“I Will Tell You in Your Mind and in Your Heart, by the Holy Ghost”
Lesson 6 D&C 6, 8, 9, 11
While the last lesson helped us prepare to receive personal revelation, this lesson should help us recognize personal revelation from the Holy Ghost.
Understanding how the Holy Ghost communicates with us.
Revelation may come in many ways:
· Appearances by the Lord or His messengers
· Voices from the Lord or His messengers
· Visions and dreams
· Thoughts communicated to our minds and feelings in our hearts
Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught: “Visions do happen. Voices are heard from beyond the veil. I know this. But these experiences are exceptional…Most of the revelation that comes to leaders and members of the Church comes by the still, small voice or by a feeling rather than by a vision or a voice that speaks specific words we can hear. I testify to the reality of that kind of revelation, which I have come to know as a familiar, even daily, experience to guide me in the work of the Lord.” (Ensign, Mar 1997, 14)
Elder Boyd K. Packer taught: “These delicate, refined spiritual communications are not seen with our eyes nor heard with our ears. And even though it is described as a voice, it is a voice that one feels more than one hears.” (That All May Be Edified , 335)
Elder Dallin H. Oaks cautioned: “Some [people] have looked exclusively for the great manifestations that are recorded in the scriptures and have failed to recognize the still, small voice that is given to them…We need to know that the Lord rarely speaks loudly. His messages almost always come in a whisper…. Not understanding these principles of revelation, some people postpone acknowledging their testimony until they have experienced a miraculous event. They fail to realize that with most people…gaining a testimony is not an event but a process.” (Ensign, Mar. 1997, 11-12, 14)
D&C 6:15; 11: 13-14. The Holy Ghost enlightens our minds.
· He gives us new ideas or insights
· He provides flashes of insight and strong impressions
D&C 6:22-23 The Holy Ghost brings peace to our minds.
· Oliver Cowdrey received a peaceful assurance of the divine calling of Joseph Smith.
D&C 9:7-8 The Holy Ghost may cause a burning in our bosoms.
· Pres. Boyd K. Packer explained: “This burning in the bosom is not purely a physical sensation. It is more like a warm light shining within your being” (Ensign, Nov 1994, 60)
· Elder Dallin H. Oaks said: “I have met persons who told me they have never had a witness from the Holy Ghost because they have never felt their bosom ‘burn within’ them. What does a ‘burning in the bosom’ mean? Does it need to be a feeling of caloric heat, like the burning produced by combustion? If that is the meaning, I have never had a burning in the bosom. Surely, the word ‘burning’ in this scripture signifies a feeling of comfort and serenity.” (Ensign, Mar 1997, 13)
D&C 98:12 He reveals line upon line, precept upon precept.
· We usually receive revelation in accordance with our preparation to receive it.
· The more we prepare, the more we may receive
Cautions about personal revelation:
D&C 109:44. We should pray that the Lord’s will be done—and be willing to submit our will to His.
· If we feel unrest and uneasiness, confusion or negative feelings, or a stupor of thought, we may be receiving God’s answer of “No”.
· Think about how you should respond if the answer is “No” when you petition the Lord.
D&C 88:68. The Lord will control the timing and manner of revelation.
· Elder Dallin H. Oaks explained: “The Lord will speak to us through the Spirit in his own time and in his own way. Many people do not understand this principle. They believe that when they are ready and when it suits their convenience, they can call upon the Lord and he will immediately respond, even in the precise way they have prescribed. Revelation does not come that way…. The principle stated in D&C 88:68 applies to every communication from our Heavenly Father: ‘It shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.’ We cannot force spiritual things” (Ensign, Mar 1997, 10-11)
D&C 28:2, 6-7; 43:2-4 teaches that we receive revelation according to our stewardship and responsibilities
· Elder Dallin H. Oaks explained: “Our Heavenly Father’s house is a house of order…Only the President of the Church receives revelation to guide the entire Church…. The person who receives revelation for the ward is the bishop…Individuals can receive revelation to guide their own lives. But when a person purports to receive revelation for another person outside his or her own area of responsibility—such as a Church member who claims to have revelation to guide the entire Church….you can be sure that such revelations are not from the Lord.” (“Revelation”, New Era, Sept. 1982, 45-46)
D&C 11:12-14; 50:23-24 teaches us to discern the source of a revelation.
· We may mistake our own thoughts as revelations
· Satan may provide revelations to us
The First Presidency said: “When….inspiration conveys something out of harmony with the accepted revelations of the Church or contrary to the decisions of constituted authorities, Latter-Day Saints may know that it is not of God, no matter how plausible it may appear….Anything at discord with that which comes from God through the head of the Church is not to be received as authoritative or reliable” (Messages of the 1st Presidency, [1965-75] 4:285)
When revelation is not received or recognized:
· Exercise patience and faith
· Increase your efforts to be spiritually in tune to the whisperings of the Spirit
· Increase your personal study and prayer…faithfully and honestly
· Be faithful in obeying the commandments
· Set the matter aside for awhile and cease being consumed by it
· Recognize that the Lord may wish you to decide the matter on your own
· Recognize that you may have received the answer but may not have accepted it
Each of us has the privilege and responsibility to become fluent in the language of the Spirit. Make the effort(s) necessary to receive and recognize the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. As we prepare ourselves, we will receive “revelation upon revelation” thru the Holy Ghost. (D&C 42:61)