Personal revelation is one of the key differences between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other Christian churches. We believe we have the right to speak with and be spoken to by our Heavenly Father.
Brigham Young taught:
This people believe in revelation. This people did believe and do believe that the Lord has spoken from the heavens. They did believe and do believe that God has sent angels to proclaim the everlasting Gospel, according to the testimony of John [see Revelation 14:6–7] (DBY, 38).
We often hear it said that the living oracles must be in the Church, in order that the Kingdom of God may be established and prosper on the earth. I will give another version of this sentiment. I say that the living oracles of God, or the Spirit of revelation must be in each and every individual, to know the plan of salvation and keep in the path that leads them to the presence of God (DBY, 38).
The Lord is not everywhere in person; but he has his agents speaking and acting for him. His angels, his messengers, his apostles and servants are appointed and authorized to act in his name. And his servants are authorized to counsel and dictate in the greatest and what might be deemed the most trifling matters, to instruct, direct and guide his Saints (DBY, 41).
No man can gain influence in this Kingdom, and maintain himself in it, magnify his calling without the power of God being with him. Persons must so live that they can enjoy the light of the Holy Spirit, or they will have no confidence in themselves, in their religion, or in their God, and will sooner or later turn from the faith (DBY, 33).
It was asked me by a gentleman how I guided the people by revelation. I teach them to live so that the Spirit of revelation may make plain to them their duty day by day that they are able to guide themselves. To get this revelation it is necessary that the people live so that their spirits are as pure and clean as a piece of blank paper that lies on the desk before the [writer], ready to receive any mark the writer may make upon it (DBY, 41).
No earthly argument, no earthly reasoning can open the minds of intelligent beings and show them heavenly things; that can only be done by the Spirit of revelation [see 1 Corinthians 2:9–14] (DBY, 37)(“Chapter 6: The Communication between God and Man,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 41).
Indeed, we not only have the right to answers for our prayers, but we have the right to be inspired, guided and protected by our Father in Heaven.
Elder Richard G. Scott, a former apostle, spoke in length about getting the most of any personal revelation that is received in a CES (Church Educational System) Symposium in 1998. Without going into any great length, and breaking it down to a simple statement, he said that if we write down any personal revelation we receive and then ask if there is more, more will come. His talk detailed this process in detail as well as offering the caution to be humble and teachable.
Taking this advice to heart, I have received the most precious and personal revelation pertaining to my family and myself that I never would have imagined. You must understand that our Father in Heaven waits to hear from each of us. Much as you would call your mother or father now to catch up, re-establish, and strengthen your love and familial connection, our Heavenly Father wishes for you to do the same.
My friends, remember who you are, for you are children of God, beloved of our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ. Who you are matters to Heavenly Father. Your happiness or sorrow matter to Jesus Christ. Your life, every minute of every day, is lovingly watched over, rejoiced over, grieved over, and wept over as decisions are made and consequences are met, be they positive or negative.
The first place to start would be to shake off your preconceptions and prejudices, and with a humble and loving heart, kneel and ask: Is Jesus Christ the Messiah? Did He redeem the world? Is He the Son of God? Are you my Heavenly Father? Do you love me? Do you believe in me? Will you help me?
I assure you, the answers will come. Maybe not immediately, maybe a day, week, month, year, or even decades later, but the answer will come and you will clearly remember your question when it does. When you finish praying and listening, write all your thoughts down and then place them in a quiet and safe place where you can turn back to them often.
Your Father in Heaven did not send you to mortality without the means to “call home.” Prayer is that very sacred manner by which we may “call home.” I urge you to do it and do it often. You may be completely surprised by the changes which will take place in your life.
This article was originally published in July 2008. Minor changes have been made.