Helping Students Understand the Principles of Personal Revelation

By Ronald E. Bartholomew

Ronald E. Bartholomew, “Helping Students Understand the Principles of Personal Revelation,” Religious Educator 5, no. 1 (2004): 71–83.

Helping Students Understand the Principles of Personal Revelation

Ronald E. Bartholomew

Ronald E. Bartholomew was an instructor at the Orem Utah Institute of Religion when this was published.

Youth and young adults are in a season of life with an urgent need to receive and understand personal revelation.

Courtesy of Visual Resource Library © by Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

 

As an educator, I have noticed that an experience common to Latter-day Saints, both students and teachers alike, is the lifelong task of learning how to receive and understand personal revelation. Elder S. Dilworth Young of the Seventy said: “I can testify to you that . . .none of you [will] have any adventure greater, more thrilling, and more joyful than finding out how to interpret the Spirit which comes into you. . . . Young folks have to learn how; so do we older folks. We have to find out the technique by which the Spirit whispers in our hearts. We have to learn to hear it and to understand it and to know when we have it, and that sometimes takes a long time.”[1]

In the Church Educational System, we work primarily with students between ages fourteen and thirty, a group in those seasons of life where there seems to be an especially urgent need to learn to receive and under­stand personal revelation. These youth and young adults must make an extraordinary number of eternity-altering decisions at a relatively young age, and we as teachers and leaders can help parents and priesthood leaders prepare them for this great adventure. And they are ready for it! President J. Reuben Clark Jr. of the First Presidency testified that they are eager and capable of learning about the things of the Spirit despite their youth and inexperience: “The youth of the Church are hungry for the things of the Spirit. . . . [They] are prepared to understand and to believe that there is a natural world and there is a spiritual world . . . [and] that the things of the spiritual world cannot be understood or comprehended by the things of the natural world. . . . [They] hunger and thirst . . . for a testimony of the things of the Spirit.”[2]

The revelations contained in Doctrine and Covenants in sections 6 through 11 provide a handbook of sorts, identifying a number of principles and conditions relative to personal revelation. This paper will outline and analyze some of these principles and conditions in an effort to help students and teachers gain a better understanding of how the Lord taught His children to receive and recognize personal revelation.

Principle 1: Ask and you shall receive according to the conditions prescribed by the Lord.

The Lord gave Oliver Cowdery a principle of truth that applies to all of us as well: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, blessed art thou for what thou hast done; for thou hast inquired of me, and behold, as often as thou hast inquired thou hast received instruction of my Spirit” (D&C 6:14). This scripture highlights the importance of the first prin­ciple of revelation I will discuss—ask and ye shall receive.

President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles emphasizes the importance of our asking so we can receive personal revelation. He said:

You have your agency, and inspiration does not—perhaps can­not—flow unless you ask for it, or someone asks for you.

No message in scripture is repeated more often than the invitation, even the command, to pray—to ask.

Prayer is so essential a part of revelation that without it the veil may remain closed to you. Learn to pray. Pray often. Pray in your mind, in your heart. Pray on your knees.

You must begin where you are. Pray, even if you are like the prophet Alma when he was young and wayward, or if you are like Amulek, of the closed mind, who “knew concerning these things, yet . . . would not know.”

Prayer is your personal key to heaven. The lock is on your side of the veil.[3]

For us to receive, however, the Lord outlines several conditions upon which this principle is based.

Condition 1: Ask for the right things. To receive personal revelation, we must ask according to the Lord’s will. The Bible Dictionary entry for “Prayer” states: “Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already will­ing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them.” The ancient Nephite disciples exemplified this principle: “They did not multiply many words, for it was given unto them what they should pray, and they were filled with desire” (3 Nephi 19:24). They knew what to pray for (the Lord’s will) because it “was given unto them” by the Holy Ghost. In other words, we have to be in tune with the spirit of revelation to receive personal revelation, and we will thereby know what the Lord’s will is and then pray for it. Doctrine and Covenants 46:30 confirms this truth: “He that asketh in the Spirit asketh accord­ing to the will of God; wherefore it is done even as he asketh.”

