The ability to receive revelation in our own lives depends on our preparation and willingness and also on the Lord’s will. This lesson looks at the experiences of Oliver Cowdery and Hyrum Smith as recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 6, 8, 9, and 11.
“Helping Students Understand the Principles of Personal Revelation,” Ronald E. Bartholomew, Religious Educator, Vol. 5, no. 1 (2004): 71–83
Ask for revelation, according to the Lord’s will. Learn to recognize the voice of the Spirit when it comes: the Spirit speaks with peace and light and will lead us in the right direction.
“Personal Revelation,” L. Lionel Kendrick, speech at BYU, May 20, 1997
Recognizing the voice of the Spirit depends on our preparation and sincerity and especially on the Lord’s will. The Spirit gives a feeling of enlightenment and speaks to our hearts.
“Personal Revelation: The Gift, the Test, and the Promise,” Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, November 1994
Revelation comes as words we feel more than hear. This voice of the Spirit speaks gently, prompting you what to do or what to say, or it may caution or warn you. Ignore or disobey these promptings, and the Spirit will leave you. It is your choice—your agency.
“‘That They Might Come to Understanding’: Revelation as Process,” Steven C. Harper, You Shall Have My Word: Exploring the Text of the Doctrine and Covenants
How Joseph Smith received revelation: Revelation is communication in which God is a flawless, divine encoder, but mortals are the decoders. Various kinds of “noise” prevent perfect understanding. There is no evidence that Joseph Smith thought in technical terms of communication theory, but he understood these ideas well. He did not assume as we might that his revelation texts were faxed from heaven. He understood that the Lord could certainly send signals seamlessly, but he knew better than anyone else that he lacked the power to receive the messages immaculately or to recommunicate them perfectly.
“How to Ask Questions That Invite Revelation,” Alan R. Maynes, Religious Educator, Vol. 5, no. 2 (2004): 85-94
When gospel teachers create a desire to learn in the minds and hearts of their students, revelation can come more readily. This is especially true when the inquiring students are led to discover principles of the gospel that have power to change their lives.