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Talk on Personal Revelation

Talk on Personal Revelation

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Published by Kyle Alvero Beswick

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Published by: Kyle Alvero Beswick on Sep 06, 2012
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{Introduce myself and Emma, short bio, small talk and jokes}My talk today is on an aspect of the gospel I personally have trouble with, as do many others I know. It isnot a matter of faith. More specifically, it is a matter of understanding and clarity, not on principles, buthow those principles apply. I am talking about the communication of Holy Ghost with from our Father toourselves.The concept of prayer, communication
our Father, is easy enough. Most of us have been doing itsince before we could remember, and, unfortunately to many of us, it has almost become a rotepractice. But we would not be honest with ourselves, even the most stubborn and skeptical among us if we claimed we have not had those moments of severe supplication, where we have put all our physicaland emotional strength behind our prayers. What would the act of prayer, the invitation from our
Father to speak to Him directly in the name of His Son, if it weren’t a tw
o way mode
 –We’ve all seen the
Mormonad about prayer showing a telephone in the clouds.
That being said I often find it discouraging to try and “figure out” the answers I have received to such
prayers, or just recognizing the whisperings of the Spirit in general. I have trouble delimiting my ownemotions from that of a heavenly source. I am sure the majority of you have had similar problems on
various occasions and have desperately wished for some “pillar of light” experience for yourselves
(andwhy not, you say!, have we not been promised the Comforter with our confirmation?). I hope that someof you have not had much struggle with this
maybe you can speak more accurately about this topicthan I can. Perhaps it is a spiritual gift given to you
for God’s gr
eater purposes and I say bless you for it, Iadmire your faith - but to most of us, the Holy Ghost just does not work that way.
Elder Scott’s address at this most recent conference provides counsel for this very issue, and provided
some solace for me in th
ose moments that I am agonizing on my knees wondering, “why is this so darnHARD?”
 Elder Scott makes it clear that it a communication that must be absolutely free from impure distraction.By very nature our mortal and impure minds cannot grasp the mind of heaven, so any sort of connection
made has to inherently be a pretty delicate one. It’s not that the Holy Ghost is stubborn or fickle
; he isan Eternal Man according to Nephi, not a teenager. He just cannot function with any impurity, whichincludes any distraction from the sacred. Elder Scott states:
There are some practical principles that enhance revelation. First, yielding to emotions such as anger orhurt or defensiveness will drive away the Holy Ghost. Those emotions must be eliminated, or our chancefor receiving revelation is slight.Another principle is to be cautious with humor. Loud, inappropriate laughter will offend the Spirit. Agood sense of humor helps revelation; loud laughter does not. A sense of humor is an escape valve forthe pressures of life.Another enemy to revelation comes from exaggeration or loudness in what is stated. Careful, quietspeech will favor the receipt of revelation.
It is important that our daily activities do not distract us from listening to the Spirit.
 If buildings need to be dedicated before the Lord in order to invite His Spirit to reside within them,should not we need to do the same with our own mortal structure? This dedication process, implicitfrom what Elder Scott says, requires the same reverence that we n
eed to have in the Lord’s temple.
I don’t think I’m just speaking for myself when I say that this is excruciatingly difficult. With the worldly
distractions of everyday life and the hundreds of conscious or subconscious thought processes derivedfrom these distractions that we have in our minds at any given moment, perhaps the bigger question is:how on Earth do we tune these out?
It gives more meaning to the commandment for the Saints to “keep a
n eye single to the glory of God.
To “be therefore perfect.”
Of course, we all know that that is never going to happen in this life. That is
why we have a “this life” at all. But we have to live like Saints in order to be treated like one. We haveour side of the baptismal covenant to keep as well as the Lord’s, and
I think we fail to remember howinvolved that covenant really is, even though we hear it reiterated every week.
The sacramental prayers say: that we must “
…that [we]
are willing to take upon [us] the nameof [the] Son, and
remember him and keep his
commandments which he has given [us]; that theymay
