Quotes on Revelation

See also: D&C 28:2; 46:7; 110:1; Moses 1; Deut. 4:2

Would you like a formula to tell how to get personal revelation?  It might be written in many ways.  My formula is simply this:

            1.  Search the scriptures.

            2.  Keep the commandments.

            3.  Ask in faith.

Any person who will do this will get his heart so in tune with the infinite that there will come into his being, from the “still small voice,” the eternal realities of religion.  And as he progresses and advances and comes nearer to God, there will be a day when he will entertain angels, when he will see visions, and the final end is to view the face of God. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, The New Era, June 1980, p. 50

Without revelation and its absolute anchors, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would also follow the fads of the day, as some churches have done; but as Samuel Callan warned, the church that weds itself to the culture of the day will “be a widow within each succeeding age.”  This is but one of the marks of the “true and living” Church:  it is spared the fruits of fadism.”  (Neal A. Maxwell, “On Being a Light,” address at Salt Lake Institute, January 2, 1974.) Book of Mormon Student Manual, p. 46

Joseph Smith said that a man could learn more about the things of God by looking into heaven for five minutes than by reading all the books ever written upon the subject of religion.  Religion is something which must be experienced. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “The Lord’s People Receive Revelation,” Ensign, June 1971, p. 78

“Gospel truths appeal more to the spirit, that is, they are spiritually discerned.  A man may know a thing to be true by the teaching of the Spirit, but he may not be able to explain it to others.  This may not be in keeping with modern worldly teaching, but it is true nevertheless.  Revelations through the Spirit of the Lord, many times, cannot be explained….

“The best education man in the world may not be able to comprehend the simple truths of the gospel because his soul is not in tune; he has not been enlightened by the Spirit of the Lord.  He, therefore, fails to see and feel the significance of these principles. . . .

“To understand spiritual things, a man must have spiritual discernment, that is, guidance by the Holy Ghost.  For this reason we are confirmed and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Joseph Field Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:296-97). Book of Mormon Student Manual, p. 85

The laws governing radio and television have existed from the time of Adam to the present moment, but only in modern times have men heard and seen and experienced these miraculous things.  And the laws have always existed whereby men can see visions, hear the voice of God, and partake of the things of the Spirit.  But millions of people everywhere live and die without tasting the good word of God, because they do not obey the laws which implant the revelations of the Lord in their souls. . . .

God stands revealed or he remains forever unknown, and the things of God are and can be known only by and through the Spirit of God.

True religion deals with spiritual things.  We do not come to a knowledge of God and his laws through intellectuality, or by research, or by reason.  I have an average mind–one that is neither better nor worse than the general run of mankind.  In the realm of intellectual attainment I have a doctor’s degree, and I hope by sons after me will reach a similar goal. . . .

But when contrasted with spiritual endowments, they are of but slight and passing worth.  From an eternal perspective what each of us needs is a Ph.D. in faith and righteousness.  The things that will profit us everlastingly are not the power to reason, but the ability to receive revelation; not the truths learned by study, but the knowledge gained by faith; not what we know about the things of the world, but our knowledge of God and his laws. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “The Lord’s People Receive Revelation,” Ensign, June 1971, p. 77-78

President Spencer W. Kimball said:  “The burning bushes, the smoking mountains, . .  the Cumorahs, and the Kirtlands were realities; but they were the exceptions.  The great volume of revelation came to Moses and to Joseph and comes to today’s prophet in the less spectacular way – that of deep impressions, without spectacle or glamour or dramatic events.

“Always expecting the spectacular, many will miss entirely the constant flow of revealed communication.”  (In Conference Report, Munich Germany Area Conference, 1973, p. 77.)

Dramatic and miraculous answers to prayer may come, but they are the exceptions.  Even at the highest levels of responsibility in this kingdom of God, which is being built up upon the earth, the voice is still small. — Elder Graham W. Doxey, Ensign, November 1991, p. 25

My testimony is that the Lord is speaking to you!  But with the deafening decibels of today’s environment, all too often we fail to hear him. — Elder Graham W. Doxey, Ensign, November 1991, p. 25

Enos, who was “struggling in the spirit,” said, “Behold, the voice of the Lord came into my mind.”  (Enos 1:10)  While this spiritual communication comes into the mind, it comes more as a feeling, an impression, than simply as a thought.  Unless you have experienced it, it is very difficult to describe that delicate process.

It was Nephi who reminded his brothers that an angel “hath spoken unto you in a still small voice, but ye were past feeling, that ye could not feel his words.”  (1 Nephi 17:45) — Elder Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, November 1991, p. 21

The world grows increasingly noisy.  Clothing and grooming and conduct are looser and sloppier and more disheveled.  Raucous music with obscene lyrics blasted through amplifiers while lights flash psychedelic colors, characterizes the drug culture.  Variations of these things are gaining wide acceptance and influence over our youth.

Doctors even say that our physical sense of hearing can be permanently damaged by all of this noise.

This trend to more noise, more excitement, more contention, less restraint, less dignity, less formality is not coincidental nor innocent nor harmless.

The first order issued by a commander mounting a military invasion is the jamming of the channels of communication of those he intends to conquer.