In Doctrine and Covenants 6:5–9, the Lord carefully instructs Oliver Cowdery on what to ask for:

Therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will knock it shall be opened unto you.

Now, as you have asked, behold, I say unto you, keep my com­mandments, and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion;

Seek not for riches but for wisdom, and behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich. Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, even as you desire of me so it shall be unto you; and if you desire, you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation.

Say nothing but repentance unto this generation; keep my com­mandments, and assist to bring forth my work, according to my commandments, and you shall be blessed.

The Lord gave a similar message to Hyrum Smith about asking for the right things: “And then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness” (D&C 11:14; emphasis added). Since so much of our receiving depends on our asking, it is critical that we ask for the right things if we are to receive.

Condition 2: Have the right desires. Closely related to asking for the right things is having the right desires. Doctrine and Covenants 7 is an excellent example of two brethren who received because of their right desires. Peter and John received what they asked of the Lord, even though they asked for very different things. Peter asked to return speedily to the Savior in heaven upon completion of his mission in this life; John asked to “have power over death, that I may live and bring souls” to the Savior beyond the time normally allotted in this life. Because both had what the Savior considered “a good desire” (D&C 7:5), He told them that both would receive according to their desires and have joy in that (see D&C 7:8).

The Lord’s promise to Oliver Cowdery in this regard applies to us today. “If you have good desires” (D&C 6:27), the Lord will bless you to be able to be a part of bringing forth His will and kingdom on earth. Not only can we pray to ask for the right things but also we can ask the Lord to fill our hearts with the right desires (see 3 Nephi 19:24).

Condition 3: Believe that you will receive. Once you have obtained knowledge regarding the Lord’s will for you and your heart is filled with the right desires, the next step is to proceed with faith, believ­ing that you will receive that thing, if you ask for it, according to the promises of the Lord. Again, to Oliver Cowdery, the Lord said, “Ver­ily, verily, I say unto you, that assuredly as the Lord liveth, who is your God and your Redeemer, even so surely shall you receive a knowledge of whatsoever things you shall ask in faith, . . . believing that you shall receive” (D&C 8:1).

The ancient prophets of the Book of Mormon provide an excellent example of this principle. The Lord explained that those prophets were receiving according to their righteous desires because they had asked Him, believing they would receive: “The remainder of this work does contain all those parts of my gospel which my holy prophets, yea, and also my disciples, desired in their prayers should come forth unto this people. And I said unto them, that it should be granted unto them according to their faith in their prayers” (D&C 10:46–47).

President Packer explained how “believing that you will receive” works: “The flow of revelation depends on your faith. You exercise faith by causing, or by making, your mind accept or believe as truth that which you cannot, by reason alone, prove for certainty. . . . As you test gospel principles by believing without knowing, the Spirit will begin to teach you. Gradually your faith will be replaced with knowledge.”[4]

Principle 2: While seeking and receiving, trifle not with sacred things.

As we obtain the will of the Lord, have righteous desires, and ask in faith, we must not “trifle with [the] sacred things” we receive. To Oliver, the Lord said: “Behold thou hast a gift, and blessed art thou because of thy gift. Remember it is sacred and cometh from above. . . . Make not thy gift known unto any save it be those who are of thy faith. Trifle not with sacred things” (D&C 6:10, 12). The Lord has given each of us gifts, including the gift of the Holy Ghost and access to gifts of the Spirit. These things are sacred and are not to be treated lightly. Several conditions are mentioned in relation to this principle in Doctrine and Covenants 6–11.

Condition 1: Do not ask for what you should not. In relation to ask­ing for the right things and with the right desires, the Lord simply told Oliver Cowdery, “Trifle not with these things; do not ask for that which you ought not” (D&C 8:10).

