testify

A few days ago, I discovered this great little article in June’s Ensign.  The excerpts below are from a speech given by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

At the time, I made a note of sharing it with you in a few weeks if and when I run out of something to say. It happens. 🙂

Then, Sunday morning in our Relief Society class a sweet sister referred to this same list. I quite like it and just cannot wait another day to pass it on to you. Besides, it follows my last post quite nicely!

Elder Oaks said, “My purpose in suggesting this classification and in giving these examples is to persuade each of you to search your own experience and to conclude that you have already received revelations and that you can receive more revelations because communication from God to men and women is a reality.

President Lorenzo Snow declared that it is “the grand privilege of every Latter-day Saint . . . to have the manifestations of the spirit every day of our lives” (CR, April 1899, p. 52).

Every day of our lives“. Isn’t that a marvelous promise?!

Eight Purposes of Revelation

To testify: The Spirit can witness that Jesus is the Christ and that the gospel is true.

To prophesy: Within the limits of one’s areas of responsibility, a person may be inspired to predict what will come to pass in the future. The prophet, patriarchs, and even we can receive prophetic revelation.

To comfort: The Spirit can comfort us as He comforted Joseph Smith  in Liberty Jail: “Peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment” (D&C 121:7–8). Comfort also comes in connection with priesthood blessings, visions of departed loved ones, and forgiveness of sins.

To uplift: The Spirit can lift us up from depression, feelings of inadequacy, or a plateau of spiritual mediocrity. He comes as we read scriptures or enjoy wholesome music, art, or literature.

To inform: On some sacred occasions, information has been given face to face from heavenly personages. Other times, needed information is communicated by the quiet whisperings of the Spirit.

“A child loses a treasured possession, prays for help, and is inspired to find it; an adult has a problem at work, at home, or in genealogical research, prays, and is led to the information necessary to resolve it; a Church leader prays to know whom the Lord would have him call to fill a position, and the Spirit whispers a name. In all of these examples—familiar to each of us—the Holy Ghost acts in his office as a teacher and revelator, communicating information and truths for the edification and guidance of the recipient.”

To restrain: This form of revelation will deter us from things we should not do. It often comes by surprise, when we have not asked for guidance on a particular subject.

To confirm: You can receive a confirmation through the Spirit after proposing a particular course of action and praying to know if it is the right choice.

To impel: This type of revelation is not sought after but comes to call a person to some action not proposed. This type of communication from the Spirit is rare but, therefore, significant.

To enjoy Elder Oaks’ complete talk and examples from his personal experiences, here’s the link.

President Harold B. Lee taught:

“Every man has the privilege to exercise these gifts and these privileges in the conduct of his own affairs; in bringing up his children in the way they should go; in the management of his business, or whatever he does. It is his right to enjoy the spirit of revelation and of inspiration to do the right thing, to be wise and prudent, just and good, in everything that he does.” [Stand Ye in Holy Places (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1974), p. 141–42]

I do enjoy the gifts of revelation and of inspiration. I testify that the truth of the restored gospel can be known by each of us through the direct personal line of communication to our Heavenly Father.  My greatest desire is that you too may experience this grand privilege and the sweetest of blessings.

Do you believe that it is possible to have “the manifestations of the spirit every day of our lives”?

What experiences have taught you that Heavenly Father does interest Himself in our affairs?

 

Part Four and the last of this series, I’ve chosen to post four thoughtful comments. I’m grateful to each of  you for your contribution to this important topic. Thank you.

Readers, any additional comments or questions?

“Hi Lily,
I was thinking that maybe you should ask your friend, with respect, how he knows that the Saviour is in his life ? Or does he? After all he cannot see or touch Him.  Surely he must FEEL that presence.

Also D&C 9:8-9. Gives some clarification on how we know if the solution we have arrived at to solve a problem is correct. We know in our heart and mind.” Marilyn B

“Hi Lily,
If you can’t rely on your feelings, then what can you rely on? It seems like such a depressing way to go through life.

I guess my response in its simplest form would be that one of the purposes of the Holy Spirit is to testify of truth. The feelings I have when the Holy Spirit is communicating with me is different than when I just feel good. Joseph Smith once said, “When you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon; (i.e.) those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God, will come to pass; and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 151.)  I’ve felt that pure intelligence, and there is no mistaking the feeling is from God.” Graham

“I can understand the idea that depending 100% on feelings can lead to erroneous judgement. Some people are more emotional than others, people might not be emotionally stable, and it can be easy to misinterpret the feelings we have and what they mean… but they aren’t unimportant I think.

For me, when after facts have been examined, scriptures have been referenced, and study has been made, there can still be conflicting ideas. Your feelings can help to confirm something to be true. As in prayer, we puzzle out our problems first and make a decision then take it to the Lord in prayer. We don’t go in blind. Logic + Facts + Feelings = Truth” Krit

“Lily,

All true religion is a feeling. (Oscar McConkie.)

Yes, we study the Gospel intensely for true doctrine, but many times our concerns will be answered in the scriptures and through the written word. On occasion, the answers are not clear or clearly understood; therefore, we establish our best answer and then seek the Lord’s confirmation because all of us, for our stewardship, warrant revelation through the Spirit.

Numbers 11:29… “….Would God that all the Lords’ people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them.”

We believe that all of God’s children are entitled to that Spirit and revelation. No loving parent would ever send their children away without the opportunity to communicate and receive information from them. We need confirmation often from our loving Father in Heaven, and we can get that through the Holy Ghost.

D&C 121:33 “…As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri River in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints.”

Joseph Smith was asked by the President of the United States, President Van Buren, “…what is the one difference between your church and any church on the face of the earth. Joseph Smith said (paraphrased), “The gift of the Holy Ghost.”

We are directed to D&C 9:7-9.
Here Oliver Cowdery was trying to translate the reformed Egyptian and he wasn’t able to do it. He became frustrated because he could not translate the language. Then he was admonished as follows:

7. Behold you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.
8. But, 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 be right, I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel it is right.
9. But if it be not right, you shall have no such feeling, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given to you from me.

When we study any question intensely, we make our own decision and then seek confirmation through the Holy Spirit. We study the scriptures, or the latest research, for the truth’s sake. Our Christian friends have studied the Bible intensely …for hundreds of years… and have developed conflicting dogma because they do not believe in revelation and some do not believe in the Holy Ghost. Thus, we have thousands of Christian churches.

The Prophets through the ages have always sought answers to their questions through revelation and through the Holy Spirit. It has always been this way in Christ’s Church.

Oh, that all people ..God’s children…were like the prophets…seeking truth through the Holy Spirit.” K.C. & Marilyn