Irreverence suits the purposes of the adversary by obstructing the delicate channels of revelation in both mind and spirit. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, November 1991, p. 22

When we receive an impression in our heart, we can use our mind either to rationalize it away or to accomplish it.  Be careful what you do with an impression from the Lord. — Elder Richard G. Scott, General Conference, October 1989

Today the Lord is revealing his will to all the inhabitants of the earth, and to members of the Church in particular, on the issues of this our day through the living prophets, with the First Presidency at the head.  What they say as a presidency is what the Lord would say if he were here in person.  This is the rock foundation of Mormonism….So I repeat again, what the presidency say as a presidency is what the Lord would say if he were here, and it is scripture.  It should be studied, understood, and followed, even as the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants and other scriptures.  Those who follow this course will not interpret what they say as being inspired by political bias or selfishness; neither will they say that the brethren are uninformed as to the circumstances of those affected by their counsel; or that their counsels cannot be accepted because they are not prefaced by the quotation, “Thus saith the Lord.”

Those . . . who will through mighty prayer and earnest study inform themselves as to what these living prophets say, and act upon it, will be visited by the spirit of the Lord and know by the spirit of revelation that they speak the mind and will of the Father.  (President Marion G. Romney, Conference Report, April 1945, p. 90) — Elder John E. Fowler, Ensign, November 1992, p. 79

The spirit whispers.  It caresses so gently that if we are preoccupied, we may not feel it at all. — Elder Boyd K. Packer

How are we to know the voice of the Good Shepherd from the voice of a stranger?  Can any person answer this question?  I can.  It is very easy.  To every philosopher upon the earth, I say, your eye can be deceived, so can mine; your ear can be deceived, so can mine; the touch of your hand can be deceived, so can mine; but the Spirit of God filling the creature with revelation and the light of eternity, cannot be mistaken – the revelation which comes from God is never mistaken.  When an individual, filled with the Spirit of God, declares the truth of heaven, the sheep hear that, the Spirit of the Lord pierces their inmost souls and sinks deep into their hearts; by the testimony of the Holy Ghost light springs up within them, and they see and understand for themselves.  This is the way the Gospel should be preached by every Elder in Israel, and by this power every hearer should hear; and if we would know the voice of the Good Shepherd, we must live so that the Spirit of the Lord can find its way to our hearts. Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 431

Even in decisions we think very important, we sometimes receive no answer to our prayers.  This does not mean that our prayers have not been heard. It only means that we have prayed about a decision which, for one reason or another, we should make without guidance by revelation.  Perhaps we have asked for guidance in choosing between alternatives that are equally acceptable or equally unacceptable.  I suggest that there is not a right and wrong to every question.  To many questions, there are only two wrong answers or two right answers. . . .

Similarly, the Spirit of the Lord is not likely to give us revelations on matters that are trivial. . . . I believe the Lord expects us to use the intelligence and experience He has given us to make these kinds of choices.  When a member asked the Prophet Joseph Smith for advice on a particular matter, the Prophet stated: “It is a great thing to inquire at the hands of God, or to come into His presence: and we feel fearful to approach Him on subjects that are of little or no consequence” (History of the Church, 1:339). — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Revelation,” BYU Devotional September 29, 1981; see New Era, September 1982, p. 46

When we meet to learn the doctrines of the gospel, it should be in a spirit of reverence.  It is about reverence and how it relates to revelation that I wish to speak.

Inspiration comes more easily in peaceful settings.  Such words as quiet, still, peaceable, Comforter abound in the scriptures. . . .

The world grows increasingly noisy.  Clothing and grooming and conduct are looser and sloppier and more disheveled.  Raucous music, with obscene lyrics blasted through amplifiers while lights flash psychedelic colors, characterizes the drug culture.  Variations of these things are gaining wide acceptance and influence over our youth. . . .

            This trend to more noise, more excitement, more contention, less restraint, less dignity, less formality is not coincidental nor innocent nor harmless.

            The first order issued by a commander mounting a military invasion is the jamming of the channels of communication of those he intends to conquer.

            Irreverence suits the purposes of the adversary by obstructing the delicate channels of revelation in both mind and spirit. . . .

No one of us can survive in the world of today, much less in what it soon will become, without personal inspiration.  The spirit of reverence can and should be evident in every organization in the Church and in the lives of every member. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, “Reverence Invites Revelation,” Ensign, November 1991, p. 22

That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another.  God said, “Thou shalt not kill;” at another time He said, “Thou shalt utterly destroy.”  This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted – by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed.  Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 256

“That Assuredly as the Lord liveth . . . even so surely shall you receive a knowledge of whatsoever things you shall ask in faith, with an honest heart, believing that you shall receive. . . . I will tell you in your ,mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost.”  (D&C 8:1-2; italics added.)

“When we receive an impression in our heart, we can use our mind either to rationalize it away or to accomplish it.  Be careful what you do with an impression from the Lord,” Elder Scott counseled. — Elder Richard G. Scott, General Conference, October 1989

In the economy of heaven, God does not send thunder if the still, small voice is enough, or a prophet if a priest can do the job. — Elder Neal Maxwell, Ensign, October 1976, p. 14

We should understand what can be called the principle of “stewardship in revelation.”  Our Heavenly Father’s house is a house of order, where his servants are commanded to “act in the office in which [they are] appointed” (D&C 107:99).  This principle applies to revelation. . . . When one person purports to receive revelation for another person outside his or her own stewardship – such as a Church member who claims to have revelation to guide the entire Church or a person who claims to have a revelation to guide another person over whom he or she has no presiding authority according to the order of the Church – you can be sure that such revelations are not from the Lord.  “There are counterfeit signals” (Boyd K. Packer, “Prayers and Answers,” Ensign, November 1979, p. 20).  Satan is a great deceiver, and he is the source of some of these spurious revelations.  Others are simply imagined.

If a revelation is outside the limits of stewardship, you know it is not from the Lord, and you are not bound by it. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Revelation,” BYU Speeches, September 29, 1981

As evil increases in the world, there is a compensating power of revelation for the righteous. — Elder Neil L. Andersen, Church News, January 6, 2001, p. 3

Reading the experience of others, or the revelation given to them, can never give us a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God.  Knowledge of these things can only be obtained by experience through the ordinances of God set forth for that purpose.  Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that ever was written on the subject. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 324

Now I say that we are entitled to revelation.  I say that every member of the Church, independent and irrespective of any position that he may hold, is entitled to get revelation from the Holy Ghost; he is entitled to entertain angels; he is entitled to view the visions of eternity; and if we would like to go the full measure, he is entitled to see God the same way that any prophet in literal and actual reality has seen the face of Deity. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, The New Era, June 1980, p. 48

“A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas.  So that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon; (i.e.) those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God, will come to pass; and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 151). — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, The New Era, June 1980, p. 50

You should know also that, in addition to static and interference which jam the circuits, there are counterfeit signals.

Some have received revelations and heard voices that are put there deliberately by wicked sources to lead astray.  You can learn to recognize those and tune them out, if you will. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, November 1979, pp. 20-21

In August 1913, President Joseph F. Smith and his counselors in the First Presidency, Anthon H. Lund and Charles W. Penrose, sent out a letter titled “A warning Voice,” which began:

“From the days of Hiram Page [who professed to be receiving revelations concerning the upbuilding of Zion and the order of the Church from a certain stone; see D&C 28], at different periods there have been manifestations from delusive spirits to members of the Church.  Sometimes these have come to men and women who because of transgression become easy prey to the Arch-Deceiver.  At other times people who pride themselves on their strict observance of the rules and ordinances and ceremonies of the Church are led astray by false spirits, who exercise an influence so imitative of that which proceeds from a Divine source that even these persons, who think they are ‘the very elect,’ find it difficult to discern the essential difference.  Satan himself has transformed himself to be apparently ‘an angel of light.’” — Church News, February 15, 1997, p. 14

. . . the principle of revelation through proper channels has been at issue in every persecution of the Latter-day Saints in this dispensation, whether it be on the subject of priesthood, marriage, the gathering of Zion, or succession of the priesthood.  Maybe this persecution, too, is as a thorn in our flesh, as was said by the apostle Paul, to be as the messenger of Satan, lest we be exalted above measure, because of the revelations the Lord has given through His prophets to this people.

. . . whenever we come to a time where we begin to deny that there is revelation to this church, it is tantamount to saying that we believe that the power of God does not exist in our midst today.  We must believe and know for a certainty and have a sure testimony that God does reveal, and is now revealing, all things pertaining to His kingdom today, as in every other dispensation of the Church.  (Harold B. Lee, April 1970 General Conference) — Church News, February 15, 1997, p. 14

It is the privilege and the right of every member of the Church to receive revelation and to enjoy the gifts of the Spirit.  When we are confirmed members of the Church, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the right to the constant companionship of that member of the Godhead, based on faithfulness.  The actual enjoyment of this gift depends upon personal worthiness. . . . Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 16

Revelation can come in many ways and in various degrees of directness.  In some cases God himself may appear to a person; in other cases he may send an angel, show a vision, or speak through the whisperings of the still, small voice.  Here [D&C 6:23] the Lord bore witness to Oliver Cowdery of one way of giving revelation – a feeling of peace.  When one is torn with despair or confusion, the sweet feeling of peace conveyed by the Comforter can instantly dispel the turmoil that reigned in the soul previously.  Such a feeling is a real, definable experience, and as much a revelation as a vision, though more subtle and less direct in the way it is given. Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 16

There is a way by which persons can keep their consciences clear before God and man, and that is to preserve within them the spirit of God, which is the spirit of revelation to every man and woman.  It will reveal to them, even in the simplest of matters, what they shall do, by making suggestions to them.  We should try to learn the nature of this spirit, that we may understand its suggestions, and then we will always be able to do right. Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 25

“When visions, dreams, tongues, prophecy, impressions or any extraordinary gift or inspiration, convey something out of harmony with the accepted revelations of the Church or contrary to the decisions of its constituted authorities, Latter-day Saints may know that it is not of God, no matter how plausible it may appear.  Also they should understand that directions for the guidance of the Church will come, by revelation, through the head.  All faithful members are entitled to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for themselves, their families, and for those over whom they are appointed and ordained to preside.  But anything at discord with that which comes from God through the head of the Church is not to be received as authoritative or reliable.  In secular as well as spiritual affairs, Saints may receive Divine guidance and revelation affecting themselves, but this does not convey authority to direct others, and is not to be accepted when contrary to church covenants, doctrine or discipline, or to known facts, demonstrated truths, or good common sense. . . . Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, pp. 58-59

[We] may have the Spirit of the Lord to . . . direct [us]. . . . I am satisfied, however, that, in this respect, we live far beneath our privileges. — Brigham Young, Deseret News Semi-Weekly, 3 December 1867, 2

Any revelation that anybody ever gets is revealed by God directly to the spirit as though we didn’t even have a body.  — Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 355

I will inform you that it is contrary to the economy of God for any member of the Church, or any one, to receive instructions for those in authority, higher than themselves; therefore you will see the impropriety of giving heed to them; but if any person have a vision or a visitation from a heavenly messenger, it must be for his own benefit and instruction, for the fundamental principles, government, and doctrine of the Church are vested in the keys of the kingdom. — Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 1:338

The Lord would not permit me to occupy this position one day of my life, unless I was susceptible to the Holy Spirit and to the revelations of God.  It is too late in the day for this church to stand without revelation.  Not only the President of the Church should possess this gift and give it unto the people, but his counselors and the Apostles and all men that bear the Holy Priesthood, if they magnify their calling, should possess that gift for themselves and to assist them in their duties, although they may not be called to give revelations to lead and direct the Church.  The spirit of revelation belongs to the Priesthood. — President Wilford Woodruff, MS 56:324, May 21, 1894

Not all inspiration comes from God (see D&C 46:7).  The evil one has the power to tap into those channels of revelation and send conflicting signals which can mislead and confuse us.  There are promptings from evil sources which are so carefully counterfeited as to deceive even the very elect (see Matthew 24:24).

Nevertheless, we can learn to discern these spirits.  Even with every member having the right to revelation, the Church can be maintained as a house of order.

Revelation comes in an orderly way in the Church.  We are entitled to personal revelation.  However, unless we are set apart to some presiding office, we will not receive revelations concerning what others should do.

Revelation in the Church comes to those who have been properly called, sustained, ordained, or set apart.  A bishop, for instance, will not receive any revelation concerning a neighboring ward, because that is out of his jurisdiction. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, November 1989, pp. 14-15

Divine revelation is one of the grandest concepts and principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for without it, man could not know the things of God. . . . Without revelation, all would be guesswork, darkness and confusion. — Bible Dictionary, “Revelation,” p. 762

We cannot have the companionship of the Holy Ghost – the medium of individual revelation – if we are in transgression or if we are angry or if we are in rebellion against God’s chosen authorities. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Teaching and Learning by the Spirit,” Ensign, May 1997, p. 9

Inspiration comes more easily in peaceful settings.  Such words as quiet, still, peaceable and Comforter abound in the scriptures. . . . The world grows increasingly noisy.  Clothing and grooming and conduct are looser and sloppier and more disheveled.  Raucous music with obscene lyrics blasted through amplifiers while lights flash psychedelic colors characterizes the drug culture.  Variations of these things are gaining wide acceptance and influence over our youth. . . . This trend to more noise, more excitement, more contention, less restraint, less dignity, less formality is not coincidental nor harmless.  The first order issued by a commander mounting a military invasion is the jamming of the channels of communication of those he intends to conquer.  Irreverence suits the purposes of the adversary by obstructing the delicate channels of revelation in both mind and spirit. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, November 1991, pp. 21-22

A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon; . . . those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God, will come to pass; and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ. — Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 151

Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that ever was written on the subject. — Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 324

On what matters may you receive a revelation?  Is it startling to you to hear that you  – all members of the Church who have received the Holy Ghost  – may receive revelation?  Not for the president of the Church, not on how to look after the affairs pertaining to the ward, the stake, or the mission in which you live; but every individual within his own station has the right to receive revelation by the Holy Ghost.

Listen to what President Joseph F. Smith said about that:  “I believe that every individual in the Church has just as much right to enjoy the spirit of revelation and the understanding from God which that spirit of revelation gives him, for his own good, as the bishop has to enable him to preside over his ward.”  (Conference Report, April 1912, pp. 9-10)

Every man has the privilege to exercise these gifts and these privileges in the conduct of his own affairs; in bringing up his children in the way they should go; in the management of his business, or whatever he does. It is his right to enjoy the spirit of revelation and of inspiration to do the right thing, to be wise and prudent, just and good, in everything that he does.  I know that is a true principle, and that is the thing that I would like the Latter-day Saints to know.  Now then, all of us should try to strive and give heed to the sudden ideas that come to us, and if we’ll give heed to them and cultivate an ear to hear these promptings we too – each of us – can grow in the spirit of revelation. — President Harold B. Lee, “Divine Revelation,” BYU Devotional, October 15, 1952; see Stand Ye In Holy Places, pp. 141-142

Without revelation and its absolute anchors, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would also follow the fads of the day, as some churches have done; but as Samuel Callan warned, the church that weds itself to the culture of the day will “be a widow within each succeeding age.”  This is but one of the marks of the “true and living” Church:  it is spared the fruits of fadism” (Neal A. Maxwell, On Being a Light [address delivered at the Salt Lake Institute of Religion, 2 Jan. 1974], p. 1). Book of Mormon Student Manual, Religion 121 and 122, p. 46

In the acquisition of sacred knowledge, scholarship and reason are not alternatives to revelation.  They are a means to an end, and the end is revelation from God.

God has promised that if we ask him, we will “receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that [we may] know the mysteries and peaceable things –  that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal” (D&C 42:61).

In our day we are experiencing an explosion of knowledge about the world and its people.  But the people of the world are not experiencing a comparable expansion of knowledge about God and his plan for his children.  On that subject, what the world needs is not more scholarship and technology but more righteousness and revelation.

I long for the day prophesied by Isaiah when “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord” (Isa. 11:9; 2 Ne. 21:9).  In an inspired utterance, the Prophet Joseph Smith described the Lord’s ‘pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints’ (D&C 121:33).  This will not happen for those whose “hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men” (D&C 121:35). — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Alternate Voices,” Ensign, May 1989, p. 30

Revelations from God – the teachings and directions of the Spirit – are not constant.  We believe in continuing revelation, not continuous revelation.  We are often left to work out problems without the dictation or specific direction of the Spirit.  That is part of the experience we must have in mortality.  Fortunately, we are never out of our Savior’s sight, and if our judgment leads us to actions beyond the limits of what is permissible and if we are listening to the still, small voice, the Lord will restrain us by the promptings of his Spirit. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Teaching and Learning by the Spirit,” Ensign, March 1997, p. 14

After you have received the revelation, after you have paid the price to feel his love and hear the word of the Lord, “go forward.”  Don’t fear, don’t vacillate, don’t quibble, don’t whine.  You may, like Alma going to Ammonihah, have to find a route that leads an unusual way, but that is exactly what the Lord was doing here for the children of Israel.  Nobody had ever crossed the Red Sea this way, but so what?  There’s always a first time.  With the spirit of revelation, dismiss your fears and wade in with both feet. . . . Go forward and not backward . . . on, on to the victory!  (See D&C 128:22.)

Go on to your goodly land.  Your promised land.  Your new Jerusalem.  Your own little acre flowing with milk and honey.  Your future.  Your dreams.  Your destiny.  I believe that in our own individual ways, God takes us to the grove or the mountain or the temple and there shows us the wonder of what his plan is for us. . . . I also believe that the adversary and his pinched, calculating little minions try to oppose such experiences and then try to darken them after the fact.  But that is not the way of the gospel. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence,” BYU Devotional Address, March 2, 1999

I maintain that had there been no restoration of the gospel, and no organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there would have been no radio; there would have been no airplane, and there would not have been the wonderful discoveries in medicine, chemistry, electricity, and the many other things wherein the world has been benefitted by such discoveries.  Under such conditions these blessings would have been withheld, for they belong to the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times of which the restoration of the gospel and the organization of the Church constitute the central point, from which radiates the Spirit of the Lord throughout the world.  The inspiration of the Lord has gone out and takes hold of the minds of men, though they know it not, and they are directed by the Lord.  In this manner he brings them into his service that his purposes and his righteousness, in due time, may be supreme on the earth.

Now let me say briefly that I do not believe for one moment that these discoveries have come by chance, or that they have come because of superior intelligence possessed by men today over those who lived in ages that are past.  They have come and are coming because the time is ripe, because the Lord has willed it, and because he has poured out his Spirit on all flesh. — President Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference Report, October 1926, pp. 116-17

What about those times when we seek revelation and do not receive it?  We do not always receive inspiration or revelation when we request it.  Sometimes we are delayed in the receipt of revelation, and sometimes we are left to our own judgment.  We cannot force spiritual things.  It must be so.  Our life’s purpose to obtain experience and to develop faith would be frustrated if our Heavenly Father directed us in every act, even in every important act.  We must make decisions and experience the consequences in order to develop self-reliance and faith. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Revelation,” Classic Speeches Volume I, p. 209

Though the principle of studying something out in one’s mind and seeking confirmation through the burning of the bosom or a stupor of thought was given to Oliver Cowdery to use in translating the Book of Mormon, this process of receiving revelation can be of value to all Saints.  President Joseph Fielding Smith explained that “a similar privilege is given to any member of the Church who seeks knowledge in the spirit of prayer and faith.  The Lord will cause the feeling of security and truth to take hold of the individual and burn within the bosom, and there will be an overwhelming feeling that the ting is right.  Missionaries have felt the manifestation of this gift while laboring in the field; when searching the scriptures; when speaking before congregations on the streets and in public gatherings.  When you have been listening to some inspired speaker who has presented a new thought to you, have you not felt that burning within and the satisfaction in your heart that this new thought is true?  On the other hand, have you experienced the feeling of stupor, gloom, or uneasiness when some thought has been presented which was in conflict with the revealed word of the Lord, and you have felt by this manifestation of the Spirit that what was said is not true?  It is a great gift, which all may receive, to have this spirit of discernment, or revelation, for it is the spirit of revelation.” — President Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, 1:51; Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 21

When one of the brethren stands before a congregation of the people today, and the inspiration of the Lord is upon him, he speaks that which the Lord would have him speak.  It is just as much scripture as anything you will find written in any of these records, and yet we call these the standard works of the Church.  We depend, of course, upon the guidance of the brethren who are entitled to inspiration.

There is only one man in the Church at a time who has the right to give revelation for the Church, and that is the President of the Church.  But that does not bar any other member in this Church from speaking the word of the Lord, as indicated here in this revelation [D&C 68], but a revelation that is to be given as these revelations are given in this book, to the Church, will come through the presiding officer of the Church; yet, the word of the Lord, as spoken by other servants at the general conferences and stake conferences, or wherever they may be when they speak that which the Lord has put into their mouths, is just as much the word of the Lord as the writings and the words of other prophets in other dispensations. — President Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:186; Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 144

It is not to be thought that every word spoken by the General Authorities is inspired, or that they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost in everything they read and write.  Now you keep that in mind.  I don’t care what his position is, if he writes something or speaks something that goes beyond anything that you can find in the standard church works, unless that one be the prophet, seer, and revelator – please note that one exception – you may immediately say, “Well, that is his own idea.”  And if he says something that contradicts what is found in the standard church works (I think that is why we call them “standard” – it is the standard measure of all that men teach), you may know by that same token that it is false, regardless of the position of the man who says it. — President Harold B. Lee, The Place of the Living Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, [address delivered to seminary and institute of religion faculty, 8 July 1964], p. 14; Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 144

How shall we know when the things they have spoken were said as they were “moved upon by the Holy Ghost?”  I have given some thought to this question, and the answer thereto so far as I can determine, is: We can tell when the speakers are “moved upon by the Holy Ghost” only when we, ourselves, are “moved upon by the Holy Ghost.”  In a way, this completely shifts the responsibility from them to us to determine when they so speak. — President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., “When are the Writings or Sermons of Church Leaders Entitled to the Claim of Scripture?” [address delivered to seminary and institute of religion personnel, 7 July 1954], p. 7; Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 144

When a choice will make a real difference in our lives – obvious or not – and when we are living in tune with the Spirit and seeking his guidance, we can be sure we will receive the guidance we need to attain our goal. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Revelation,” BYU Devotional, September 29, 1981

When will . . . revelation come?  Only God knows when.  It will come as needed.  To whom will it come?  To obtain the answer to this, we must go back to the words of Amos: “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”  (Amos 3:17.)  This continuous revelation will not and cannot be forced by outside pressure from people and events.  It is not the so-called “revelation of social progress.”  It does not originate with the prophets; it comes from God.  The Church is governed by the prophet under the guidance and direction of God. — President James E. Faust, “Continuous Revelation,” Ensign, November 1989, p. 8

God never bestows upon His people, or upon an individual, superior blessings without a severe trial to prove them, to prove that individual, or that people, to see whether they will keep their covenants with Him and keep in remembrance what He has shown them.  Then the greater the vision, the greater the display of the power of the enemy . . .So when individuals are blessed with visions, revelations, and great manifestations, look out, then the devil is nigh you, and you will be tempted in proportion to the vision, revelation, or manifestation you have received. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 3: 205-6

It is not given to every man to look upon the face of God as did Moses [Moses 1:11], as did Joseph Smith.  One must be specially prepared before he can see what Joseph saw. . . .  I do not expect the Lord to manifest Himself to me in the same way that he did to Joseph the Prophet. I expect Him to communicate with me through the gifts He has endowed me with, not through those with which He has endowed my brother or sister, unless they have the right to receive for me a message from Him.  When the Lord speaks to me or to you, it will be in a method or manner justified by our preparation, our gifts, our powers; for we have all been endowed in some degree. — Elder Orson F. Whitney, in Conference Report, April 1910, p. 60

The saying which we have quoted, and which constitutes the sweeping argument of modern Christians against new revelation, only alludes to this particular book [Revelation], which was to be kept sacred, as the word of the Lord to John, and not to the whole Bible; nor does it prohibit the Saints in his day, or the Saints in any future time, from getting new revelation for themselves.  That is not all; if we turn to the writings of Moses, we find the same sentiment, and almost the same language used.  Moses says, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”  So if such quotations are given with the intent to shut the heavens, and put an end to all new revelation, then the revelations given to Prophets who arose after Moses, and the revelations given to Jesus Christ and his Apostles, including John and his revelation on the Isle of Patmos, all amount to nothing, and are not worthy of our notice.  This “sweeping argument,” when it is examined, sweeps away rather too much; besides, John’s Gospel and his epistle to his brethren were written after he wrote his revelation on the Isle of Patmos, consequently he would destroy his own system; but it sets forth the ignorance and short-sightedness of those who have not the testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 1:242–43

There is one principle that I wish the people would understand and lay to heart.  Just as fast as you will prove before your God that you are worthy to receive the mysteries, if you please to call them so, of the Kingdom of heaven – that you are full of confidence in God – that you will never betray a thing that God tells you – that you will never reveal to your neighbor that which ought not to be revealed, as quick as you prepare to be entrusted with the things of God, there is an eternity of them to bestow upon you.  Instead of pleading with the Lord to bestow more upon you, plead with yourselves to have confidence in yourselves, to have integrity in yourselves, and know when to speak and what to speak, what to reveal, and how to carry yourselves and walk before the Lord.  And just as fast as you prove to him that you will preserve everything secret that ought to be – that you will deal out to your neighbors all which you ought, and no more, and learn how to dispense your knowledge to your families, friends, neighbors, and brethren, the Lord will bestow upon you, and give to you, and bestow upon you, until finally he will say to you, “You shall never fall; your salvation is sealed unto you; you are sealed up unto eternal life and salvation, through your integrity. Discourses of Brigham Young, 4:371

There are those who would assume that with the printing and binding of these sacred records, that would be the “end of the prophets.”  But again we testify to the world that revelation continues and that the vaults and files of the Church contain these revelations which come month to month and day to day.  (President Spencer W. Kimball,  Conference Report, Apr. 1977, p. 115; or Ensign, May 1977, p. 78) Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 298

God’s plan, however, is not something to be deduced by logic alone, nor is human experience deep enough or long enough to inform us adequately.  It requires revelation from God. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “God Will Yet Reveal,” Ensign, November 1986, p. 52

Revelation from God is always compatible with His eternal law.  It never contradicts His doctrine. It is facilitated by proper reverence for Deity. The Master gave this instruction:

“I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.

“Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory.

“ . . . To them will I reveal all mysteries [and] my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom.”  (D&C 76:5–7)

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.”  (2 Nephi 28:30)  Patience and perseverance are part of our eternal progression. — Elder Russell M. Nelson, “Ask, Seek, Knock,” General Conference, October 2009

Today’s mortals, born long “after the time of his [first] coming,” surely need to know of the plan, which gives, said the Prophet Joseph Smith, “a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God.”  The Prophet said this subject should be studied “more than any other, . . . day and night” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1938, p. 324). . . .

God’s plan, however, is not something to be deduced by logic alone, nor is human experience deep enough or long enough to inform us adequately.  It requires revelation from God. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “God Will Yet Reveal,” Ensign, November 1986

Revelations are conveyed in a variety of ways, including, for example, dreams, visions, conversations with heavenly messengers, and inspiration.  Some revelations are received immediately and intensely; some are recognized gradually and subtly.  The two experiences with light I described help us to better understand these two basic patterns of revelation.

A light turned on in a dark room is like receiving a message from God quickly, completely, and all at once.  Many of us have experienced this pattern of revelation as we have been given answers to sincere prayers or been provided with needed direction or protection, according to God’s will and timing.  Descriptions of such immediate and intense manifestations are found in the scriptures, recounted in Church history, and evidenced in our own lives. Indeed, these mighty miracles do occur.  However, this pattern of revelation tends to be more rare than common.

The gradual increase of light radiating from the rising sun is like receiving a message from God “line upon line, precept upon precept” (2 Nephi 28:30).  Most frequently, revelation comes in small increments over time and is granted according to our desire, worthiness, and preparation.  Such communications from Heavenly Father gradually and gently “distill upon [our souls] as the dews from heaven” (D&C 121:45). This pattern of revelation tends to be more common than rare . . . . — Elder David A. Bednar, “The Spirit of Revelation,” Ensign, May 2011, pp. 88-89

Many believe that revelation ended with the Bible even though the Bible itself is a testimony of God’s revelatory pattern over 4,000 years of man’s existence. But one incorrect doctrine such as this is like a domino set in motion that causes the fall of other dominoes or, in this case, the fall of correct doctrines.  A belief in the cessation of revelation causes the doctrine that “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Mormon 9:9) to fall; it causes the doctrine taught by Amos that “surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7) to fall; and it causes the doctrine that “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34) and thus speaks to all men of all ages to fall. But fortunately the Book of Mormon re-enthrones the biblical truth of continuous revelation:

“And again, I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations. . . .

“Do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever . . . ?” (Mormon 9:7, 9) — Elder Tad R. Callister, “The Book of Mormon – a Book from God,” Ensign, November 2011, p. 76

When the Spirit is invited into a meeting, truth is communicated beyond what is said aloud. In your Church meetings, write down impressions or thoughts that you feel came from God.  And, remembering what we have said about building a foundation, think carefully about whether the truth you received requires action.  It is by obedience to commandments that we qualify for further revelation of truth and light. — Elder Henry B. Eyring, “A Life Founded in Light and Truth,” Ensign, July 2001, p. 6

The things of God are known only by the Spirit of God. It is true that you can reason about doctrinal matters, but you do not get religion into your life until it becomes a matter of personal experience – until you feel something in your soul, until there has been a change made in your heart, until you become a new creature of the Holy Ghost.  Providentially, every member of the Church has the opportunity to do this because, in connection with baptism, every member of the Church has the hands of a legal administrator placed on his head, and he is given the promise, “Receive the Holy Ghost.”  — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “How to Get Personal Revelation,” New Era, June 1980

Now how do you prove and establish that the Father and the Son appeared to Joseph Smith; that angels came in our day; that there has been a restoration of the gospel; that all the glorious things we present to the world are true?

Well, you reason out of the revelations.  You can make a good case; and that isn’t any problem.  The truth is with us.  The Lord is the author of the system we have received. But after you have reasoned and after you have analyzed, you have got to stand as a personal witness who knows what he is saying.  You have to do what the sons of Mosiah did – speak and teach by the spirit of prophecy and the spirit of revelation; and the result is that you speak as one having authority.

This is the great thing that separates us from the world, and thanks be to God we have this knowledge.  We have received this revelation, and we are in a position to speak as those having authority. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “Upon Judea’s Plains,” Ensign, July 1973, p. 27

Revelation is not imposed upon a person; it must be drawn to us by faith, seeking and working. . . . To the man or woman who goes through the temple, with open eyes, heeding the symbols and the covenants, and making a steady, continuous effort to understand the full meaning, God speaks his word, and revelations come.

