When God's children talk to Him, we call it "prayer." When God talks to His children, we call it "Revelation." One of the questions asked by ALL people at some point in their lives deals with this relationship with their Creator. It is usually along the lines of "How do I know when God is speaking to me?" As missionaries, we usually hear, "How do I know when I have got an answer?" Today, I wish to answer both of those questions by answering the over-arching question, "How do I recognize revelation?" When we receive revelation, it comes to us in a variety of ways, means, or channels. I want to be able to identify this variety of ways we can receive revelation:
|Joseph Smith "saw two Personages, whose|
brightness and glory defy all description..."
|Behold my Beloved Son, in whom|
I am well pleased... hear ye him
3.) The Lord is not going to shake people with thunder and lightning when "a still small voice" can "pierce... to the center." This is another channel of revelation. We read "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness [and], temperance" (Galatians 5: 22-23). This is what the fruits of the Spirit is. No matter what form of revelation we receive, we can test it by asking, "does this provide the fruits of the spirit?" We must recognize our feelings. This is how every other means of revelation is confirmed. Because God is the author of peace (1 Corinthians 14: 33). I shared in my first post:
"I felt a void in my heart be filled. My heart felt like it did when I was 6 and living with that family, whom I loved. I felt safe, warm, welcome, and at home. I felt the love I used to have. It was the true love of Heavenly Father and Christ. The feeling of it started out in my heart, but expanded until it had reached my extremities. I knew it was the Love of God and Jesus Christ which brought that feeling..."4.) The final way we receive revelation is often times, the most over-looked and shrugged off to be naught by most Christians (including a lot of Latter-day Saints). This is the most common way I receive guidance from God. Alma said, "Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed... it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves--It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to... enlighten my understanding..." (Alma 32: 28, emphasis added) Brigham Young taught, "I … believe positively that there is nothing known except by the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, whether in theology, science, or art." (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, Chapter 6: The Communication between God and Man) This form of revelation stems from the root of our divine nature as children of God. He has given us this, a most wonderful gift. Without it, we would be no better than the beasts of the earth. Often times, we, as humans, call this form of divine guidance, "reason." "God is not the author of confusion" (1 Corinthians 14: 33); man is. God is not going to try to confuse us to get us to follow Him; man does. God leads us by ideas which make logical sense; man does not. Isaiah wrote, "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk... For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little" (Isaiah 28: 9-10). I have shared with you my experience with this means of revelation previously:
"As I read, I was thinking about religion (which you should be when reading). I was pondering my beliefs and the truths I knew. I thought, and connections were being made. I thought about the fact all things are brothers and sisters. We were all created by our Heavenly Father (or Creator). Spiritually all who have lived, are living, and will be living are MY brothers and sisters. Then, I thought about what I had been through. I thought about my role as a brother in those situations. I was to make sure my younger brother was safe. I wanted him to be as happy as he could be. I had to make sacrifices. Christ was (is) our big brother. He was doing the job I was doing. I would take a bullet for my brother if I knew he would become better for my sacrifice. Christ did that same thing for me."Brigham Young observed, "Every discovery in science and art, that is really true and useful to mankind has been given by direct revelation from God, though but few acknowledge it." (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young Chapter 4: Knowing and Honoring the Godhead) My invitation to you is to not deny the Holy Things of God. Accept the revelation God has given to you, and keep seeking it. I promise, you will find peace in this life, and joy in the next.