personal revelation

Impromptu company is often the best. No fanfare expected. An unembellished meal  complimented with good company can turn out to be the highlight of the week. Yesterday Elder Nathan Sparks and Elder Kyler Webster joined us for supper.

Whenever LDS missionaries come to visit they share a message. Tickled with their unique presentation, I decided to share it with you! An accomplished photographer, I’m not, however we thought it’d be fun to include photos. This object lesson was re-enacted just for you!

Elder Webster and Elder Sparks

 

 

Elder Sparks got this block of wood from his bag, set it on the table and asked my husband and me to place all 9 nails on top of the one nail.

 

 

 

None of the nails were allowed to touch the block of wood. I wouldn’t even attempt it for more than a split second.

Each of us figured only one nail would fit on top of it.

It certainly seemed an impossible task. (Apparently, when they present this challenge, some people will work on it for at least 15 minutes!) I said, “It can’t be done!”

 

 

“You don’t have enough faith!”Elder Sparks teased.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In less than a minute, giving up, we asked, “Okay, would you show us how to do it?”

Here he Goes

 

In Less than 5 Seconds!

 

 

 

 

There They Sit-On 1 Nail!

 

 

 

 

 

Within 10 seconds Elder Sparks had placed those nails securely atop that nail! Very impressive!

Ta-da!

 

 

 

 

 

Huh!! We never would have thought of that on our own!

 

 

 

Elder Sparks explained, “This process is much like how we live our lives, sometimes; we fiddle with our problems and questions from almost every possible angle in order to solve them on our own. Through frustration and humility we find what God has known all along. We cannot do it on our own. “

He pointed out that unless we ask for help, we’ll never figure out how to do it. And he would not show us how, until we asked for help.

Elder Sparks continued, “This is just like trying to balance our lives by ourselves and expecting to be fruitful and successful, without asking for and accepting God’s counsel and guidance in our life.

“This object lesson also helps to demonstrate that we cannot even imagine the ways the Lord can help us with our life, and the miracles He can perform. Just like the balanced nails, when people seek and receive God’s counsel they proclaim “I never would have thought of that!”

“Heavenly Father will more than likely respond like a loving father would. He’ll help his frustrated child find answers to the problems that are impeding their happiness or progression. Personal revelation or guidance in life is one of the greatest gifts he can give us.”

Love our Faithful Missionaries!

If you ever meet Elder Webster, ask him about the 3 cups and 3 knives object lesson. 🙂

 

Here it is, Friday evening and I’m three days behind with a new post. Had you noticed?

Hazy, lazy days of summer? Nope. I spent last week up north away from internet access for a Family Reunion. Got home somewhat worn out. A day or so to recuperate and sure looking forward to August’s more laid back schedule. That was the plan.

Till this morning. In the night, my 95 year old Father-in-law passed away. I get to retrace my tracks this weekend, 8 hours north to celebrate his tremendously full life, with family and friends.

In this post, I’ll share a couple of unrelated quotes that caught my attention this past couple of days.

This first one resonated with me for various reasons…one of them being that I happened to squander my valuable free time yesterday caught up in reading a couple of atheists’ debates. (Very. Not. Worth. It.)

Dan Peterson’s First Rule for the Study of Other Religions:

“If a substantial number of sane and intelligent people believe something that seems to you utterly without sense, the problem probably lies with you, for not grasping what it is about that belief that a lucid and reasonable person might find plausible and satisfying.”

More in line with this blog’s theme, the following quotes come from the latest Ensign article I read. These truths inspire me and lift me up with faith and hope.

“The Spirit can have an even more powerful effect on us than our physiological senses.”

 “We cannot hope to receive personal revelation unless we conduct ourselves like faithful disciples of Christ. Respecting the covenants we have made with God qualifies us to receive the companionship of the Holy Ghost, who enlightens our intelligence and causes our spirits to blossom.”

Have you a recently discovered quote you’d like to share with us? Your comments are always welcome.

