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On October 1, 2022 during the first session of General Conference for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles answered a question that many might not have wanted to hear the answer to.
Elder Renlund opens his talk discussing how pilots operate within a framework, in order to get to their destination, and how it's the same with personal revelation.
"When we're unsure, or uneasy, we can ask God for help. The Savior's promise could not be clearer: 'Ask and it shall be give you; for everyone that asketh receiveth."
Like airplane pilots we need to understand the framework within which the Holy Ghost functions to provide personal revelation.
"When we operate within the framework, the Holy Ghost can unleash astonishing insight, direction, and comfort. Outside of this framework, no matter our brilliance or talent, we can be deceived, and crash and burn."
When seeking personal revelation, Elder Renlund reminds members that we ask from Heavenly Father for what is right and good, and NOT what is contrary to God's will, or with wrong motives. He then spends a portion of talk giving life examples of times when there were those who claimed to have received personal revelation and believed them to be truth, when they were asked outside of God's framework.
For example, Elder Renlund recounting the story of man who was caught trespassing and was in trouble by the law. He told Elder Renlund that he had received revelation about a new book of scripture buried on that land, and was "told" that if he were to obtain it, he would receive the gift of translation to bring forth the new scripture to the world. Elder Renlund stated that this was completely out of the framework that has been given by God, for only Heavenly Father's chosen prophet can receive such gifts and revelations that pertain to all of God's children.
Personal revelation belongs to the individual, and the responsibility of those decisions is on you, regardless of the council of others.
What happens if I want to know something and I am not being given the answer? THIS is the answer to the question many Latter-day Saints may not want to hear. Elder Renlund states:
"When we ask for revelation about something God has already given clear direction, we open ourselves up to the misinterpreting our feelings and hearing what we want to hear.
The Prophet Joseph Smith warned 'Nothing is a greater injury to the children of men, than to be under the influence of a false spirit of God.'
There are so many discussions currently within Latter-day Saint culture on the nature of Heavenly Mother and why the Church doesn't teach about her more, or the LGBTQ issues, or other societal shifts we are seen constantly. Elder Renlund reminds Latter-day Saints that only the Prophet can receive revelation for the whole Church about such issues, and that if you receive personal revelation that is contrary to the framework of God's teachings, that you may be deceived by your own personal motives.
We should recognize that personal revelation can be received "line upon line, and precept upon precept," as long as it is within the framework Heavenly Father has taught.
What are your thoughts on General Conference so far? What has been your favorite talk? Let us know!