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Every Latter-day Saint absolutely needs daily personal revelation to stay steadfast on the path of discipleship. Our spiritual survival depends on it. Personal revelation need not be dramatic or life-changing. It simply needs to be consistent. Some of the most helpful revelations are overlooked because of their frequency and simplicity. A college student shared this entry from her personal journal following a class discussion on personal revelation:
As we talked about receiving personal revelation, I was getting upset because I don’t feel that great truths are revealed to me. It was so comforting to hear that “feeling uplifted” after reading the scriptures is a form of personal revelation. This is exactly what I feel after reading the scriptures sincerely—encouragement and a general lift to be happy and continue on with my life in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord. (Alicia)
Recognizing Personal Revelation
Heavenly help and guidance comes through many channels including holy scripture, living prophets, and directly from God through the Holy Ghost. The last source—personal revelation—is primary. The first two are essential, but secondary to personal revelation through the Holy Spirit, for without the personal witness directly from God, we would have no way of knowing the truth spoken by living prophets or canonized in scripture.
Soon-to-be-baptized children, as well as investigators being taught by the missionaries, learn that one of the major blessings of being a member of the Church is receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, which often described as the right to the “constant companionship” of the third member of the Godhead. While the literal constancy of that gift can be the labor of a lifetime, it is vital to keep that childlike longing for our Father’s presence at the forefront of our daily aspirations.
What does it mean to have the Spirit with us? What does it feel like? During four decades of teaching seminary and institute students, the most frequent questions I received had to do with learning to recognize how the Spirit functioned in their lives. Whenever we have the Spirit with us we are experiencing personal revelation. Personal revelation has been described by the prophets as the most important need of members of the Church (as well as all of humankind). President Lorenzo Snow taught that it is not only the grand privilege, but also the right of every Latter-day Saint to have the manifestations of the Spirit every day of their lives (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow, 76).
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