Commandments not a few, and revelations in their time

One doubt that I frequently encounter among those who have lost faith that this Church is being led by Christ through continuing revelation Is that we have not received a canonized revelation in several decades and that the Prophets after Joseph Smith have on the whole received very few revelations. I came across a very interesting quote in a talk given by Bruce R. McConkie to the Sperry Symposium which sheds some light on why this is so. The quote is lengthy, but I am going to quote it in full and then I will address some of the insights it provides.

We have not received, by any means, all of the word of the Lord. I think we have received most of the word of the Lord that is required until the Second Coming. The Lord has given all that people in the world have the spiritual capacity to receive at this time. There is going to be another great dispensation—that is, another great period of enlightenment—when He comes. At that time He will reveal all things, such as the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon. But He will not reveal the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon now, or let us publish it to the world because what it contains is so far beyond the spiritual capacity of men that it would drive people away from the truth rather than lead them to the truth. Actually, it is an act of mercy for the Lord to limit, to a particular people, the amount of revelation they receive.

We are now in a glorious dispensation in which we have received substantially all of the revelations we are able to bear; it is true, however, that if we were able to unite and have faith, we would get more. That is one of the things that was involved in 1978 when President Kimball received the revelation that the gospel and all of its blessings (the priesthood and the ordinances of the house of the Lord) were now to go to those of every race and kindred and tongue without any reservation except that people live in righteousness and be worthy to receive what is offered to them. That new revelation came in large measure because the prophet of God and those associated with him united in faith and in prayer and in desire, and sought for an answer from the Lord. There are added revelations we could receive, and I hope we will receive, as we manage to get in tune with the Spirit. But the great reservoir of revelation for our dispensation—meaning the things that we need to know to govern our conduct in order to gain an eternal life—these things have already been given. And there will not be great added reservoirs of substantive revelation that will come before the Second Coming because of the wickedness of the world. Some of that wickedness spills over and prevails among the Latter-day Saints. But eventually, there will be a day of great added revelation.

1) We have already received “substantially all of the revelations we are able to bear” and “the things that we need to know to govern our conduct in order to gain an eternal life.”

There was a great outpouring of revelation through the Prophet Joseph Smith which         was needed in order to 1) dispel false teachings that had been taught through more than a millennia of Apostasy 2) lay down the foundation or constitution for Christ’s             Church on the earth in this dispensation. Today, we have before us that great foundation. We should not expect great revelations on matters of doctrine because all of the doctrines needed for our eternal salvation have already been revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith and his successors.

As Elder McConkie says, this is a “glorious dispensation” where great eternal truths have been revealed that were withheld from the foundation of the world. Ours is the generation of great temple work, and of missionary work across the word. We have already received and in abundance.

Most importantly, the foundation of the Church allows for revelation to appear in even the mundane and routine decisions of the church. Revelation is not found in spectacular declarations of truth, but in the direction given to Apostles, Stake Presidents, Bishops and to each of us on how to lead the Lord’s Church. These revelations are not as grandious as the Joseph Smith’s vision of the three degrees of glory, but they are equally important for the furthering of the work of the Lord.

2) Revelations are blessings that come when we as a Church and a people are righteous and living up to the commandments already given

As we read in the Doctrine and Covenatns: Blessed are they whose feet stand upon the                         land of Zion, who have obeyed my gospel; for they shall receive for their reward the good               things of the earth, and it shall bring forth in its strength.

                And they shall also be crowned with blessings from above, yea, and with commandments      not a few, and with revelations in their time. [D&C 59:3–4]

Revelations are blessings that come to those who obey the Gospel and are working to bring forth Zion. We cannot expect to receive more revelations when we are still currently falling so short of our current ones. The reason that those in General Conference still need to preach about the Word of Wisdom or the Law of Tithing is that so many members of the Church do not live these simple commandments. If we are not living up to our privilege, why do we expect to receive more?

