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Sunday Session 4, Talk 5 – Russell M. Nelson, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
- Technology allows us to communicate rapidly.
- Even more amazing than modern technology is our opportunity to access information directly from heaven. Without: hardware, software or monthly service fees.
- It’s one of the most marvelous gifts the Lord has offered to mortals.
- Wrote down an idea for General Conference and arose from sleep and wrote down his impressions. The next morning he looked at the paper and his writing was illegible. He writes more carefully now.
- To access information from Heaven you need:
- have a firm faith and deep desire.
- Ask with a sincere heart and real intent having faith in Jesus Christ. Real intent means that one really intends to follow divine direction given.
- Study the matter diligently. Study it out in your mind. The ask God if it is right. If it is right, he will cause a burning in your bosom, therefore you shall FEEL that it is right.
- Know and obey the teachings of the Lord.
- The natural man knows very little of God and even less of his prophet.
- Paul wrote: “The natural man receives not the things of the spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him, neither can they know them because they are spiritually discerned.”
- Another Prophet said: “The natural man is an enemy to God and has been from the fall of Adam and will be forever and ever unless he yields to the enticings of the holy spirit and puteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord. And becometh as a Child: Submissive, Meek, Humble, Patient, Full of Love, Willing to submit of all things with the Lord see fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doths submit to his father.”
- Gives the Definition of Discernment:
- Gift of Discernment is a Spiritual is a supernal gift: it allows members of the Church to see things not visible and to feel things not tangible. Bishops are entitled to this gift to seek out the poor and care for the needy.
- Sisters may view trends in the world and detect those, however popular, are shallow or even dangerous.
- Members can discern between schemes that are flashy and fleeting – and those refinements which are uplifting and enduring.
- Discernment was implicit, in important instructions President John Taylor gave long ago, taught stake presidents, bishops and others :
“It is the right of those holding these positions to obtain the word of God with regard to the duties of their presidencies , that they more effectually carry out his holy purposes. None of the callings or positions int he priesthood are intended for the personal benefits, monuments and fame of those who hold them. But are expressly given to fulfill our purposes of our heavenly father and build up the kingdom of god upon the earth. We seek to understand the will of God and then carry it out and then see that it is carried by those over whom we have the charge.”
- To receiving revaluation unique to our needs and responsibilities, Certain Guidelines prevail:
- Develop faith, hope, charity and love with an eye single to the glory of god. then with your firm faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility and diligence you may ask and you will receive, knock and it will be upon unto you.
- Revelation from god is always compatible with his eternal law, never contradicts his doctrine. facilitated by proper reverence for Deity. “I the Lord am merciful and gracious to those who fear me and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end. Great shall be their reward, and eternal shall be their glory. to them i will reveal all mysteries. and my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom.
- Revelation need not come all at once, may be incremental:
“I will give unto the children of men, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little there a little and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom, for unto him who receiveth, i will give more.”
- Patience, perseverance are part of our eternal progression
- Prophets describe what it feels like when receiving revelation:
- Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery: “The veil was taken from our minds and the eyes of our understanding were opened”
- Joseph F Smith: “As I pondered over these things which were written, the eyes of my understanding were opened and the spirit of the lord rested upon me”
I was browsing the web tonight and came across a post at the blog “Our Thoughts.” It was a wonderful entry that truly shows the test of faith of Kim Siever.
What really strikes me the most are the similar experiences between the writer, Joseph Smith, and Jesus Christ! In his experience, Kim writes:
…I had an unusual and foreign experience. Several years ago, I found myself in a difficult situation. As a result, I was praying frequently and frequently for the Lord’s intervention. I prayed several times every day and was fasting every Sunday. Some weeks I fasted Sunday and Monday…
..After several weeks of not seeing any change in the situation, I began questioning why I was not receiving an answer to my prayer…
…I started to wonder if perhaps the reason I wasn’t receiving an answer from God was because God did not exist…
…My entire life was filled with teachings that told me if I ever needed anything from God, I simply had to ask. Here I was, having asked every day for several weeks, even unusually fasting frequently, and those promised answers had not come…
I find it hard to imagine being brought up in the Church and then to begin questioning the very things that you were taught by your parents and thought you believed in. I often feel like the Converts and Pioneers in the Church have it easier than people who were born or brought up into the Church.
For someone to want to be baptized would mean that they have received a personal testimony about truthfulness of things. For someone to grow up in the Church, you could be baptized, but not really have a testimony or be truly ‘converted.’ I believe that a person born into the Church must have a stronger spirit and drive to be ‘converted’ in the gospel.
Kim, the writer further writes:
At the time, we were attending an Institute class. We had a good instructor, and we were discussing church history. Actually, we were specifically studying Liberty Jail. In the course of the class, we discussed D&C 121:1-2.
O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place? How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries?
My ears perked up. Joseph Smith — the first prophet of the restoration, one who had seen God, one who had been ministered by angels — was asking the same question I had: where was God.
Immediately to my mind came Matt 27:46:
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
And now even Jesus, the savior of the world, was asking the same question that had entered my mind several times. The progenitor of our faith and the source of our faith both put forth the same question to God. Both felt alone. And both came through triumphant.
At that point, the Spirit entered into me with such a force that I knew I had never felt such a thing in my entire life…
Kim Siever, Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ were asking where God was and feeling abandoned. The saying “It is always darkest before dawn” applies here.
What a wonderful story and trail of faith. I have learned a lot from this and now I cannot wait to see what Kim Siever will write next. This has definitely left an impression on me, to where I feel re-energized and gung-ho to learn more about the gospel.
You can view the complete post here: http://www.ourthoughts.ca/2007/10/21/my-faith-crisis-story/