Condition 2: You must study it out in your mind. Having already begun his labors as Joseph Smith’s scribe, a somewhat discontented Oliver Cowdery also “desired to be endowed with the gift of transla­tion” (heading to D&C 8). The Lord responded with these words of encouragement: “Ask . . . that you may translate . . . those ancient records which have been hid up, that are sacred; and according to your faith shall it be done unto you” (D&C 8:11). When Oliver attempted to translate, however, he failed. One of the reasons he did not succeed was given to him in this explanation from the Lord: “Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right . . . you shall feel that it is right” (D&C 9:7–8). Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said this regarding these verses: “Being taught by the Spirit is not a passive thing. Often the Lord’s communication does not come until we have studied matters out in our own minds. Then we receive a confirmation.”[5] Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles added: “We are to solve our own problems and then to counsel with the Lord in prayer and receive a spiritual confirmation that our decisions are correct.”[6] We might wonder how many prayers could have been answered and revelations received over the ages if the children of men had been willing to pay the price to personally search out in their own minds the will of the Lord and then ask, having stud­ied their questions out in their minds.

Condition 3: Keep sacred things sacred. Once we are able to receive revelation from the Lord, we need to work as hard to keep those things sacred as we did to receive the revelation. After Joseph lost the manu­script containing the first 116 pages of the Book of Mormon, the Lord chastened and warned him:

Therefore, you have delivered them up, yea, that which was sacred, unto wickedness. . . . But behold, here is wisdom, and because I show unto you wisdom, and give you commandments concerning these things, what you shall do, show it not unto the world until you have accomplished the work of translation.

Marvel not that I said unto you: Here is wisdom, show it not unto the world—for I said, show it not unto the world, that you may be preserved.

Behold, I do not say that you shall not show it unto the righteous;

But as you cannot always judge the righteous, or as you cannot always tell the wicked from the righteous, therefore I say unto you, hold your peace until I shall see fit to make all things known unto the world concerning the matter. (D&C 10:9, 34–37)

Because of this experience, Joseph Smith learned a painful but powerful lesson about keeping sacred things sacred.

In connection with sacred communication from the Holy Ghost that we might receive, President Packer taught: “I have come to believe also that it is not wise to continually talk of unusual spiritual experi­ences. They are to be guarded with care and shared only when the Spirit itself prompts you to use them to the blessing of others. . . . We are, I believe, to keep these things and ponder them in our hearts.”[7]

Condition 4: Once is enough. Both Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith learned for themselves that in the economy of God, His chil­dren do not need to receive the same revelation more than once. Even though he had already received a witness of the truthfulness of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s testimony regarding the plates, Oliver sought an additional witness from the Lord. The Lord patiently responded to Oliver’s query by reminding him of the revelation he had already received: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things. Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God? And now, behold, you have received a witness; for if I have told you things which no man knoweth [Joseph Smith was unaware of Oliver’s experience when he inquired of the Lord in his behalf], have you not received a witness?” (D&C 6:22–24). He learned that if the Lord has already revealed something, then he should trifle not with sacred things by asking for the same revelation again.

Joseph Smith had already learned this painful lesson in connection with the lost manuscript of the book of Lehi. He recorded:

Some time after Mr. Harris had begun to write for me, he began to importune me to give him liberty to carry the writings home and show them; and desired of me that I would inquire of the Lord, through the Urim and Thummim, if he might not do so. I did inquire, and the answer was that he must not. However, he was not satisfied with this answer, and desired that I should inquire again. I did so, and the answer was as before. Still he could not be contented, but insisted that I should inquire once more. After much solicitation I again inquired of the Lord, and permission was granted him to have the writings on certain conditions. . . . In accordance with this last answer, I required of him that he should bind himself in a covenant to me in a most solemn manner that he would not do otherwise than had been directed. He did so. He bound himself as I required of him, took the writings, and went his way. Notwithstanding, however, the great restrictions which he had been laid under, and the solemnity of the covenant which he had made with me, he did show them to others, and by stratagem they got them away from him, and they never have been recovered unto this day.[8]

 

Condition 5: Continue as you commenced. When Oliver attempted to translate the ancient record, he failed. Rather than continue to try to learn how to translate by the gift and power of God, he returned to his position as scribe. Shortly thereafter, Joseph Smith received the follow­ing in Oliver’s behalf: “Behold, I say unto you, my son, that because you did not translate according to that which you desired of me, and did commence again to write for my servant, Joseph Smith, Jun., even so I would that ye should continue until you have finished this record, which I have entrusted unto him. . . . And, behold, it is because that you did not continue as you commenced, when you began to translate, that I have taken away this privilege from you” (D&C 9:1, 5).