3) With revelation comes responsibility. Revelation comes line upon line when we are ready for it

God prevents us from receiving revelation at times because we are not ready or prepared to follow through or act upon that revelation. There have been times in our history when we have seen that revelation from God was not received by a willing or ready people. For instance, we failed to live the true law of consecration and instead now have the law of tithing along with a covenant or promise that we are willing to live the law of consecration. Likewise, the Word of Wisdom when first received was given as advice or counsel rather than a commandment because that generation was not yet ready to live it fully. Once the people of the Church were prepared to keep the Word of Wisdom as a commandment, it was revealed through the leadership of the Church that it should be so. Some take this pattern as an excuse to sin. If something is not formally a commandment they feel free to disregard it. Yet, this is a gross error that leads many astray.

4) There is yet more revelation that we will receive, but the reception of those revelations depends primarily upon our unity and willingness to listen and act

As Elder McConkie wrote: “There are added revelations we could receive, and I hope we will receive, as we manage to get in tune with the Spirit”

The scriptures are full of verses where the Lord speaks of his work being “cut short in righteousness.”  (D&C 109:59; D&C 84:97; D&C 52:11; Romans 9:28). I think this is an important principle that we do not pay enough attention to. Our choices, our faith, and our righteousness make a difference in the unfolding of the Lord’s work. That’s why we refer to hastening the work. When we as a people are righteousness and harkening to the commandments of God, he is able to fulfil his work and gives new light and revelation

I found McConkie’s example of the Priesthood revelation to be quite revealing. He is suggesting that the revelation possibly could have been received earlier had we been unified and willing to seek it. Yet, the key to that revelation was also unity. The people of the Church had to be united in seeking the will of God. Neither advocacy nor agitation was ultimately sufficient to bring about revelation, and perhaps might have hindered the process of revelation by impeding on the unity needed.

If we ever wonder when we will next receive a revelation on par with the vision of the three degrees of glory in D&C 76, we should first ensure that we are grateful for the revelation and insight already given. Next, we should turn inward and question how well we are living within the revelations and commandments already given. We should also seek for unity and truly attempt to establish Zion in our hearts and communities. That includes zealously following the things that have already been revealed to us. If we do so, the heavens will open both for us personally and for the Church collectively.

31 thoughts on “Commandments not a few, and revelations in their time

  1. “Most importantly, the foundation of the Church allows for revelation to appear in even the mundane and routine decisions of the church. Revelation is not found in spectacular declarations of truth, but in the direction given to Apostles, Stake Presidents, Bishops and to each of us on how to lead the Lord’s Church. These revelations are not as grandious as the Joseph Smith’s vision of the three degrees of glory, but they are equally important for the furthering of the work of the Lord.”

    Amen. Not a day goes by when no revelation is given to the General Authorities. And when not individually receiving revelation for their particular duties, they are “studying it out” or actively seeking it or preparing to receive it.

    Every temple location, every new or reorganized mission, every new stake is ordained by revelation to the Brethren, and that is regardless of whether the GAs initiate the inquiry after studying it out, or whether the Lord comes knocking to the prophet.

    Every missionary assignment, who goes to which mission, is now given by revelation to one of the Q of 12.

    The calling of new apostles, seventies, area authorities, stake presidents, and bishops is given or confirmed by revelation. Revelation is even poured out upon full time missionaries who seek it in their daily/weekly planning, and in their daily walk. It is available to everyone with a formal or informal calling. it is available to everyone who is worthy of the companionship of the Spirit.

    This claim that there needs to be regular/periodic _canonized_ revelation is bogus, as you’ve well illustrated with Elder McConkie’s remarks. The fact that there is regular daily revelation among the GAs, and revelation among the rank and file members, is sufficient to confirm to us that the church is led by revelation and authorized representatives of the Lord.

    If the complainers are not themselves receiving personal revelation for their callings and personal spheres of authority and influence, that would seem to illustrate that they themselves are not familiar with how revelation, or communication in general between God and man works.

    If one is not receiving one’s own personal revelations, guidance from the Spirit, and confirmations to personal prayer, then such a person is unclear on the concept of revelation to begin with.

    The rock upon which Christ founded His church, was not the rock of Peter/petros, it was the rock of revelation, and he was referring to Heavenly Father’s revelation to Peter confirming that the man Jesus was the Son of God.

