Sunday, January 10, 2010

GC Recap #10 - Ask, Seek, Knock

Elder Russell M. Nelson gave a beautiful talk on prayer and revelation. In this he wrote:

"Even more amazing than modern technology is our opportunity to access information directly from heaven, without hardware, software, or monthly service fees. It is one of the most marvelous gifts the Lord has offered to mortals. It is His generous invitation to “ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

"To access information from heaven, one must first have a firm faith and a deep desire. One needs to “ask with a sincere heart [and] real intent, having faith in [Jesus] Christ.” “Real intent” means that one really intends to follow the divine direction given."

"The next requirement is to study the matter diligently. Part of being prepared is to know and obey the relevant teachings of the Lord."

I love each of these statements, but this last part particularly struck me. "Part of being prepared is to know and obey the relevant teachings of the Lord." So to receive answers, we need to know what the Lord is currently teaching us individually and us as a people. When I thought about this more, this became clearer and clearer. We spoke today in RS about our Heavenly Father and why it was important to know Him. One sister made a comment that as we come to recognize Him, when come to know His spirit more and more. I believe that as we recognize this spirit it becomes clearer when He is speaking to us, and when we are hearing and feeling His council. It becomes easier to heed His council.

Elder Nelson then said, "For each of you to receive revelation unique to your own needs and responsibilities, certain guidelines prevail. The Lord asks you to 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; you may knock, and it will be opened unto you."

And finally I love this: "Revelation need not all come at once. It may be incremental. “Saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and 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 that receiveth I will give more.” Patience and perseverance are part of our eternal progression."

As we all are aware answers come in the Lord's time table. But we can expect those answers to come. Another sister related of an experience that she had this week with her own sister. Her sister had called her and was seeking advice on what to do in a troubling circumstance that she was in. She asked her sister "Have you prayed about it?" And then she added, "Can I just make a suggestion when you do pray? Pray and expect to have a conversation with Heavenly Father. When you called me today, you didn't expect me to listen to you and then hang up. You called expecting me to offer some suggestions. So when you pray tonight, pray and then listen. Have an actual conversation with your Heavenly Father." I love that! So as we have these questions, and we seek to have this conversation with our Father in Heaven, he will speak to us. He might not give us the answers all at once to what we are desiring. It very well may come line upon line.

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