Relating this experience to our lives and to the receipt of personal revelation, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught: “In the process of revela­tion and making important decisions, fear plays a destructive, sometimes paralyzing role. To Oliver Cowdery, who missed the opportunity of a lifetime because he didn’t seize it in the lifetime of the opportunity, the Lord said, ‘You did not continue as you commenced.’ . . . After you have gotten the message, after you have paid the price to feel His love and hear the word of the Lord, go forward. Don’t fear, don’t vacillate, don’t quibble, don’t whine. . . . Dismiss your fears and wade in with both feet.”[9]

In my assignment as a teacher, I believe I have seen more opportu­nities lost in this way than in any other. I have seen students—faithful students—lose opportunities for love, missions, marriage, education, and so forth because they did not “continue as they commenced.” A true principle that I believe operates in this regard is what I call the Sacred Grove principle. Joseph Smith did not receive a vision of the Father and the Son without some serious opposition from the adver­sary first. In Joseph’s own words, he writes that as he attempted to pray, according to his previous determination, “immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction. But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, . . . I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head” (Joseph Smith—History 1:15–16).

Moses had a similar experience with the adversary (see Moses 1:12–22). I believe that most, if not all, of us have our own encoun­ters with the opposition of the adversary immediately after we receive an impression or even a confirmation to do something good and right and true. It happens because Satan does not want what follows—to continue as we commenced—to happen to us. It is important, then, that we remember this principle: If you receive a revelation from the Lord, pursue it until He stops you. You might run into discourage­ment, despair, and opposition along the way. But that does not mean that you did not receive a revelation or that the revelation wasn’t right. It might mean, and perhaps will always mean, that the Lord wants something very meaningful and wonderful for you that the adversary does not want.

Condition 6: You need to obtain all that has been revealed before more can be added. Hyrum Smith, ever eager to help his younger brother and the Lord build up the cause of Zion, received this revelation in response to his desire to proclaim the word: “Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men. But now hold your peace; study my word which hath gone forth among the children of men, and also study my word which shall come forth among the children of men, or that which is now translating, yea, until you have obtained all which I shall grant unto the children of men in this generation, and then shall all things be added thereto” (D&C 11:21–22).

Elder Oaks taught that studying the scriptures is a key to receiving revelation: “Just as continuing revelation enlarges and illuminates the scriptures, so also a study of the scriptures enables men and women to receive revelations. . . . This happens because scripture reading puts us in tune with the Spirit of the Lord. . . . We do not overstate the point when we say that the scriptures can be a Urim and Thummim to assist each of us to receive personal revelation.”[10] Elder Oaks added: “The best way to have the spirit of revelation is to listen to and study words spoken under the influence of the Holy Ghost. In other words, we obtain the Spirit by reading the scriptures or reading or listening to the talks of inspired leaders.”[11]

A student of mine complained at one point that she hated the scriptures. After she began reading again, however, she found the answer she had wanted, and I discovered the reason she had felt she hated them. A former teacher had promised her, and rightly so, that she could find the answer to any question in the scriptures. However, when my student looked in the Topical Guide and Index for refer­ences that might answer her question, there were no relevant entries; and in despair she gave up and quit reading. It was only when she gave the scriptures one more try that she found her answer, not from the scriptures but from the whisperings of the Spirit that came to her while she was reading. Excitedly, she shared with me her answer: Jacob 5:25 from the allegory of the olive tree. Her question dealt with what to do with a boyfriend who was knowingly rebelling against the teachings and guidelines of the Church. Her answer—from the Spirit: Cut off the wild-fruit-producing branch or your whole tree could wither and die. She received that answer while prayerfully reading from Jacob 5, one of the most difficult-to-understand chapters in any book of scripture. I learned from that experience that when seekers of truth—regard­less of age or experience—read the way Elder Oaks suggests, they put themselves in tune with the Spirit and can receive the answer to any question, whether or not it is specifically mentioned in the text.