  2. “I found McConkie’s example of the Priesthood revelation to be quite revealing. He is suggesting that the revelation possibly could have been received earlier had we been unified and willing to seek it. Yet, the key to that revelation was also unity. The people of the Church had to be united in seeking the will of God. Neither advocacy nor agitation was ultimately sufficient to bring about revelation, and perhaps might have hindered the process of revelation by impeding on the unity needed.”

    Actually, I think the opposite view will be taken by groups like OW from the McConkie quote. It makes it sound like the issue was simply one of getting the prophet and apostles united in prayer and desire, rather than of the members in general, and that that’s all that is required to get a “minor” change in who receives the priesthood (given their argument is generally that they haven’t even bothered to ask, essentially, though that’s not how the Lord works when he impresses:

    “That new revelation came in large measure because the prophet of God and those associated with him united in faith and in prayer and in desire, and sought for an answer from the Lord.”

    I can see OW & other groups agitating for their particular cause using this quote as evidence that they are actually right to do so. I don’t think that was Elder McConkie’s intent (and it certainly doesn’t comport with how I think revelation occurs in the Church–it was quite clear from other accounts that the Lord was impressing on Pres. Kimball the need for the change and not the other way around–Elder Packer mentioned it in an interaction he had with Pres. Kimball), but I think it could certainly be taken that way, especially by groups intent on getting the Church to adapt to their perceived version of what is right, “just like the brethren had to do with the revelation on blacks and the priesthood.”

  3. When you read this be careful to not inject animosity or anger into my words. I am just being real.

    It is hard to see such a subjective post that is corroborated with hand picked quotes that estrange themselves from the narrative of the Restoration., These are just excuses of desperate or worried and doubtful people who’s beliefs have nothing to offer. I have heard similar excuses tailored to the Baptists, the Catholics and a hundred other religions that can’t produce anything but beliefs and empty testimony.

    Moroni chapter 9 is calling you to rethink your post.

    7 And again I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healing, nor speaking with tongues, and the interpretation of tongues;
    8 Behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them.
    9 For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?
    10 And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles.
    11 But behold, I will show unto you a God of miracles, even the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and it is that same God who created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are………………………………

    15 And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a god who can do no miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles.
    16 Behold, are not the things that God hath wrought marvelous in our eyes? Yea, and who can comprehend the marvelous works of God?
    17 Who shall say that it was not a miracle that by his word the heaven and the earth should be; and by the power of his word man was created of the dust of the earth; and by the power of his word have miracles been wrought?
    18 And who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? And there were many mighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles.
    19 And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.
    20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.

    I made it a point once to challenge a man in high priest quorum who had 6 children at home and a wife with advanced cancer. He boasted that we were so blest as a people to know we have a prophet and apostles that could do as Nephi said and change sea into sand. And could prophesy and perform miracles. I replied (or reproved) “you say you know this, but you don’t even believe it, it is just a cliché. If I had a wife with cancer and truly believed, I would take her the 800 miles to see the prophet in a handcart. And I would call on the Prophet without ceasing, until he blessed my wife. All you have to do is put her on a plane for a couple hours and you won’t do it”. He went silent

    A careful look at the early writings of the church and many of the late ones will show ample teachings that miracles and proph ecy would be plentiful in the church to the end of time so long as the church had faithful saints. The real reason you don’t hear and see the kind of miracles and faith depicted in LDS scripture is the leaders are afraid they will get it wrong. It is to risky. They would have to fix it later.

    It is similar to changing the narrative that the saints will gather in Missouri. When I was baptized Brigham Young and Joseph were Quoted constantly concerning the Journey to Missouri at the end of times. LDS leaders have realized it will likely not happen, Now the gathering is to Zion and her stakes all over the world. When things aren’t going as planned you fill in the holes
    LDS people say that God is holding back for numerous reasons. They are filling in the holes found in a religion that is sorely lacking. To be objective and look at it realistically would be unthinkable.

    Though I hold the church in high regard as a charitable organization. It is a well organized group of caring people with smart business leaders with good moral values. Having said that, Its lack of power disqualifies it as anything more.

  4. Is there a schedule for revelation? And if the schedule isn’t met it means it is time to leave?

    For me personally it will already take more than a lifetime to comprehend that which we already have.

    I’m not sure what people expect.

