Sunday, February 16, 2014

Personal Revelation

Marvin J. Ashton, Love of the Right, April 1971 General Conference
"Do we realize that the Lord has promised us a physical manifestation if we but ask him to direct us in the right?"

Robert D Hales, Eternal Life—to Know Our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, General Conference October 2014
My own testimony grew as I learned about Heavenly Father and the Savior from the teachings and testimony of my parents, teachers, the scriptures—which I read diligently—and especially the Holy Ghost. As I exercised faith and obeyed the commandments, the Holy Ghost testified that what I was learning was true. This is how I came to know for myself.”
In this process, seeking for personal revelation is a key. Nephi invites each of us to ‘feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.’4

Elder Ian S Ardern, Shunning Temptation:  A Key to Receiving Revelation

"In this world of increasing turmoil, keeping ourselves worthy of receiving revelation is of utmost importance.
"For many of us, a barrier to revelation is being unwilling to truly repent of “small things” the Spirit cannot tolerate. "
"Not all revelation comes immediately or as clearly as we may want, but it does come. The receipt of revelation depends on our faithfulness, but the clarity of revelation depends on our listening skills. Learn to listen for it, learn to feel it, learn to recognize how it comes to you, act upon it, and be grateful for it."

1 Nephi 15:11

 11 Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?—If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you.

Scriptural "Contradictions"

We can not take a verse by itself and state absolute truth.  We do not always know:
  • The context.
  • If something has been left out of the record.
  • If some other knowledge of the word of God is assumed.
  • If some other knowledge of the time period in which the author spake or wrote is assumed.
Because of these things we must reconcile single verses or groups of verses against all things that the Lord has given to us.

Below are some ideas that can erroneously be adopted as doctrine if they are not reconciled with other scripture.

No Man Hath Seen God

John 1:18
 18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

1 John 4:12

 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Exodus 33:20

 20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

The above would seem to say that either we aren't allowed to see God or it is impossible to see him.  The following scriptures offer clarification.

Exodus 33:11 - The same chapter as above that stated that no man can see him.

 11 And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

Why in one verse does he say that someone spake face to face with him and a few verses later say that no one can see him?  There must be a piece we are missing, perhaps a condition that must be met to see God.

God is Invisible

Colossians 1:14-15

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature

Some might use this to make assumptions about God's attributes.  Some might assume God is a vapor or something mystical and unknowable.

Some clues are in these verses themselves.  Christ is in the image of God, so what people saw in Christ should give us a hint to the physical characteristics of God, who most people do not see.

Genesis also speaks of man being made in God's image, not in the image of something unseeable and unknowable.

The Spirit Leads Into Temptation

Matthew 4:1
 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

Jesus went into the wilderness to be with God and to be instructed.  It was a taxing experience and at the time of His exhaustion Satan tries to temp Him.

Memorizing Scripture

Elder Richard G. Scott, “The Power of Scripture,” Ensign, Nov. 2011, 6
“Great power can come from memorizing scriptures. To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change."