Friday, April 16, 2010

Preparation Precedes POWER!

"The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life." Sister Julie B. Beck, General Conference Apr. 2010

I obviously have General Conference on the brain.   Every lesson I prepare can be supported by a General Conference talk within the last year.   Yesterday it was Elder Christofferson; today it's Sister Beck.  Our lesson today was on how 3 Nephi 17 shows us a pattern on how to receive revelation from God. 

My hope is always that my class will take what they learned in seminary and practice those skills, like in a laboratory, at home or in the real world.  Better yet, hopefully they were taught this stuff at home, it was reinforced in seminary, and THEN they can go out and use it!

In 3 Nephi 17, the resurrected Christ is about to leave the Nephites to show himself to his "other sheep", the lost tribes of Israel.  He has just delivered an information packed, highly spiritual sermon to them.  It was a lot to absorb in one sitting, I'm sure.  He says to them in verse 2, "I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time." (Isn't this exactly like us after listening to 5 sessions of General Conference?)  The Savior gives them a pattern on how to absorb, assimilate, remember, process, and comprehend all that he has said.  They will need the help of the Holy Ghost as they follow these steps...

In verse 3 he says, "Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again." 

It's interesting that he sends them home.  We talked about why he would send them home to start the revelation process.   They were sent back as families to possibly discuss together what they heard.  Family prayer could have been how they chose to exert their faith in receiving revelation.  Maybe that's where the parents were able to further instruct their children within their family stewardship.  We're comforable in our homes.  It was a place of privacy for them. 

In a past post of mine titled, "Keep It Simple", we reviewed the pattern of how one receives his/her own personal revelation and testimony from hearing someone else's.  This pattern that we find in 3 Nephi 17 relates to that.  When truth is being taught, and in this case by the Savior himself, the Holy Ghost is able to teach the recipient through the exertion of their faith.   The pondering, praying, and preparation to receive is one long gesture of faith.  In looking ahead in the Book of Mormon, these Nephites DO REMEMBER all that he teaches.  It stays with them long enough to last through a few generations of a zion people.    This is a pattern for us to receive the "power" through revelation that they received! 

If you've listened to Sister Beck's talk, you'll know that she was addressing the sisters.  But her message is valuable to anyone within the sound of her voice.    Receiving personal revelation from God is a skill that takes practice.   Revelation is personalized, individualized and specific. We're building a closer relationship with God.  He empowers us to "see" spiritually when we can't "see" physically.  I see our youth having to block out annoying, loud distractions in the world and fine tune their ability to hear the voice of God through the Spirit.  It will take practice and much "laboratory experience".  I pray they are doing their "lab homework"..............after all, practice makes perfect (ripe, whole, complete; see yesterday's lesson.)

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