    Also, why leave a church that has received revelation and believes it will continue to receive revelation only to join a church that doesn’t believe in revelation at all?

  5. I see miracles, revelation, and power in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I believe others see it, too, and still more may, if they will let their ears hear, and let their eyes see. Generally, faith precedes the miracle. Those who will not be faithful will not see. The Savior taught this principle during His mortal ministry — some opened their ears and their eyes, and some didn’t. And for those who do choose faith, we will always have others who mock, scorn, point the finger, wag the tongue, and so forth, and want us to be miserable like unto themselves. It has always been so. May God bless all those who try to be faithful.

  6. I was reading an article about marriage (one of those “9 things to know before you get married” eye candy things) and it cited an Italian study showing that the “in love” part of marriage tends to end after then first year.

    This is similar to the early part of pregnancy, where the mother’s body maintains the embryo’s health. But at approximately 6 weeks, management of the health of the pregnancy is transferred to the embryo itself (which is one reason there are so many first-trimester miscarriages).

    In a similar manner, there is a time when a member of the Church faces the temptation to leave. There are any number of individual causes, but they all boil down to expectations. When an individual determines that the Church doesn’t meet their expectations, and sets themselves up as the arbiter of how God and His Church are to behave, then trouble is bound to arise in the relationship.

    For many, their activity and believe in God and His Church was supported and facilitated by friends and/or family. When that support is lessened (leaving for college, adopting a new set of friends, marrying someone whose beliefs and behaviors are antithetical to God and His Church), then these are like the young embryo which is unable to maintain a successful pregnancy. The death of the life of the soul in the Church context then necessarily follows.

    There are those who have long-embraced God and His Church, yet there is some portion of the gospel story where they had a very rigid view of what occurred. This is where you find folks leaving when they “learn” about polygamy or the priesthood ban or Mountain Meadows or Joseph using the seerstone shaded in a hat to bring forth the text in the Book of Mormon. None of these “facts” are hidden, yet these people managed to not know. Possibly this is because they were coddled by well-meaning folks who were either ignorant themselves or hoping to “spare” the individual from developing a faith formed in reality. Since I have an autistic child, I liken this kind of loss of faith to the intense tantrums my daughter has when her expectations are not met, such as having a 45 minute screaming on-the-floor fit because she was not allowed to use the red crayon.

    Then there are those whose behavior has led them to be shamed in the sight of the God they have believed in. For some, this might involve sexual orgies with many partners, or at least one partner who isn’t their legal spouse. For others it is abuse. For yet others it is failure to adhere to some requested behavior that the individual finds difficult (do tithe, don’t smoke, etc.). This also includes those who feel “other” than what they believe is the desired mold for believers, which might include those who have divorced, are raising children after being abandoned by the other parent of the children, being a different race or hair color or sub-culture. At a certain point, when the “otherness” begins to be trivial, I am tempted to suspect that these are they who never actually had their own testimony of God and His Church. At any rate, these are those who love their sins more than the God they previously claimed to love, those who would rather leave than repent, or who would rather leave than endure the work of making God’s Church a place for people such as themselves.

    I suppose one last area is those who had come to be ashamed of the God and Church they previously did believe in. These tend to be those who have come to love the world more than God and His Church, accepting as the greater good that which is au courant among the cognoscenti of the day. This is analogous to those who let go of the iron rod for shame when confronted by the jeers from those in the great and spacious building.

    As for folks who “leave” when they notice that we aren’t asked to buy a new version of canonized scripture every two months, I’m suspecting they aren’t familiar with the details behind what we do have in the Doctrine and Covenants. Even during Joseph’s lifetime, very little is written down as “revelation” after 1832, not counting works of other ages transmitted through Joseph for our use (e.g., the Book of Abraham).

  7. I think this verse in the BOM sums up the same concept.

    14 But behold, the(y) were a stiffnecked people…..and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble. (Book of Mormon, Jacob, Chapter 4)

  8. Deborah Christensen wrote ” … looking beyond the mark…”

    That. Thank-you.