Principle 3: We must know how to recognize the voice of the Spirit when it comes.

This might be the most difficult part of receiving revelation—knowing whether it is from the Lord or just our own mind or even Satan. Doctrine and Covenants 6–11 has some excellent guidelines that can help us determine what is being communicated by the Spirit and whether it is from the Lord. We also learn from these sections that the Lord’s voice does not come in just one way but can be manifest in different ways at different times. One day when we were discussing the different ways the Spirit communicates to our soul in class, an excited student stood up and exclaimed, “I’ve had that experience before!” As she explained her excitement, it became obvious at once that she had grown up believing that communication from the Spirit came in only one certain way. As we discussed the scriptural teachings regarding communication with the Spirit, she discovered not only that revelations come in different ways but that she had actually experienced some of them. The light that was shed on her heart and mind that day was liberating and edifying; she realized that she really had received com­munication from the Holy Ghost and that she was not spiritually dead, as she had before supposed.

My experience as a teacher and servant in the Church is that many members misunderstand the different ways the Spirit communicates with us—with the result that many are often led to believe that they are either receiving less communication than they really are or that what they had thought was the spirit of revelation really isn’t. Knowing how to recognize the Spirit when it comes has several conditions.

Condition 1: The Lord will tell you in your mind and in your heart. The Lord told Oliver Cowdery that He would speak “in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart” (D&C 8:2). Of this process, Elder L. Lionel Kendrick of the Seventy said: “The means by which the Spirit speaks to both the mind and the heart is through the still, small voice spoken of in the scriptures. This voice is often called the ‘voice of the Spirit’ (1 Nephi 4:18). Sometimes that voice is heard within, but more often it is felt. It may prompt us with both a thought and a feeling concerning a matter.”[12] President Packer elaborated on the process: “The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you feel more than you hear. It is described as a ‘still small voice.’ And while we speak of ‘listening’ to the whisperings of the Spirit, most often many of us describe a spiritual prompting by saying, ‘I had a feeling.’ . . . Revelation comes as words we feel more than hear. Nephi told his wayward brothers, who were visited by an angel, ‘Ye were past feeling, that ye could not feel his words.’”[13]

Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve explained in detail how this process works:

It is through the repeated process of feeling impressions, recording them, and obeying them that one learns to depend on the direction of the Spirit more than on communication through the five senses. An impression to the mind is very specific. Detailed words can be heard or felt and written as though the instruction were being dictated. A com­munication to the heart is a more general impression. The Lord often begins by giving impressions. Where there is a recognition of their importance and they are obeyed, one gains more capacity to receive more detailed instruction to the mind. An impression to the heart, if followed is fortified by a more specific instruction to the mind. . . . We often leave the most precious personal direction of the Spirit unheard because we do not record and respond to the first promptings that come to us when the Lord chooses to direct us or when impressions come in response to urgent prayer.[14]

Condition 2: You will either feel that it is right or that it is not. Many questions have arisen regarding recognizing personal revelation because of the Lord’s words to Oliver Cowdery: “You must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong” (D&C 9:8–9). Many have misunderstood the meaning and intent of this passage or have supposed this is the only way the Spirit communicates revelation to us. Of this passage, Elder Oaks said:

This may be one of the most important and misunderstood teachings in all the Doctrine and Covenants. The teachings of the Spirit often come as feelings. That fact is of the utmost importance, yet some mis­understand what it means. I have met persons who told me they have never had a witness from the Holy Ghost because they have never felt their bosom “burn within” them. What does a “burning in the bosom” mean? Does it need to be a feeling of caloric heat, like the burning produced by combustion? If that is the meaning, I have never had a burning in the bosom. Surely, the word “burning” in this scripture signifies a feeling of comfort and serenity. That is the witness many receive. That is the way revelation works. Truly, the still, small voice is just that, “still” and “small.”[15]

