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Dear Gramps,

I know how to tell if revelation is from Heavenly Father (it will be in line with the teachings of the prophets and the resulting “fruit” will be uplifting, peaceful, faith-promoting, etc.), but are there any resources that explain more about personal revelation?





Dear Stephanie,

Several manners in which revelation is received are recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants. Perhaps the most cited of these is found in D&C 9:8:

But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.

It is my feeling that this burning of the bosom is reserved for such circumstances as translating the Book of Mormon and other events or circumstances where a palpable impact must be made in order to convey the message. Although it is very real and very palpable, it seems not to be experienced with great frequency.

Perhaps the most common way in which revelations are given to those who ask of the Lord is through what is known as the “still, small voice,” which may also be described as an impression in the mind and on the heart. 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.

Remember, revelation comes in answer to sincere, earnest prayer. The phrase “in your mind” means that a thought will come into your mind–you will get an idea. The phrase “in your heart” means that you will feel good about it. The Lord explained this to Oliver Cowdery in these words, D&C 6:14-16:

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, blessed art thou for what thou hast done; for thou hast inquired of me, and behold, as often as thou hast inquired thou hast received instruction of my Spirit. If it had not been so, thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time.

Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth;

Yea, I tell thee, that thou mayest know that there is none else save God that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart.

The Lord is explaining to Oliver that he had received a revelation but was not aware that his enlightenment was the result of a revelation. As it was with Oliver, so it is with us; we need to learn to recognize “the voice of the Spirit.” D&C 88:66:

Behold, that which you hear is as the voice of one crying in the wilderness–in the wilderness, because you cannot see him–my voice, because my voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth; truth abideth and hath no end; and if it be in you it shall abound.

When the Savior speaks to us, his Spirit speaks to our spirit. These are not words that are heard by the natural ear, but words that enter our consciousness as a thought or an idea and a feeling.

D&C 18:34-36:

These words are not of men nor of man, but of me; wherefore, you shall testify they are of me and not of man;

For it is my voice which speaketh them unto you; for they are given by my Spirit unto you, and by my power you can read them one to another; and save it were by my power you could not have them;

Wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words.

There is no doubt that the communication is subtle and requires both attention and faith in order to be heard. How attentively must you listen to hear a whisper? Helaman 5:30, 46-47:

And it came to pass when they heard this voice, and beheld that it was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul–

And it came to pass that there came a voice unto them, yea, a pleasant voice, as if it were a whisper, saying:

Peace, peace be unto you, because of your faith in my Well Beloved, who was from the foundation of the world.

If we live righteously and ask in faith, the Lord will answer our prayers. Often, as indicated above, the answer is as if it had been a whisper. To act on those subtle impressions requires faith. Thus, since you have already indicated that you know when a revelation is from Heavenly Father, it only remains to recognize the voice and to act on the thoughts that come into your mind in answer to prayer with full confidence, as Moses did in leading the children of Israel into the Red Sea.





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