Tips for Receiving Personal Revelation

Contributed By By Ryan Morgenegg, Church News staff writer

  • 3 September 2014

The Spirit helps us to be filled with light and our joys to be greater.

Article Highlights

  • Through a live poll, 38 percent of the BYU Education Week audience voted that worthy music was the most popular way to feel the Spirit.

“The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life.” —Julie B. Beck, former Relief Society general president

Taking a live poll from the audience about how people best feel the Spirit, Devin R. Toma, assistant to the area director, U.S. East, Seminaries and Institutes, shared with youth and adults at BYU Campus Education Week tips for receiving personal revelation. The audience poll results indicated worthy music was the most popular way to feel the Spirit, with 38 percent of the vote.

“How is learning the language of the Spirit like learning a foreign language?” asked Brother Toma. He then spoke in Japanese to the audience. No one could understand him. He explained that the language of the Spirit is like learning a foreign language. He shared a quote from President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles from the January 1983 Ensign: “We do not have the words (even the scriptures do not have words) which perfectly describe the Spirit.”

To emphasize the importance of learning the language of the Spirit, Brother Toma shared a quote from former Relief Society general president Sister Julie B. Beck from the May 2010 Ensign: “The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life.”

Describing what the Holy Ghost does, Brother Toma said He helps our joys to be greater, helps us to remember things, helps us to be filled with light and be more attractive, and sanctifies us. Further he shared eight purposes of revelation given by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve in the June 2004 New Era:

8 Purposes of Revelation

1.  Testify that Jesus is the Christ and that the gospel is true

2.  Prophesy

3.  Comfort

4.  Uplift

5.  Inform

6.  Restrain from doing something wrong

7.  Confirm a proposed action

8.  Impel one to action

Thirty-eight percent of Education Week attendees reported that worthy music was the best way to feel the Spirit.

In the ninth section of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord reveals to Oliver Cowdery a pattern for receiving revelation, said Brother Toma. He shared a similar principle from his own life that has helped over the years. “You can’t get a million dollar answer from a 10-cent prayer,” he said. It is important to spend time and expend effort when seeking critical revelation.

Sharing more tips for receiving personal revelation, Brother Toma shared seven ways to immediately invite the Spirit, as suggested during the October 1988 general conference by Elder Gene R. Cook, then of the Seventy and now an emeritus General Authority:

7 Ways to Immediately Invite the Spirit

1.  Pray

2.  Use the scriptures

3.  Bear and hear testimony

4.  Use worthy music

5.  Express love and gratitude to God and man

6.  Share spiritual experiences

7.  Perform and partake in priesthood ordinances

Brother Toma closed by sharing an experience relating back to the power of music to invite the Spirit. One day on his mission in Japan, he and his companion were trying to come up with creative ways to do door approaches. At one door a woman and her children answered. His companion introduced himself and spoke briefly with the family about the gospel. He then invited his companion, Brother Toma, to sing a song. Summoning the courage, Brother Toma sang a Church hymn in Japanese, and the Spirit touched the family. The missionaries were invited in to teach the gospel.