have his
Spirit to be with them.
The contract is right there. We must ALWAYS rememberthe Savior (and therefore stand as witness to him by emulating Him as best we can) and then we willhave the Spirit.Elder Scott elaborates:
“The Lord has declared: “And ye are to be taught from on high. Sanctify yourselves and ye shall beendowed with power, that ye may give even as I have spoken.
 The words
sanctify yourselves
mayappear puzzling. President Harold B. Lee once explained that you can replace those words with the
phrase “keep my commandments.” Read that way, the counsel may seem clearer.
 One must be ever mentally and physically clean and have purity of intent so that the Lord can inspire.
 Always remember the Savior, likewise keeping a clean mind as He would, be completely obedient of thecommandments to the point of sanctification. Yes it sounds draconian. Not fair to us mere mortals. Did
not the Lord promise that when “ask and we will receive, knock and it shall opened unto you
The Lordis forgiving and merciful, and He is not going to expect complete sanctification on our part
that isimpossible
but I believe the w
ords “purity of intent” spoken by Elder Scott are the key words here, and
that purity of intent is something the Lord knows better than you do yourself.So, yes, His hand is always outstretched, He is always ready to receive you and counsel you, but oftentimes our lives are so cluttered that
the Lord just can’t get to the door. We need to clear a path for him.
 We need to
to clear a path for Him. I know from personal experience that we need to ask forinspiration with a completely open mind, fully expecting and accepting the fact that our answer may notbe one we want to hear.
(Should I share personal experience?)
[An example like that…]
This is where our emotions interfere, and that is another obstacle to tacklealtogether. It is the Saint who has mastered the principle
“keeping His eye single to the glory of God”
will not suffer from this dilemma.
Only when we can say with confidence “my will is thine” will we not
have this problem.So with our emotions and other such impurities of purpose, whether or not we know they are there, It isone thing to invite the Spirit into our hearts, and yet quite another to recognize what it is saying, or evenacknowledge the prompting. Elder Scott reminds us that even Oliver Cowdery needed to be told he hadhad a spiritual experience at all (ironically by the Lord through Joseph Smith).Doctrine & Covenants 6:14-15 state:
Blessed art thou for what thou hast done; for thou hast inquired of me, and behold, as often as thouhast inquired thou hast received instruction of my Spirit. If it had not been so, thou wouldst not havecome to the place where thou art at this time.Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell theethese things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth.
Interestingly, not only did Oliver Cowdery receive a prompting without recognizing it, but he
even acted on It 
without realizing it
This brings me to some insight that I have gained over the years, insight that I believe was mostfundamental throughout my mission. Often times the source of our inspiration is not given directlythrough the Spirit.
It’s from our own minds and spirits. There is a plac
e in our heart of hearts where we
already know the answers. For a lot of us, that’s where our testimony comes from. We have a lot of 
knowledge of eternal matters already
we lived a long time in the preexistence. Of course, the veil hasdropped and obscured much of this, but it still there. The Spirit may have to nudge us, remind us, orperhaps part the veil a little ways in order for us to access to that part of our spirits, but it has alwaysremained with us. Even those without the gift of the Comforter have that light of Christ mentioned inthe Doctrine and Covenants.
As a favorite seminary teacher of mine put it: “You know, you just don’t know you know.” I think
thisapplies even
after we’ve received revelation or inspiration in this way, as Oliver
Cowdery had. Perhapsbecause we are accessing such knowledge from inside ourselves it seems to be more discreet andconfusing
as it “new knowledge” may be
, but the Lord is not going to blatantly give us any answers thatwe have the capability of reaching for ourselves. It would do us no good to get these free handouts,
because if we can’t learn for ourselves how to tap into our own spiritual resources, I don’t think we
could ever become the people we are capable of becoming.And so there is yet another reason to keep our minds clean, as well as our bodies. It was interesting tonote that Elder Scott mentions actual physical cleanliness and hygiene, as well as exercise, as principlesupon which to receive revelation. This may seem irrelevant, but I
don’t thin
k so. In this mortal life, our

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