In addition, President Packer said: “This burning in the bosom is not purely a physical sensation. It is more like a warm light shining within your being. . . . If ever you receive a prompting to do something that makes you feel uneasy, something you know in your mind to be wrong and contrary to the principles of righteousness, do not respond to it!”[16]

Condition 3: The Spirit will speak peace to your mind. In an attempt to help Oliver Cowdery recognize the spirit of revelation, the Lord said: “Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?” (D&C 6:23). This counsel teaches two very valuable principles regarding the recognition of personal revelation: (1) the voice of God is a voice of peace and (2) this is one of the greatest witnesses we can receive from Him. Elder Kendrick said: “The most frequent confirmation of the Spirit comes to us as peaceful feelings. . . . President Brigham Young quoted these words of the Prophet Joseph Smith: ‘They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits—it will whisper peace and joy to their souls.’ Feelings of peace are promptings and proof that the Spirit is bearing witness to us in response to our petitions.”[17]

Condition 4: Revelation will enlighten your mind. Through his brother Joseph, Hyrum learned: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind” (D&C 11:13). In relation to this verse, Elder Kendrick taught:

Prophets, seers, and revelators have described this process of receiv­ing personal revelation through the enlightenment of the mind: “When you feel pure intelligence flowing into you,” said the Prophet Joseph Smith, “it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon; (i.e.) those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God, will come to pass; and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.” . . . President Harold B. Lee further taught, “When there come to you things that your mind does not know, when you have a sudden thought that comes to your mind, if you will learn to give heed to these things that come from the Lord, you will learn to walk by the spirit of revelation.”[18]

Condition 5: Revelation will lead you to do what is right. The Lord gave a final condition for learning to recognize the Spirit: “And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit” (D&C 11:12).

One time as I was walking home from the office, I saw an elderly woman chasing her garbage can down the road in a terrible windstorm. Feeling prompted to assist her, I felt self-conscious and talked myself out of it because I was afraid I might frighten her. In my mind, I said, “She doesn’t know you—she might be afraid of strangers.” Yet I knew it was the right thing to do. One of the best ways to determine if an impression is from the Spirit is simply that it will lead you to do that which you know is right, just, and true.

As we continue to learn for ourselves and help our students better understand the principles of personal revelation, together we will be able to “receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowl­edge, that [we may] know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal” (D&C 42:61).

Notes

[1] S. Dilworth Young, “Heed the Whisperings of the Spirit,” Improvement Era, June 1959, 449.

[2] J. Reuben Clark Jr., “The Charted Course of the Church in Education,” in Charge to Religious Educators (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1994), 4–5.

[3] Boyd K. Packer, “Personal Revelation: The Gift, the Test, and the Promise,” Ensign, November 1994, 59; emphasis in original.

[4] Packer, “Personal Revelation,” 60; emphasis in original.

[5] Dallin H. Oaks, “Teaching and Learning by the Spirit,” Ensign, March 1997, 13.

[6] Bruce R. McConkie, “Why the Lord Ordained Prayer,” Ensign, January 1976, 11.

[7] Boyd K. Packer, “The Candle of the Lord,” Ensign, January 1983, 53.

[8] Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. B. H. Roberts, 2nd ed., rev. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957), 1:21.

[9] Jeffrey R. Holland, “‘Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence,’” Ensign, March 2000, 10.

[10] Dallin H. Oaks, “Scripture Reading and Revelation,” Ensign, January 1995, 7–8.

[11] Oaks, “Teaching and Learning by the Spirit,” 9.

[12] L. Lionel Kendrick, “Personal Revelation,” Ensign, September 1999, 11.

[13] Packer, “Personal Revelation,” 60; emphasis in original.

[14] Richard G. Scott, “Helping Others to Be Spiritually Led,” CES Sympo­sium, August 11, 1998, 3–4, 11; emphasis in original.

[15] Oaks, “Teaching and Learning by the Spirit,” 13.

[16] Packer, “Personal Revelation,” 60–61; emphasis in original.

[17] Kendrick, “Personal Revelation,” 13.

[18] Kendrick, “Personal Revelation,” 12.