Following the completion of this year’s programme, the seminary students in our ward were asked to speak in sacrament meeting. My daughter just turned 15, and this was her first year of seminary. I was so impressed by her talk that I asked her permission to post it here.
I have been asked to give a talk on one or two scripture mastery verses that I learned while completing this year’s seminary course, on the Doctrine and Covenants.
One of these scriptures is D&C 1:37-38:
Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.
What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.
The principle we get from this is that the prophecies and promises spoken by the voice of Jesus Christ or His servants will all be fulfilled, so long, of course, that His servants are representing Him at the time of speech.
It is not too different, I suppose, from the job of an ambassador. The dictionary definition of an ambassador is: “an accredited diplomat sent by a state as its permanent representative in a foreign country.” Now not all of the Lord’s servants are accredited diplomats – some may not be very diplomatic at all – but they are the Lord’s representatives in this world.
No-one is perfect, and we all make mistakes, and not everything an ambassador says is going to be what their home-country wanted them to say, but that does not mean that they are not ambassadors. Clearly, the more talented and skilled ambassadors are going to slip up less, but God does not always choose obviously skilled men to represent Him, and everything is a learning process.
The message, however, remains the same: the Lord cannot break His word, whether it was said directly to us, or given to us through an ambassador.
Another scripture is D&C 8:2-3:
Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.
Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.
The short of this is that through the Holy Ghost, you can receive personal revelation from the Lord. Boyd K Packer quoted the scripture in his October 2011 conference talk, ‘Counsel to Youth’, and also said:
“The gift of the Holy Ghost, if you consent, will guide and protect you and even correct your actions. It is a spiritual voice that comes into the mind as a thought or a feeling put into your heart. The prophet Enos said, ‘The voice of the Lord came into my mind.’
It is not expected that you go through life without making mistakes, but you will not make a major mistake without first being warned by the promptings of the Spirit. This promise applies to all members of the Church.”
This is not the only time that Boyd K Packer spoke about personal revelation; in his October 1994 conference talk, ‘Personal Revelation: The Gift, the Test, and the Promise’, he said:
“while we speak of ‘listening’ to the whisperings of the Spirit, most often one describes a spiritual prompting by saying, ‘I had a feeling …’
The Prophet Joseph Smith explained: ‘A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon; … 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.’
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.’”
I would like to finish by quoting Barbara Thompson from her October 2011 conference talk, ‘Personal Revelation and Testimony’:
“The Lord desires to bless us with guidance, wisdom, and direction in our lives. He desires to pour down His Spirit upon us. Again, for personal revelation we need to desire to receive it, we must not harden our hearts, and then we need to ask in faith, truly believe that we will receive an answer, and then diligently keep the commandments of God. Then as we seek answers to our questions, He will bless us with His Spirit. Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”