Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Spirit of Revelation

We are constantly faced with so many decisions, problems, other situations that require us to make decisions quickly, by a certain deadline, that affect more than just ourselves, and for which we may not have all the information to confidently make the best decision. Some of these choices don’t matter in the long run and some have eternal consequences. To illustrate this point, President Monson recently taught, “Whether you wear a green T-shirt or a blue one makes no difference in the long run. However, whether you decide to push a key on your computer which will take you to pornography can make all the difference in your life. You will have just taken a step off the straight, safe path. If a friend pressures you to drink alcohol or to try drugs and you succumb to the pressure, you are taking a detour from which you may not return.” (“The Three R’s of Choice,” Ensign, Nov 2010.)

Not all of our choices are between good and evil, however. Sometimes we must choose between two good decisions or between a good decision and a better one. Sometimes these good decisions require us to make a choice without our knowing the exact outcome and require us to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Fortunately we are not left alone in the midst of all of these decisions. To help us in our sojourn through life, Jesus Christ promised us “the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance” (John 14:26).

What a wonderful blessing and promise! The Lord has promised us a gift, a help in these days of confusion where men call good evil and evil good that each day we may better make the decisions with which we are faced. If we so desire, we can be taught from on high, schooled by the Master Teacher Himself through the third member of the Godhead, even the Holy Ghost.

How does this process work? How do we know when Heavenly Father answers our prayers through the Holy Ghost? The Lord taught the prophet Joseph Smith, “behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart. Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation” (D&C 8:2-3). We, of course, are not without responsibility on our part. We must study carefully the decisions that come before us, weigh the options, make a decision as best we can and then present our decision before the Lord. Of this process, the Lord taught, “behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right” (D&C 9:8).

Elder David A. Bednar spoke of this process and of the spirit of revelation in the most recent General Conference. In his talk, entitled, “The Spirit of Revelation,” he compared revelation to light, opening his remarks with a brilliant extended metaphor, and very clearly illustrating the different methods revelation comes to us. Taught Elder Bednar:

“As you appropriately seek for and apply unto the spirit of revelation, I promise you will “walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5; 2 Nephi 12:5). Sometimes the spirit of revelation will operate immediately and intensely, other times subtly and gradually, and often so delicately you may not even consciously recognize it. But regardless of the pattern whereby this blessing is received, the light it provides will illuminate and enlarge your soul, enlighten your understanding (see Alma 5:7; 32:28), and direct and protect you and your family.”

Read this talk. No one of us can live without the direction and revelation of the Lord. The Holy Ghost is the guiding influence that we all need if we are to successfully navigate the decisions and choices we face in this life so that we can return to live with our Father in Heaven and our families someday. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who has blessed me with the Holy Ghost. And I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ that enables me to continuously strive to repent and improve and thus live worthy of the companionship and influence of the Holy Ghost.