“Come: Hear the Voice of the Lord”

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    We have been given the holy scriptures—those marvelous compilations of the divine word—by a gracious God to guide us back into his eternal presence. These volumes are of infinite worth. They contain “the will of the Lord, … the mind of the Lord, … the word of the Lord, … the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation” (D&C 68:4).

    Truly, salvation, the greatest of all gifts, is available to those Saints who live the Lord’s law as recorded in his holy scriptures.

    There are certain blessings that attend the study of the scriptures which are denied those whose studies and interest are in different fields. It is the study of the scriptures that enables men to gain revelations for themselves.

    Joseph Smith himself read in the book of James, the famous words, known to us all: “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” (James 1:5).

    In describing his feelings at the time, he said: “Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again” (JS—H 1:12).

    Then, because the hour had come for the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times, and because he was the one chosen and foreordained from eternity to commence the work, the Great God and his Beloved Son, descending in eternal splendor from the courts of glory, manifested themselves to this guileless and believing youth.

    But, be it remembered, the scripture was the guidepost leading to the receipt of the First Vision, a vision equaled by few in import and glory in all the history of the world.

    I have spent many hours pouring over and pondering the scriptures. In seeking to learn the doctrines of salvation I have studied, weighed, and compared what the various prophets have said about the same subjects.

    Time and again, after much praying and pondering about a given point, new and added concepts have burst upon me showing deep and hidden truths that I had never before known. It can be so with all of us if we will read, ponder, and pray about the holy word.

    Jesus said:

    “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

    “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matt. 7:7–8).

    Let me ask you a very serious question, one that affects your eternal salvation: Do you desire to hear the voice of the Lord?

    His voice comes to us in many ways. He may speak audibly to attuned ears. His voice may come by the power of the Spirit. It may also be given by the mouths of his servants as they recite the words revealed to them. All of the Saints are entitled to hear his voice in each of these ways.

    But there is another way to hear the voice of the Lord, and, almost universally, it should be our first approach in seeking revelation. It is available to us all, but sadly is overlooked or ignored by many of us.

    “These words are not of men nor of man, but of me; wherefore, you shall testify they are of me and not of man;

    “For it is my voice which speaketh them unto you; for they are given by my Spirit unto you, and by my power you can read them one to another; and save it were by my power you could not have them;

    “Wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words” (D&C 18:34–36).

    If the Spirit bears witness to us of the truth of the scriptures, then we are receiving the doctrines in them as though they had come to us directly. Thus, we can testify that we have heard his voice and know his words.

    Let us now highly resolve that we will search the scriptures and make them a part of all that we do.

    [photo] Photo by John R. Foster

    [illustrations] Details of paintings by Carl Bloch