Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

One General Conference Take-Away: Increasing Our Emphasis on Personal Revelation

Across many of the talks at General Conference, I heard a theme of strengthening our ability to receive and respond to personal revelation. "Spiritual self-reliance" is not the right term, for it is God we rely on, but honing our ability to receive personal inspiration and revelation strengthens our ability to solve our problems and to make changes in the course of our lives for good. Our increased dependency on the Lord in this process makes us, in a sense, all the more independent--relative to the forces of the world.

As times get more complex, our ability to guide our loved ones, obtain wisdom, find clever solutions to problems, avoid traps from our adversaries, and dodge spiritual bullets (maybe some physical ones, too) requires constant alertness and listening to the Spirit. The challenges of tomorrow depend upon our preparations today. We must work and learn now. The Church won't solve our problems, but is a training ground to help us learn the skills we need--including having love and patience for fellow members. We need the Church more than ever, but in a sense we also need more than ever to stand on our own feet as we kneel before the Lord's seeking His will and inspiration each day.

The emphasis on personal revelation is one of the many things I really love the Church. Revelation is real. God is real. Prayers are answered. And we are taught to turn to God and seek His guidance, not only for our personal testimonies, but for our daily course in life and for the most complex challenges we face.

11 comments:

UtahBoy said...

That was the key theme that I heard as well. We live in interesting times.

ScriptureGolf said...

I agree. I really felt that this conference was a return to basics. People are going through difficult times; there are no easy answers for others to give you, so here's how to approach the Lord and get answers yourselves. Line ups at the bishops office should be shorter now... er, maybe not.

Jennifer6 said...

Knowing that I can rely on personal revelation is one aspect of my relationship with my Father in Heaven that I am so grateful for. Although revelation brings forth images of Moses, Noah, the bible, Joseph Smith, etc., it's also really as simple as receiving light and knowledge through the Holy Ghost, for something as simple as the best way to handle a problem with a child. Personal revelation isn't something to be intimidated by, and especially not something to ridicule; but rather it is something to be sought after.

I loved conference this fall, again. I recorded it all on my DVR because with three of my six being little, little ones, it was hard to be able to pay attention to everything I wanted to. Seems like I spent more time saying, "Shh, I'm trying to listen," than actually being able to listen. I look forward to rewatching it all, one talk at a time.

Titch said...

One of the greatest things about our Church is this principle. Why would an all loving Father in Heaven not want to speak to His children to guide, to nuture them?

Moroni's promise is that you can find out for yourself not you need to believe because he believed.

Simple but very powerful.

Thanks for the post Jeff!

Cheers,

Titch

Zera Pulsipher said...

I know it's not about personal revelation but was anyone else simply in complete awe during Hollands talk?

Titch said...

Zera, I'll tell you how powerful that talk was - we've just had a baptism today for someone who committed during it (his wife joined last year and he's been a number of times to Church). The reason for the rush was that he's off to serve his country tomorrow.

Some might say that he should have waited but no one who heard him bear his testimony this evening would doubt that he had received the witness he was looking for.

Happy days indeed :-)

Cheers,

Titch

Bookslinger said...

Yeah. Jeff, how about a post/thread about Elder Holland's talk ?

Boy, talk about "pulpits aflame with Book of Mormon messages" !

loquaciousmomma said...

I agree! This was particularly emphasized during the Saturday meetings. Now, more than ever, we need personal revelation! I struggle with relying on and trusting it, because I don't trust myself to discern personal revelation from my own thoughts and opinions. I have experienced and followed what was clearly divine inspiration on many occasions, but my anxiety has still made ongoing revelation a work in progress. I have much work to do!

Thanks for the reminder!

twitterpated said...

It seems to me there's a lot of relying on yourself that goes on in the world. And, if you can't rely on yourself, you go to an "expert." For example, if you want to understand the Bible, you go to a minister.

But why not go to God? Why not ask the Holy Spirit for help in understanding the Bible? Why not talk to the Lord about the scripture found in the Book of Mormon? If you lack understanding, go to the REAL expert -- Jesus Christ. And don't neglect to actually read the scriptures and study them so you have something to talk about.

It's true that you don't really find much of this outside the LDS church. You certainly don't find the evangelistic Christians seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit when it comes to evaluating whether latter-day saints are their brothers in Christ. Instead, you find that they will swallow every lie, no matter how ridiculous, to condemn us as cultists.

Did you know Mormons don't believe in hell? Never mind that there are enough references to hell in the Book of Mormon to light all the fireplaces in Christendom ... we don't believe in hell.

Neither do we accept Christ as our God and our Savior. Never mind that "we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ." (2 Ne. 25: 26) We don't accept him as the God of Israel, or as our Redeemer. Why? Who knows! Any specious argument will work. Just be assured that the Mormons aren't Christian.

And did you know that because Mormons want to obey Jesus, they're rejecting salvation, and denying that Jesus is the one who saves them? Salvation is from grace alone. You don't have to do ANY work yourself to accept it.

So don't tangle with the Mormons. And whatever you do, don't ask the Lord to tell you the truth about them. You might just realize there's such a thing as WORK and have to go about repenting of sins, and we can't have that. It makes other Christians look bad.

Take the Lord seriously, and it makes you a cultist. Who knew?

Anonymous said...

The emphasis on personal revelation within the context of Mormonism is that the Bible is generally relegated to an unauthoritative writing. The personal revelation becomes the measuring stick against which the Bible is measured, rather than the Bible being the measuring stick against which so-called personal revelation is measured. There are false spirits leading millions away from the Truth of God's Word--the Bible. I pray that you as Mormons will come to the proper perspective regarding personal revelation, especially when you think that "personal revelation" has led you to the belief that JS was a prophet. A test with the Bible as the authoritative measuring stick will easily prove JS to be a false prophet. Beware that this emphasis on "personal revelation" is the pathway to postmodernism and the denigration of God's Word as authoritative for our lives.

Blessings...

jackg said...

I don't know why my comment came out as being from anonymous. I must have done something wrong.