Today at church I gave a talk. Some have asked if I would share it on my blog and so I will. I love being asked to speak because I learn so much when I study, pray and research out a certain subject.
My topic was WHAT IS REVELATION? I started out by sharing a personal story. It's a bit long to read, but I hope you enjoy it!
When Brad was in the 4th grade he began to struggle a bit, he got teased about the things he didn't have, about the type of clothing he wore ( which weren't brand names), why he didn't have certain movies or games. As we worked on helping Brad to learn to hold his own and be grateful for what he had, I still prayed that he somehow would feel like he fit in or at least know that he was enough.
Then Basketball season came, and I was excited because Brad loved basketball and was a very good little athlete, I was hoping this was the place where he would fit in. For one reason or another the boys on the team, didn’t really gel that well together, and so one of the Mothers came up with the idea that we should get the boys together and do something fun. I was all for it, until she told us that they were going to do a sleep over.
All the Mom’s were in agreement of the Sleep Over …except me. Jeff and I had come to the realization that we did not want our kids to ever do sleep overs . That became a rule in our home and really up until that point, none of the kids ever fought about it. I tried to explain to the other Mothers, that Brad would not be there because of our family Rule, I could not believe the pressure that I felt as a Mom and an adult, to have Brad come…just this once.
Well, even with that pressure and the pressure of Brad begging when he found out, I felt like I was in a really tough spot as a Mom. I got on my knees and pleaded my case to the Lord, I asked him if I was being too protective? Should we let Brad go just this once? Was this rule too strict, and were we going to ruin our children’s chance of having fun childhood memories? The questions went on and one, finally when I stop talking and started listening, it was then that the answer came loud and clear and yet very simple…YOU HAVE ALREADY MADE THIS DECISION!
Now, I am here to tell you that the pressure didn’t get any better, actually on Friday it got worse because a couple of different Mothers started calling me. They assured me that the boys would be well supervised and wouldn’t be allowed to stay up too late. Brad came home sad from school, because he was the ONLY boy on the team NOT going. Yes, that was a terrible weekend to say the least.
Monday morning came, and Brad and I both were worried I think about the pressure that was going to be on him from not going. I sent him off with a silent prayer in my heart that somehow, he would be ok. Later that day Jeff called me from work, he asked me if I had seen the paper? I hadn’t and so he said hurry and go get one or borrow one from the neighbor. I was shocked when I opened the paper up and there on the front cover was an article and the title was 7 BOYS MOLESTED AT A SLEEP OVER IN KIRKLAND! Yes, this was the very same sleep over that Brad was invited to!
I had a million emotions that went through me as I read the paper and cried…
Sorrow … for the boys that had been abused
Anger… at the Mom’s that had put so much pressure on me
Guilt …that I doubted our Family Rule
Gratitude …that the Lord had revealed to me, that I was on the right path, and that Brad had been kept safe!
SO WHAT IS REVELATION? Revelation is communication from God to man. It can occur in many different ways.
In its more familiar forms, revelation or inspiration comes by means of words or thoughts communicated to the mind, by sudden enlightenment, by positive or negative feelings about proposed courses of action, or even by inspiring performances, as in the performing arts.
“INSPIRATION COMES MORE AS A FEELING THAN AS A SOUND.”
Years ago I heard one of my Bishops, give a talk about this very subject of Revelation, and he quoted from a talk given by Brother Dallan H. Oaks. It impressed me so much that I wrote those notes right in my scriptures and I read it often.
In this talk he mentions that there are 8 purposes of revelation. He also mentions that he hopes by talking about these purposes that we will all recognize the extent to which we have already received revelation or inspiration and resolve to cultivate this spiritual gift for more frequent use in the future.
Here are the 8 purposes…
1. To Testify… to testify or witness of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ and that your Heavenly Father lives.
2. To Prophecy…Speaking under the influence of the Holy Ghost and within the limits of his or her responsibility, a person may be inspired to predict what will come to pass in the future.
3. To comfort… to comfort us in the loss of a loved one, you may feel their presence with you, comfort and assurance your sins are forgiven.
4. To uplift… this feeling of uplift raises our spirits and can also help us resist evil and seek for the good. This can also be done by reading the scriptures or listen to good music and through the art.
5. To inform…. This may be that the person is given the words to say in a particular situation. Some occasions this sacred information has been given face to face from Heavenly Personages. Or it could be that you have lost something, and are guided to find it.
6.To restrain… this is to restrain us from doing something. It is one of the most common forms of revelation. It often comes by surprise. If we are obedient it will steer us away from the things we should not do.
7. To confirm…this is a common way to seek revelation to propose a particular course of action and then pray for inspiration to confirm it. But we must do our homework. There is a balance between agency and inspiration. We’re expected to use the gifts and talents and abilities, the sense and judgement and agency with which we are endowed
8. To impel…. to impel one to action. This is when revelation comes when it is not being sought and compels one to action that may have not been proposed. It is more rare but..also more significant!
I am so grateful for personal revelation in my life…
It is through revelation, that I knew as a child, in the middle of an abusive situation, that my Heavenly Father was there and that He would help me make it through that part of of my life
It is through revelation, that I knew that I should serve a full time mission
It is through revelation, that I was told that Jeff was indeed the one I was to marry
It was through revelation, that I knew how to mother and protect each one of my kids
It was through revelation, that I found my cancer the first time and was told to go and seek medical help
It was through revelation, that I found comfort in the loss of my mother
It was through revelation, that I was given strength and direction on dealing with cancer for the second time
It was through revelation, that I have been able to overcome the many feelings of inadequacy in my life.
It was through revelation, that I was told not to worry about the numbers of days that I would live, but to live each one to the fullest!
I am eternally grateful for this safety net the Lord has provided for us. I pray that each day I will live worthy to have and use this gift. I don’t know why anyone would want to go throughout their life …without it. I bear testimony that Heavenly Father has not left us here to be on our own, that through personal revelation we can communicate with him. That through revelation given to a living prophet, we can be guided through this turbulent times.
I love this quote that bests sums up my feelings on this subject...
“The Spirit of the Holy Ghost is the greatest guarantor of inward peace in an unstable world…it will calm nerves; it will breath peace to our souls…it can enhance our natural senses so that we can see more clearly, hear more keenly and remember what we should remember. It is a way of maximizing our happiness." ~James E. Faust