  9. Pingback: A Daniel*! | Junior Ganymede

  10. Farren Walden, if you scratch a little below the surface of the LDS community, you will see that it is full of revelations and miracles. We might not always shout these experiences from the rooftops, but the Holy Ghost is alive and well among us today. I see no difference between the faith of today’s saints, and the faith of former saints. I see miracles today. I see revelations, I see healings. It has nothing to do with whether a prophet is giving out D&C style revelations in the manner of Joseph Smith.

    The poor fellow whose wife is dying of cancer will no doubt give his wife priesthood blessings, which are just as good as any he could get from the prophet. Not even prophets are exempt from cancers, death, and execution in their appointed time. But miracles do happen to simple members like your friend’s wife, if its the Lord’s will, and if they have been given the gift to be healed.

    I have a blog where I collected miracle stories from LDS people, which I haven’t been active on for awhile, but I have thousands of other stories I could add to it if I had the time.

  11. Hi Alice,

    If you would be pleased to come dine with me, I would be pleased to pass you whatever you desired that was in my power to convey to you.

    However as we do not live in the same house, attend the same congregation, or share any physical venues in common, I would not normally be able to pass you the meat.

    I don’t know what this discussion of passing the meat has to do with the OP, however, unless you wish to indicate that lack of recent revelation was not your personal reason for losing faith in the Church.

  12. Thank you to all that replied to my comment. And especially to Nate for his compilation of miracles. I will check it out.

    I agree that there are inspired individuals and miracles in the Mormon church, but also in all other churches and in every society where love can be found, Which would include every group to some degree.

    You have all read D.C. 130:20,21 20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
    21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

    Then there is D.C. 82:10 I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say. But when ye do not what I say ye have no promise.

    What I have found is that no individual or institution has power to control blessings. Or even understand what truly brings blessings. God seems to give them as he sees fit, regardless of faith or obedience. I kept track for some time when I was LDS and found no consistency with priesthood blessings or prayers of faith. Unless you count being consistently inconsistent.

    Leaving Mormonism and joining another church might be a step up in finding prophecy and revelation, depending on where you went.

    Yes, my expectations are high when a church claims to hold the holy priesthood and the power of god and is the only church on the earth with whom the Lord is well pleased. An why shouldn’t my expectations be high. I can get wise family counsel, wise life counsel from any church. Or from my own inspiration. I think the members of the church expect to little.
    Spirituality is a very personal thing. And I am certain many of you are better for being LDS. And I am certain many of you would be less happy if you left. That is a good reason to stay. I respect that. But I do not respect claims that have no place in reality.

    My challenge to the readers of the millennial star is that I would like to meet a person in the church who has the spirit of prophesy and the power of God to work miracles like the stories of the ancient prophets of the bible and Book of Mormon. One person that can act in the name of God and deliver prophecy and miracles with consistency. One living soul on this planet would do. You could have him contact me through the millennial star. I would love to visit with such a person. I do believe its possible. I just haven’t found anyone yet.

  13. Farren, let me make a call or two. I think I can hook you up with just such a person.

    It might take a few days so just hang tight. Thanks.

  14. As for miracles, I believe they happen in and out of our church because people in and out of the church have faith. I am always touched to have someone pray for me or a loved one, regardless of which church they belong to. Yes, there is most definitely faith and the power of faith to be found in many places. However, I do believe that God has given us the means to best channel that power through the Priesthood, which was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. God has given us the best and proper framework to use His power for the good of everyone. This is through the ordinances of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But, faith is the power behind all of this.
    I am familiar with someone whose life was saved through the power of the Priesthood. I heard this person acknowledge this on several occasions. A true miracle. But, this person is no longer active in the Church.
    The faith God requires of us is difficult, particularly in this day and age, where religion is often seen as weakness. In the time of Joseph Smith, it was a time of religious revival.
    As a church, we may have what we need to function and thus no more canonical revelations, but revelation can and should be happening regularly, and for many of us, it is

  15. At some point the saints have to receive their own revelations. As it stands precious few in the church understand the revelations that have been received.

    Joseph Smith gave us the King Follett Sermon and that gives a lot of people the heebie jeebies.

  16. One of my uncles in the UK used to be in the MTC presidency and lives across the street from the Preston Temple. We used to visit regularly while living overseas and attended the Nauvoo Temple dedication at the stake center that is next to the temple. When President Hinckley made his comment about Governor Ford and Democrats, all eyes turned to my wife and I as we were the only ones in the congregation laughing.