Recently, I was contemplating the importance of obedience to the Lord’s commandments and its relationship to revelation. 

That same week Sam, fifteen years old, spoke in Sacrament meeting along a similar line of thought. I thought you would appreciate this young man’s perspective in this guest post. Thanks, Sam!

Good Morning Brothers and Sisters. Last week I was handed a talk assignment and the topic that I was given was “Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth”. Looking at that topic I was a little confused how to open a talk from a quote. The first thing that came to my head was the story of Samuel in the temple with Eli.

1 And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;

3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;

4 That the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.

5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.

6 And the Lord called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.

7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him.

8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the Lord had called the child.

9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

1 Samuel 3:1-10 (KJV)

Now,  that was all that I could think about from the quote, was the scripture about Samuel hearing the Lord and later that he obeyed the Lord in all that he commanded, and then it hit me- obedience. I can talk on obedience.

Samuel like many other prophets was obedient to the Lord by doing what he asked. Such as Nephi. He was commanded to build a boat. Joseph Smith was commanded to restore the church and Samuel the Lamanite was commanded to preach to the Nephites of Christ’s birth. These are just a few examples of obedience.

Obedience does not just have to be obedience to the Lord. You can be obedient to parents, church leaders and to yourself.

Being obedient to parents includes just doing of what they ask. If they give you a job to do around the house, you do it. If church leaders ask you to give a talk or prayers you just simply do it.

President Uchtdorf told a story of a little rule pilots give to themselves. It is to fly at least 500 feet above the trees so that they do not crash. That is a little example of self obedience.

Now the most obvious part of obedience is to the Lord. Unlike Nephi and Samuel we are not prophets. But we go to God to get personal revelation from Him to us.

We can also get revelation from general conferences, and we do. Twice a year we have general conference where the prophet and apostles give us new headings for the church.

Obedience isn’t only followed straight from the prophet’s mouth. We have scriptures and many other books to help us keep our obedience such as “Strength for Youth”. It teaches the basics of modern day obedience from modesty to language and even spiritual obedience.

Another great source to get obedience is from the commandments, such as “love thy neighbour as thyself”, “thou shalt not kill”, “thou shalt not steal”, and many more.

“The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.” Joshua 24:24

Now what can obedience do for us? If we obey in all that we do we can be blessed.

A great example of that is from Samuel the Lamanite who was commanded to preach to the Nephites about Christ’s birth. While he was preaching, the Nephites attempted to stop Samuel by shooting arrows and rocks at him. But because of Samuel’s obedience he was not hit by anything and was able to leave with no harm.

Now what happens if you are not obedient? Well, there is a story of that in the bible of a prophet named Jonah. Jonah was commanded to go to a city to preach to  the people that were wicked to stop their wickedness.

Jonah thought that was a bad idea and decided to go the opposite direction away from that city, so he took a boat to get away from the commandment the Lord gave him. During his trip bad weather came upon the ship and Jonah was cast off the ship and was soon swallowed by a great fish. Jonah was stuck in the fish for 3 days and 3 nights then he repented of his sin and he was spat out onto dry land.

Now the moral of the scripture isn’t if you don’t be obedient you will be eaten by a whale. It is simply that following commandments are better and that you will be blessed if you do so.

“Love the Lord…obey his voice” Deuteronomy 30:20

Where does obedience come from? Before this time Heavenly Father had a plan known as the plan of salvation. It was to test us to see who is worthy to be with him.

The plan was that we were given a body, and to go to earth and that we have the choice to choose between right and wrong. This is where obedience comes from.  He gave us commandments that will guide us to Him to be worthy. If we are worthy in all that we do we will be able to return to him again.

I’d like to end my talk with my testimony on obedience:

I know that obedience can give us blessings and that if we obey the commandments and leaders of the church we will be blessed and that if we are obedient to Heavenly Father we will be able to return to Him.

 “When we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” D & C 130:21