moment we can’t tell it is brighter, but as we look back, we can obviously tell it is brighter. He then compares that turning on a light switch in a room when the room gets brighter instantly. Both are very much like revelation. Sometimes we can feel it immediately, and sometimes it slowly grows/builds.

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “The Holy Ghost is a revelator,” and “no man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 132)…

This blessing is not restricted to the presiding authorities of the Church; rather, it belongs to and should be operative in the life of every man, woman, and child who reaches the age of accountability and enters into sacred covenants. Sincere desire and worthiness invite the spirit of revelation into our lives…

I emphasize the phrase “apply unto it” in relation to the spirit of revelation. In the scriptures, the influence of the Holy Ghost frequently is described as “a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12; 1 Nephi 17:45; see also 3 Nephi 11:3) and a “voice of perfect mildness” (Helaman 5:30). Because the Spirit whispers to us gently and delicately, it is easy to understand why we should shun inappropriate media, pornography, and harmful, addictive substances and behaviors. These tools of the adversary can impair and eventually destroy our capacity to recognize and respond to the subtle messages from God delivered by the power of His Spirit. Each of us should consider seriously and ponder prayerfully how we can reject the devil’s enticements and righteously “apply unto it,” even the spirit of revelation, in our personal lives and families…

A light turned on in a dark room is like receiving a message from God quickly, completely, and all at once. Many of us have experienced this pattern of revelation as we have been given answers to sincere prayers or been provided with needed direction or protection, according to God’s will and timing…

The gradual increase of light radiating from the rising sun is like receiving a message from God “line upon line, precept upon precept” (2 Nephi 28:30). Most frequently, revelation comes in small increments over time and is granted according to our desire, worthiness, and preparation…

I have talked with many individuals who question the strength of their personal testimony and underestimate their spiritual capacity because they do not receive frequent, miraculous, or strong impressions…

Another common experience with light helps us learn an additional truth about the “line upon line, precept upon precept” pattern of revelation. Sometimes the sun rises on a morning that is cloudy or foggy. Because of the overcast conditions, perceiving the light is more difficult, and identifying the precise moment when the sun rises over the horizon is not possible. But on such a morning we nonetheless have sufficient light to recognize a new day and to conduct our affairs.

In a similar way, we many times receive revelation without recognizing precisely how or when we are receiving revelation. An important episode from Church history illustrates this principle.

Anyway, that is probably enough. As I said in the beginning, this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot over the last few weeks. I just wanted to share some of the things I’ve read and thought about and discussed. I am by no means an expert in receiving revelation, but I’m trying and asking and I have faith that the revelation does and will come.

181st Semiannual General Conference – Saturday Morning General Session

I helped a woman in the ward move this morning, and I got back just before noon… just in time to setup the laptop and get everything working on the TV.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir opened the conference by singing The Morning Breaks

President Henry B Eyring conducted.

The choir sang With Songs of Praise

Elder Gary J Coleman offered the invocation

NOTE: President Thomas S Monson did NOT open the conference with any remarks

Elder Richard G Scott

  • We don’t need to be concerned about the truth of the scriptures as the Holy Ghost prompted the writers
  • The scriptures are like packets of light
  • To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship
  • Scriptures can provide a foundational support

The choir sang We Ever Pray for Thee

Sister Barbara Thompson

  • As we grow we have challenges that help us know we need divine help
  • “have ye inquired of the Lord?”
  • The way to receive personal revelation is quite clear; we need to have desire, not harden our hearts, ask in faith
  • A woman said that she didn’t keep a testimony during trials, the testimony kept her

Elder L Whitney Clayton

  • The gospel is filling the earth
  • The work is great and marvelous

The choir and congregation sang Redeemer of Israel

President Thomas S Monson

  • Time flies when we are busy
  • Recounted recent temple dedications
  • The building of temples continues uninterrupted
  • No church built facility is more important
  • Announced
  • There is a new fund for people who still aren’t near a temple to help them financially to go

Elder Jose L Alonso

  • The Saviour’s life was a life of service
  • There are many who are lost who do not know they are lost

President Boyd K Packer

  • NOTE: President Packer spoke from a chair (sitting down). He had very small oxygen tubes going around his no. They were hardly noticeable.
  • The youth of today are better than the youth of his day
  • The youth are being raised in enemy territory
  • You may feel uncertainty in your life
  • The family is the centre of the great plan of happiness
  • Perhaps the single greatest thing he’s learned from reading the Book of Mormon is that the Holly Ghost helps you feel spiritual things
  • If you are associating with people who will pull you away, use your agency and heed the promptings of the Holy Ghost

The choir sang I Am a Child of God (they also sang the fourth verse in the Children’s Songbook)

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • Talked of Moses
  • Moses knew of the grandeur of a worldly kingdom
  • Years later he spoke to God face to face
  • “I know that man is nothing”
  • Even though man is nothing, the worth of souls is great
  • the great Deceiver uses extremes to get to us
  • compared to God we are nothing, but to God we are everything
    1. God loves the humble and meek
    2. The Lord entrusts the fulness of his gospel to declare the gospel
    3. No matter where you live, no matter how humble your circumstances, how meager your employment, you are not invisible to your Heavenly Father
    4. Please understand that what you see and experience now is not what forever will be

The choir sang Press Forward, Saints

Elder Lowell M Snow offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 181st Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: