We shall soon again sit at the feet of the prophets, seers, and revelators to receive inspiration. According to Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, the word inspiring means “having an animating or exalting effect.” I take this to mean we should feel good as we listen to the conference talks. We talk of being uplifted by the messages and stories. I have to say that in most cases, this is true. We are uplifted by the words of inspiration. The talks are well prepared and delivered with the seasoned experience of a master elocutionist.

The question lingers in my mind. Is this what we are supposed to gain from conference weekend? Are we simply spending the time to be elevated in our minds and commit to being a better person?

I want to draw a distinction between ‘inspiration’ and “prophecy and revelation.” When King Limhi sought Ammon’s advice on how to translate the record that his people found, Ammon expounded on this topic. We read in Mosiah, chapter 8:

16  And Ammon said that a seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a gift which is greater can no man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man can; yet a man may have great power given him from God.

17  But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known.

18  Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings.

I would suggest that a seer should be able to tell us what happened in the past, reveal hidden secrets in the present, and speak of the things in the future. Ammon concludes by telling us that it is through revelation that man can benefit others.

Have we, as a church, traded revelation for inspiration? Do we choose to hear things that make us feel good as opposed to the things that are true yesterday, today, and tomorrow?

Regarding the children of Israel, Isaiah has weighed in on the matter in chapter 30:

9  That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:

10  Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

Are we in danger of having the same pronouncement placed upon us? Do we, as a people, choose to avoid the mysteries in favor of hearing what wonderful condition the church is in? Do our leaders fill the lack of revelation with smooth things that are simply inspiring?

Next week, keep a tally of these things:

  • What was delivered that can be defined as prophecy?

  • What was delivered that can be defined as a vision?

  • What did we hear that can be defined as revelation?

  • What words did we receive that can be considered inspiring or uplifting?

  • How many times are we called to repentance and for what reason?

As I see it, we are either moving in the right direction or not. Are we closer to having the sealed portion (for real) delivered for translation? Are we closer to living the law of consecration? Are we moving toward a Zion community?

Are we choosing inspiration or revelation?

What think ye?

10 Responses to “Inspiration or Revelation – You Choose”

  • The idea set forth in this post speaks to the difficulty in getting people to think about the situation we’re in as a people. Those smooth, inspiring words don’t challenge them, really. They know everything that will come up, it will just be put into different words with clever rhetoric and interesting metaphors. It’s not like what will be said will be bad. It just won’t be God’s voice speaking and that’s what makes it so hard. We, as a people, have yet to trust God and depend fully on Him. In doing so, we could easily cast satan out of our midst and establish Zion. Thanks for this post.

  • Chris,
    Thanks for stopping by. I recall a comment made about correlation in that we dumb members have to be taught something 9 times before it will sink in. The repetition of the various programs has resulted in the pat answer to the standard question. Our children are taught in seminary these rote answers rather than how to seek God. I see the church crumbling because of this illusory learning process.

    I do believe that if we truly come unto Christ, we can be made ready for Zion. The corporate church has determined that the works of man is sufficient. I seek a community that thrives on the works of God.

  • Unless the people obey the prophecies already given, they will be given no more. In fact as they reject them, that light will be taken from them. The most blatant covenant not being entered into by any members of the church is consecration.

    “But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin.” (D&C 49:20)

    “If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments. And behold, thou wilt remember the poor, and consecrate of thy properties for their support that which thou hast to impart unto them, with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken. … That my covenant people may be gathered in one in that day when I shall come to my temple. And this I do for the salvation of my people.”
    (D&C 42:29-30,36)

    We know from the temple ordinances that all contracts (covenants) made on earth are made in heaven and if they are not written on earth then they aren’t written in heaven. How are the Saints to show via “deed” that they have entered into this covenant? Why are the people not asking their bishops to enter into this covenant? Are there no bishops trustworthy to meet all the duties of their calling? How can tithing and welfare ever substitute for the divine law of consecration? Unless the people are moving towards this law, they are in a state of apostasy. Where are those desiring to enter into this covenant to go? From D&C 42 we can see that the “covenant people” must be living this law before the New Jerusalem is formed. How will this people ever be ready to form Zion if they don’t start learning what it takes to live this law soon? Few of the Church members in Joseph Smith’s generation fully lived this law. How long will it take our fallen generation to learn what needs to be known to form this modern day City of Enoch?

  • John,
    I made a bookmark that I use in my triple with the following quote from the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 18:

    “…for if Zion will not purify herself, so as to be approved in all things, in His sight, He will seek another people, for His work will go on until Israel is gathered, and they who will not hear His voice, must expect to feel His wrath.”

    The message I take from this is that God will accomplish his purposes with or without the ‘church.’ I know many who feel that the Lord will be patient with those who call themselves saints; that He will, in the future, call upon them to fulfill their covenants. They promote the idea that we are not required to live according to our covenants until that time. What if that time has passed and ‘another people’ is being selected to carry out the mission?

  • It seems Brigham or Heber C Kimball once mentioned something about God gathering a people from the heart of the LDS people to finish his work. I don’t doubt there are still diamonds in the rough yet to be gathered out, who are willing to sanctify themselves for the last gathering to Jackson County for the building of the temple there.

  • I found this speech very uplifting and instructive:

  • Yes, John, I would consider Elder Uchtdorf’s words as inspiring and uplifting. I do not consider what he said to be prophetic, visionary or revelatory. I have no problem in raising my hand to sustain these men as inspiring and instructive, but that is not what we are asked to do.

  • Uchtdorf words were well founded in scripture and if people do indeed take them to heart, they will see the necessity for establishing the Law of Consecration for the feeding and the clothing of the increasing number of poor among them. Yes, you are right, there was nothing prophetic in Uchtdorf’s words. I’d be interested if someone could show me any prophetic words from any President of the Church after Joseph F. Smith (the last prophet to have met Joseph Smith).

  • I see it as no irony that prophecy stopped in the Church when the Church as a whole decided tithing was a sufficient substitute for consecration. If I’m not mistaken, this happened during Heber J. Grant’s administration.

  • What’s even more ironic is that the church has decided that 10% of any income is a more suitable thank the Law of Tithing as given in Section 119. So not only has the church substituted one of God’s laws with another. Now they have substituted one of man’s laws for the substitution of one of God’s Laws.

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