Personal Revelation (Pt 1/5): The Right to Receive Personal Revelation

A distinctive fdoctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the belief in continuing prophetic revelation and personal revelation.  The Lord’s church recognizes that both church leaders and church members can and do receive revelation to guide them in their stewardships and lives. (“Two lines of communication with God.” “Priesthood Line” and “Personal Line.” Dallin H. Oaks)

Baptized members of the church receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  This gift entitles   members to the constant guidance and companionship of the Holy Ghost.  The Prophet Joseph Smith proclaimed: “No man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelation.  The Holy Ghost is a revelator.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 328)

D&C 121:33: “How long can rolling waters remain impure?  What power shall stay the heavens?  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.”

Blessings of Personal Revelation

The scriptures and modern prophets have identified countless blessings of receiving personal revelation. 

  • Increased testimony
  • Increased knowledge
  • Increased understanding
  • Doctrinal enlightenment
  • Improved recollection
  • Direction and guidance
  • Personal correction and self-improvement
  • Better decision making
  • Spiritual and physical protection
  • Comfort and peace
  • Increased discernment
  • Increased capacity for love
  • Increased desire to serve others
  • Increased hope
  • More meaningful prayers

Every Confirmed Man, Woman, and Child Can Receive Revelation

David A. Bednar: “The spirit of revelation is available to every person who receives . . .  the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost—and who is acting in faith to fulfill the priesthood injunction to “receive the Holy Ghost.” This blessing is not restricted to the presiding authorities of the Church; rather, it belongs to and should be operative in the life of every man, woman, and child who reaches the age of accountability and enters into sacred covenants. Sincere desire and worthiness invite the spirit of revelation into our lives.” (Gen. Conf. Apr. 2011)

Personal Revelation is Not Restricted to Church Leaders

Wilford Woodruff: “Every man or woman that has ever entered into the church… has a right to revelation, a right to the Spirit of God, to assist them in their labors, in their administrations to their children, and those over whom they are called upon to preside.  The Holy Ghost is not restricted to men, nor to apostles or prophets, it belongs to every faithful man and woman, and to every child who is old enough to receive the gospel of Christ.” (Discourses p 53)

Spiritual Manifestations Can Come Daily

Lorenzo Snow: “It is the grand privilege of every Latter-day Saint… to have the manifestations of the spirit every day of our lives.” (CR, Apr 1899, p 52) He added: “Everyone has the right to secure, and I hope, has secured this principle of revelation upon which we are founded, each for himself or herself.” (Teachings p 50)  He further explained: “Our elders simply affirm having received a divine knowledge of the fact that this gospel was a heaven-born institution, and through its virtue and divine force every honest-hearted man might obtain this same knowledge.  I had been a member of this Church but a few days when I obtained–through a divine manifestation–a clear, explicit, and tangible knowledge of the truth of this work.  Thousands of Latter-day Saint men and women could testify to the same experience.” (Teachings p 52)

Revelation Comes to Those Who are Worthy and Close to the Lord

Spencer W. Kimball: Revelation can come to every good, faithful man who holds the priesthood of God, and to every good woman who is the matron in her home.  The Lord will give you answers to your questions and to your prayers if you are listening.  It does not have to come through the prophet…. But all people, if they are worthy enough, and close enough to the Lord, can have revelations.” (Teachings, p 455)

Revelation Guides us in our Own Areas of Responsibility

Harold B. Lee: “On what matters may you receive a revelation? Is it startling to you to hear that you—all members of the Church who have received the Holy Ghost—may receive revelation? … [B]ut every individual within his own area of responsibility has the right to receive revelation by the Holy Ghost. (“Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee (2000), “To Hear the Voice of the Lord,” 47–52)

The Right to Personal Revelation is Lifelong

Boyd K. Packer: “After baptism, a person is confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in that brief ordinance receives the gift of the Holy Ghost. Afterward, all through life, men, women, even little children have the right to inspired direction to guide them in their lives—personal revelation!” (Ensign, November 1989, page 14.)

Personal Revelation Enlightens, Directs, and Protects

David A. Bednar: “As you appropriately seek for and apply unto the spirit of revelation, I promise you will “walk in the light of the Lord”. Sometimes the spirit of revelation will operate immediately and intensely, other times subtly and gradually, and often so delicately you may not even consciously recognize it. But regardless of the pattern whereby this blessing is received, the light it provides will illuminate and enlarge your soul, enlighten your understanding, and direct and protect you and your family.” (Gen. Conf. Apr. 2011)

“Increase your spiritual capacity to receive revelation.”

I, and millions of members of the Church, have received personal revelation from God.

Personal revelation is our sure witness that God lives, and Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.  By personal revelation we know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the institutional embodiment of Christ’s restored gospel.

My life, and the lives of millions of Church members, have been blessed, beyond measure, by personal revelation.  It is one of the greatest gifts of God.   

Finally, President Russell Nelson challenged: “I plead with you to increase your spiritual capacity to receive revelation.” (“Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,”  Gen. Conf. Apr. 2018)

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