    While attending church with our extended family one day, the topic of the temple came up and one of the brethren who was familiar with the design and construction of the temple brought up an interesting point. The First Presidency was adamant about the location of the temple and could not be swayed in spite of the difficulty involved in obtaining the land. They finally managed to get it and in the process went back through land titles and records that were 200-400 years old. I don’t recall the exact date, but prior to the commencement of the 18th century (I think) that plot of land was known as Temple Hill.

    I think that the Lord has revealed far more than we know and is often waiting for us to realize or find what He’s already told us.

  17. Matthew 12:39

    But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

  18. People of all faiths sometime ward off scrutiny by calling those that would like proof as “sign seekers”. Some even say those that question them are wicked and adulterous. Though that may be true with some, others of us are truly searching for truth and the only way to be sure in a world full of con artist and misguided souls is to say the magic Words “Show Me”.

    Its a matter of shortening the learning curve and weeding out “perptual motion machines” that have a hidden electrical chord or a false voltage meter.

    I mean know disrespect, Kent Budge or any who are faithful to your beliefs, Surely I am not out of line to say that I would like to see real evidence of great faith of one Human being on this planet.

  19. Farren,

    Surely you will see that your atitude is one whom is seeking for a sign (Corihor?) Or do you truly feel your atitude is that of Nephi?

    You will notice that both asked for signs. One went to the prophet Alma, and after much insistance got what he wanted and became dumb as the sign. You know what sign Nephi asked and how he went about it. Contrast the two and consider what approach is most similar to yours.

    Nephi was such a man of faith, even saying that “if God comandeth me to say to this ocean, be dry land, it would be dry land”. Yet the Lord commanded him to simply build a ship.

    When commanded by God, Nephi could shake his brethren and Alma could tear down prisons and bonds. But that is the key: They knew whence the power came.

    I suppose you could camp out in front of the CO Building and demand a sign, or look for someone who moves mountains at will, but Corihor and the judges at Amonihah did so and their ending stories are not positive. Instead, go to the source like Nephi did: Ask God himself to manifest himself to you. He knows your heart, he can show you all things if you have faith. Believe it, and I know – just how you know – that God will show you what you need to see.

  20. Naomi

    I come to you with a different take on God than most. I don’t believe he cares what you or I believe as doctrine. He cares only in what you have become and are becoming. He cares that you are kind, courageous, empathetic, compassionate, trustworthy, helpful, and any other virtue that makes you more godlike.

    Feelings are not facts. I have seen feelings from sincere prayer lead many of my LDS friends to short lived disillusionment. Short lived because they are only too anxious to forget about those feelings and move on to other prayers that worked out well. It’s a crap shoot when you ask a question of God that is testable.

    I don’t believe Moroni’s promise will lead anyone consistently to facts.

    I know you would rather that I simply prayed with sincere intent and the lord will tell me the church is true. I have done that and got the opposite answer. Statistically more people have had the answer that the church was not true when they prayed with sincere intent. Therefore any answer I think I received through feelings is not trustworthy. It does not make the church true or untrue.

    I do trust feelings to guide me to places the Lord wants me to learn. Learn lessons, develop my character, and uncover facts.

    It would be wonderful if an LDS leader arose with the power you read about in scriptures. Though the church would still have its critics from those that have a vested interest in another church, sincere people all over the world would come for guidance learning and healing. Like the stories you read about in Mormon scripture.
    Instead the church advertises on billboards, and tv and tries to improve its image and acceptance with things like “I’m a Mormon” adds.

    So I am interested in facts, evidence and corroborated truth. I have seen Bishops go bankrupt following their inspired feelings.

  21. Farren,
    And bankruptcy was bad for them? Bankruptcy is a legal and moral way to restart in a capitalistic economy which cares nothing for honor but only for profit–perhaps that was what God intended for the welfare of his soul. Having lost all myself following 9/11 I can see what good such deprivation has done me. Yes, I believe God would inspire someone to do something they thought would do them worldly good which ultimately turned against their worldly desires to teach them something more valuable: dependence and, in time, to see his hand in all things.

