Personal Revelation is Your Own Personal Scripture For Your Life
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints come to know truth for themselves through personal revelation. As we seek truth, we must prepare ourselves to receive personal revelation.
Personal preparation is necessary if we are to be ready and worthy of God’s help. We can prepare ourselves through faith, scripture study, obedience, sacrifice and prayer.
1.Prepare to Ask
Preparing for personal revelation involves many aspects; but the first step is to prepare yourself to ask. We are told:
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened,
Resolve that you will act on any revelation you receive. It is pointless to seek God’s will if you are not going to follow it.
When seeking personal revelation we must have faith in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. We must have faith that God loves us and will answer our prayers:
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
We must marshal every ounce of faith we have. If we think we do not have enough, we must build it.
3.Search the Scriptures
Taking sufficient time to search the word of God is paramount to receiving personal revelation. Through his prophets, God has already given us many words. They are available for us to search through as we seek His help:
… Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.
Often God uses His written word to answer our prayers. As we seek knowledge we must not only read His word, but diligently study it and then ponder what we have learned.
After Christ’s resurrection, He visited the people on the American continent, which was recorded in the Book of Mormon. During His visit He taught the people to prepare themselves by taking time to ponder His words:
I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time.
Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.
There are two parts to obedience. The first is to be worthy by being obedient to Heavenly Father’s commandments right now, in the present.The second is to be willing to obey His commands in the future.
When seeking personal revelation we must be willing to accept Heavenly Father’s will. There is no point asking for instruction we will not follow. If we do not intend to obey it, we are less likely to receive an answer. Jeremiah warns:
… Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you
If we do not intend to obey it, we are less likely to receive an answer. In Luke, we are told:
… [B]lessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
As we obey Heavenly Father’s commands, including having faith in Christ and repenting, we will be worthy to receive His spirit.
In preparing to receive personal revelation we can make a covenant with Heavenly Father. Our covenant could be to promise obedience to a specific commandment and then do it. James taught:
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Heavenly Father has told us that blessings come because of what we do. Penalties come because of what we do not do:
I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.
Making a covenant with the Lord does not mean that we tell Him what to do. It simply shows our willingness to obey His commandments by doing them.
Fasting helps us put aside the temporal and focus on the spiritual. It also helps us humble ourselves before the Lord. This is necessary as we seek personal revelation.
In the Bible we see an example of this when Daniel sought the Lord through prayer and fasting:
And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
Alma from the Book of Mormon also sought personal revelation through fasting:
… Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself.
As we seek personal revelation we must offer sacrifice to the Lord. This is what he asks of us:
And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost,
Sacrificing and covenanting to be more obedient are some of the ways in which we can humble ourselves before the Lord.
We can also give of ourselves in other ways. We can offer sacrifice by changing a bad habit into a good one, or starting something righteous we have not been doing.
9.Church and Temple Attendance
Attending church and visiting the temple will help us to be more in tune with Heavenly Father’s spirit as we seek personal revelation. This vital step not only shows our obedience, but blesses us with additional understanding and guidance:
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Moroni assures us that in Book of Mormon times members met together often:
And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls.
10.Ask in Prayer
We can also ask God for help in preparing ourselves to receive personal revelation. When we are prepared we must then seek God’s help by asking for it and we will receive it. This is taught explicitly in Jeremiah:
Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Nephi from the Book of Mormon also taught this principle:
Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.
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