Messages from the Doctrine and Covenants: The Spirit of Revelation

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Messages from the Doctrine and Covenants:

Many years ago I had an experience with personal revelation that would forever change my life. I had recently graduated from college and was working for a good company. Everything seemed to be going well for me, but I had the unsettled feeling that something was missing. And I had many questions for which I could not find answers. I never thought that an invitation from my friend Imable to “meet the Mormons” would lead me to find answers to my questions—indeed, that it would have transcendent consequences for my life.

When Imable and I arrived at the meeting that Sunday in August 1974, the Church members—particularly the youth—greeted us with enthusiasm, as if we were old friends. We listened to a speaker who had great faith in what he was saying. When he finished I was surprised at the warm feeling I experienced.

Two days later I found myself in the home of one of the members, listening to the missionaries teach the gospel. Unfortunately my family would not allow the missionaries into our home because of our strong religious traditions and because they were afraid. I could understand their feelings; nevertheless, I needed to know the truth for myself, no matter what the consequences. And so I studied it out in my mind (see D&C 9:8) and prayed to God for wisdom and knowledge.

One day, as the missionaries taught me about the First Vision, the Holy Spirit testified powerfully to me that the Prophet Joseph Smith had indeed seen the Father and the Son. I said to Elder Dennis Lamb, “It is true! I know it is true!”

That night I followed the missionaries’ counsel to pour out my heart to God and ask Him if the Book of Mormon was also true. Again I experienced that peaceful and joyful feeling I had felt earlier. I was grateful for the new life the Lord was offering me through the missionaries. My mind and heart were illuminated “by the Spirit of truth” (D&C 6:15), and I knew the sweet reality of a divine Father, who loves us and extends His arms to us through His servants.

The blessings soon followed. Two months after my baptism, I baptized my youngest sister and brother. And a year later I began my service as a full-time missionary in southern Chile. My mother was baptized while I was in the field, and I was able to baptize my father when I returned home. My two sisters and my brother also served honorable missions. Months after I returned from my mission, I met my sweet wife, Adriana, and we were sealed in the temple. We were blessed with three children born in the covenant. All of this is because I listened to the quiet promptings that testified to me of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the restored Church. How grateful I am for the gift of personal revelation!

The Need for Wisdom

The prophet Joel foresaw the latter days approximately 3,000 years ago and spoke about revelation. The Lord declared through him that after a spiritual drought, a time would come when “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions” (Joel 2:28). The same scripture was quoted by the Apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost, when about 3,000 souls were baptized (see Acts 2:17, 41). And it was proclaimed again by the angel Moroni when he visited the Prophet Joseph Smith (see JS—H 1:41).

In our world today we see fear and confusion, violence and corruption. These emotions and actions are caused, in part, by not trusting in the Lord’s arm and by failing to seek wisdom through personal revelation.

Wisdom was the only desire in King Solomon’s heart: “Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?” (2 Chr. 1:10).

Wisdom is generously offered to us, as stated in James 1:5: “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.” The Prophet Joseph Smith sought wisdom through revelation, and as a result, he brought to light monumental knowledge for humankind.

Seeking Wisdom through Personal Revelation

We can seek wisdom for our own lives through personal revelation. Most often it comes in quiet promptings and impressions. If we will meditate over a situation that worries us, fervently pray to God for help, and strive to keep His commandments, revelation will flow into our minds and we will be a light to those around us.

I testify that if we follow our Lord Jesus Christ and His teachings with faith and with repentant hearts, He will guide us with “the spirit of revelation” (D&C 8:3)—even in times of fear and doubt—and our lives will be blessed.

[illustration] Illustrated by Glen S. Hopkinson