Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Talk Given by Elder Wilde in Sacrament Meeting, Sunday, September 27, 2015

9/27/15 Sacrament Talk on Seeking Revelation

 - talk about my life
 - brother Clark has asked me to speak about how to prepare ourselves to receive revelation. 
 - general conference 
What is revelation? 
            - revelation is communication from God to his children on the earth 
Steps to receive revelation 
            - 1st. Baptized by proper priesthood authority and receive the Holy Ghost. The spirit of revelation TYPICALLY functions as thoughts and feelings that come into our mind and hearts by the power of the Holy Ghost.
                                - D&C 100:5-8 (Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men; For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say. But a commandment I give unto you, that ye shall declare whatsoever thing ye declare in my name, in solemnity of heart, in the spirit of meekness, in all things. And I give unto you this promise, that inasmuch as ye do this the Holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever ye shall say.
As stated in these scriptures, the thoughts will be put into our hearts 
            - 2nd. The Holy Ghost has been described as a still small voice 
                                   - 3rd Nephi 11:3 (And it came to pass that while they were thus conversing one with another, they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard; and it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn).
Because it is so quiet and gentle we must shun inappropriate, harmful, abusive things in our life so we may hear it.  We must be mentally and physically clean and have the purest intent so the Lord can inspire.  Satan places immoral tools in our paths which may lead to distraction and with that we will be unable to recognize or understand the responses we are seeking. 
            - 3rd. Prayer ... Ask in faith, with an honest heart, believing that you will receive.          - MORONI 10:4-5 (If ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.  And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things). 
Messages and revelation come after prayerful preparation. 
                                - Joseph Smith & Oliver Cowdrey learned that the only way they were able to translate the Book of Mormon was through that method. 
                                - In 1 Nephi 15:11 it reads (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
                                - Are we not reminded in the story of Enos, as he cried to the Lord that the records of him and his people may be preserved and kept safe from the Lamanites?  It reads in verse 15 (Wherefore, I knowing that the Lord God was able to preserve our records, I cried unto him continually, for he had said unto me: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it.
We are constantly reminded throughout the scriptures that we need to have that desire, that faith, and that diligence in order to receive answers or revelation.  
              - 4th. TAKE ACTION 
                                   We cannot sit around and expect things to come to us even after we have completed those three crucial steps.  We must show that we are willing to learn and willing to do what it takes to obtain that revelation.  We have been given countless resources - the Bible, the Book of Mormon, church magazines, general conference talks, and of course so many other things.  I can testify that these items contain all the truths and contain all the answers to our questions

In first Nephi after Lehi receives his vision regarding the tree of life, Nephi says "For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round".
Brothers and sisters we can't simply sit around and hope that answers come to us.  We need to go out and seek it, then we will find it. 
After these steps, we are ready to receive revelation; however, as Joseph Smith taught us we learn "line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little there a little." 
We may have our patience tested a little along the path; however, we are promised that we will receive answers to our questions, whether it be a little at a time or all at once, it will come. 

There are several ways that we are able to receive revelation, as I discussed earlier.  The most common way to receive revelation is through the Holy Ghost; however, there are other ways.
Ways revelation is received 
            - VISIONS
                      - Lehi's tree of life vision
            - DREAMS 
                      - the Lord visited and warned Omer in a dream that he and his family should depart out of the land which he lived in
            - INSPIRATION 
                      - the Lord typically puts people that we trust and that we respect in our lives that will be a good example to us and that will help us know certain things in times of need. 
I'm sure there are countless other ways that we may receive revelation; however, those four ways may be the most common ways. 

As we prepare for general conference, I challenge each and every one of you to enter it with a question, pray with real intent, a sincere heart and faith that you will receive an answer, and then instead of falling asleep or dozing off, listen closely to what these apostles and our prophet have to say.  They are in fact sustained as prophets, seers and wait for it... Revelators. 
To close, I would like to end with a short story that actually happened a week or so ago.  It may not be the best of the best stories, but it's something. 

I have always questioned and have had certain edgy feelings regarding HOW Joseph Smith actually translated the Book of Mormon.  I knew that he did it and the Book of Mormon is the most correct book and in my opinion should be called "The Book of Answers," but I wanted to know how he actually did it because no man could write a book like that with his own wisdom, especially during that time period. 
So in the morning when we missionaries have an hour of personal study, I said a prayer.  I wanted to know how was it possible for Joseph Smith to have done this... I already knew how he did it but I wanted that reassurance and stronger faith, you could say. 
Anyways, I prayed before I did my studying, and I prayed that I might understand how he did it and what not. 
As I began reading, I found nothing.  Fifty-ish minutes passed, nothing that helped me understand... I was almost ready to put down the book, but Elder Andrus would say something to me if I did, so I continued on for that last 5-10 minutes.  Minutes passed and it was about time to wrap up our personal study and then a bit of my answer came to me ... In Mosiah, we read about plates that were "discovered in a land which was covered with bones of men, and of beasts, and was also covered with ruins of buildings of every kind, having discovered a land which had been peopled with a people who were as numerous as the hosts of Israel" and once they stumbled upon these plates they were "desirous beyond measure to know concerning those people who had been destroyed, and now he [Mosiah] translated them by he means of those two stones which were fastened into the two rims of a bow.  Now these things were prepared from the beginning, and were handed down from generation to generation, for the purpose of interpreting languages," but my answers did not stop there.  We had a chance to watch the priesthood restoration talk that Elder Nelson gave, and he said something amazing.  He said something along the lines of "there is no way that a young man [Joseph Smith] could write that whole book in three months with at best a 3rd grade education.  His wife said that he was horrible at reading and writing, the only way Joseph Smith was able to translate that Book of Mormon was through the power of God and the use of the Urim and Thummim which portrayed one of the untranslated words on one rock and the translated or English word on the other."
I was at that point fascinated and my testimony had grown and questions had been answered.  God gave us an apostle, a man we respect and admire, in front of me and inspired me. 

The last little thing I want to add regarding general conference coming up is that "what is said is not AS important as what we hear and what we feel."

Brothers and sisters, I have a testimony that as we follow those steps and have that faith we can receive revelation, receive answers to our questions, and gain that stronger testimony we are looking for.  I know general conference can have a massive impact in our lives and that those men that speak to us speak through the word of God and everything they say is modern day scripture. 
 I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.  

No comments:

Post a Comment