    I want to take you at face value. I am uncertain that your motivations for commenting here are those of a seeker, rather than a proselytizer. But I will share some thoughts anyway.

    I have a miracle story for you.

    I have an affinity for languages. I served my mission in Japan. At five months I was assigned a senior companion for two months who afforded me much spare time. I memorized characters, about a thousand of them. Suddenly, I could read, everything. Everything in the public sphere anyway. I learned another four or five hundred in the next few months. At thirteen months I was asked to translate at a multi-zone conference for a visiting authority. The fact that I was chosen over many missionaries more senior than I is a testament to the arm of flesh. Natural gifts and exploited opportunity put me in the right place at the right time. I was assigned two native speakers who had schooled for a time in the U.S. to sit to each side of me to assist me.

    The speaker began by asking my name. I removed my headset and gave it. He instructed me to translate and not to interpret. If I had a problem I was to raise my hand and he would wait. In the first five words he spoke was the word, “enmity.” I raised my hand. And so it went. For three hours.

    I am done boasting in my ability. I cannot recall anything else said in that three hours. There may very well be a natural explanation. I was acting as a vessel, a machine to hear and speak what I heard and not think about what was being said. I was focused and that is all I know.

    The aftereffects are of interest. All thirty-five of the native missionaries lined up and with tears thanked me for what I had done. I imagine that they found time to thank the speaker, but it was to me they came first, it was my voice that moved them. I was moved beyond words myself. Before I left the building I was racked with a splitting headache.

    I have given enough background to all someone to say I was just naturally that good. But I was there, I know my ability: good with the language but not that good. For a short while, I know I was made more than the sum of my parts. Maybe it would have been more impressive to have the visiting authority call some missionary who had been out only one month and give him a blessing for the gift of tongues and then put those headphones on him with a boom mike. But I don’t think God wants to work that way. His real purpose was to have them focus on the message not the miracle. He is not about glitz at all. Every miracle of which we know, except the Old Testament biggies, are quiet affairs—putting everyone out but Peter, James, and John and the parents when he raised the daughter of Jairus.

    Signs follow them that believe. As I look back I see signs in my wake. We only see the miracle when we look for the message—and find it.
    I hope you are earnest. And if you are I encourage you to reexamine.

  22. I shared my two mites. I won’t tell you why God does care about doctrine like any good parent would, you need to ask Him. He is the one that can soften your heart like He did to Nephi (1 Ne 2:16-18). Really, you and Nephi share a striking similitude on the first verse. Why would God soften Nephi’s heart but not yours?

    Nephi’s steps of faith yielded many miracles in his own life. I invite you to emulate what he did, and I know you will see miracles when you do.

    God speed and bless,


    PS: I really think that, despite your strong feelings about the subject, that you could have addressed your point to the High Priest in private. I lost a relative to cancer and my friend now has it, so encouraging words would yield much better fruits than using it to shame a husband caring for his wife. I hope you meant well, but unless you are a parent/intimate friend of the person use kind words and not public shaming to share your thoughts.

    For instance, suppose you said after the class was over: “I’m sorry to hear about your wife. Have you considered visiting the prophet in person? He is a seer, a revelator, and I know that if you have faith he can heal her”. Perhaps then the High Priest would have shared an answer to you, and both would be edified and rejoiced together. Just a thought for the future.

  23. Farren Walden, just a reminder: this is a blog for faithful latter-day Saints who believe the Church and want to build up the Church. It is not a place to question the Church. In addition, basic rules of courtesy indicate that it is not polite to keep on trying to dominate a conversation. You have made your point. Please move on. Thanks for understanding.

  24. Joel Winter, great story about the Spirit helping you with Japanese. I have a similar story.

    I moved to Brazil in 1999 and went to a small ward in Rio. About two weeks after I arrived, speaking barely passable Portuguese, I was called on to give a blessing to a young man. I didn’t know any of the usual words you need to know like the Portuguese word for “priesthood” or “authority.” In any case, I gave a perfect blessing in Portuguese to this young man, saying dozens of words I didn’t even know in completely fluent Portuguese. It was astounding. So, I believe in small miracles, yes I do.

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