The endowment which was given by revelation can best be understood by revelation; and to those who seek most vigorously, with pure hearts, will the revelation be greatest. — Elder John A. Widtsoe, “Temple Worship,” Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, April 1921, p. 63

The Lord not only blesses the men who stand at the head and hold the keys of the kingdom, but He also blesses every faithful individual with the spirit of inspiration.  He gives His people revelation for their own guidance, wherein they keep His commandments and serve Him.  That is a blessing promised, and within their power to receive.  We are blest with revelation; the Church is built upon that foundation.  All the revelations given do not have to be written.  The inspiration may come as the Lord directs them.  It does not have to be printed in a book.  We have revelations that have been given that have been written; some of them have been published; some of them have not. — President Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference Report, October 1910, pp. 40-41

The Lord will speak to us through the Spirit in his own time and in his own way. Many people do not understand this principle.  They believe that when they are ready and when it suits their convenience, they can call upon the Lord and he will immediately respond, even in the precise way they have prescribed.  Revelation does not come that way. . . . The principle stated in D&C 88:68 applies to every communication from our Heavenly Father. . . . We cannot force spiritual things. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, May 1997, pp. 10-11

If a person understands God and godliness, the principles of heaven, the principle of integrity, and the Lord reveals anything to that individual, no matter what, unless He gives permission to disclose it, it is locked up in eternal silence.  And when persons have proven to their messengers that their bosoms are like the lock-ups of eternity, then the Lord says, I can reveal anything to them, because they never will disclose it until I tell them to. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 4:288

Put difficult questions in the back of your minds and go about your lives.  Ponder and pray quietly and persistently about them.  The answer may not come as a lightning bolt.  It may come as a little inspiration here and a little there, “line upon line, precept upon precept.”  (D&C 98:12)  Some answers will come from reading the scriptures, some from hearing speakers.  And, occasionally, when it is important, some will come by very direct and powerful inspiration.  The promptings will be clear and unmistakable. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, Conference Report, October 1979, pp. 29-30

It is not given to every man to look upon the face of God as did Moses [Moses 1:11], as did Joseph Smith.  One must be specially prepared before he can see what Joseph saw. . . . I do not expect the Lord to manifest Himself to me in the same way that He did to Joseph the Prophet.  I expect Him to communicate with me through the gifts He has endowed me with, not through those with which He has endowed my brother or sister, unless they have the right to receive for me a message from Him.  When the Lord speaks to me or to you, it will be in a method and manner justified by our preparation, our gifts, our powers; for we have all been endowed in some degree. — Elder Orson F. Whitney, Conference Report, April 1901, p. 60

And this is a certainty:  If with our whole heart we seek God, God will draw near to us and we will find him, not expecting, of course, that we will behold him, visibly, that he will come down to everybody and appear in his personality, but by the power of his divine spirit.  He will draw near to us and we will draw near to Him and every Latter-day Saint who has really been born of the Spirit as well as of the water, understands something of this. (Sec. 88:62-68)

I don’t know of any joy or pleasure, any sensation that is delightful, to be compared with beholding the visions of eternity by the power of the Holy Ghost, and to have the soul lifted up above sublunary things and all earthly and material matters, to draw near to God our Heavenly Father . . . and those who seek the Lord and try to serve him with all their heart and mind and strength, will be able to draw near unto him. — Elder Charles W. Penrose, Conference Report, October 1915, pp. 38-39

Too many of us are like those whom the Lord said “[came] with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, . . [and] at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.”  Imagine that:  “And they knew it not.”  It is not unusual for one to have received the gift and not really know it.  I fear this supernal gift is being obscured by programs and activities and schedules and so many meetings.  There are so many places to go, so many things to do in this noisy world.  We can be too busy to pay attention to the promptings of the Spirit.  The voice of the Spirit is a still, small voice – a voice that is felt rather than heard.  It is a spiritual voice that comes into the mind as a thought put into your heart. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, Conference Report, April 2000, p. 8

As Moroni concluded the immense work of his father and others, he made a promise that has been shared widely in a multitude of languages.  But I fear it has become too commonplace among us.  We learn about it in Sunday School, in seminary, in family home evenings, and we even memorize it as missionaries.  But today I would ask that you listen as I read this promise as if you had never heard of it.

“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Moro. 10:4).

This is the promise, that our Eternal Father will give us a manifestation of truth – a personal revelation of eternal consequence. — Elder L. Aldin Porter, Conference Report, April 2001

In reality, the communication or hearing about divine truth can be summarized in three words: revelation, commandments, blessings.  However, it is going to be a lifetime challenge to first hear and then heed the voice of the Lord and His servants. . . . Spiritual preparation is a prerequisite to receive a personal spiritual impression. . . . We must become “a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord” and also become “as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to” the will of the Lord, meaning His commandments.  Then says the Lord, “When we obtain any blessing . . . , it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated” (D&C 130:21). — Elder Charles Didier, “Man’s Search for Divine Truth,” Ensign, November 2005, pp. 48-49

Brothers and sisters, we each have moments of spiritual power, moments of inspiration and revelation.  We must sink them deep into the chambers of our souls.  As we do, we prepare our spiritual home storage for moments of personal difficulty. — Elder Neil L. Andersen, “You Know Enough,” Ensign, November 2008, p.  13

How are we to know the voice of the Good Shepherd from the voice of a stranger?  Can any person answer this question?  I can.  It is very easy.  To every philosopher upon the earth, I say, your eye can be deceived, so can mine; your ear can be deceived, so can mine; the touch of your hand can be deceived, so can mine; but the Spirit of God filling the creature with revelation and the light of eternity, cannot be mistaken – the revelation which comes from God is never mistaken.  When an individual, filled with the Spirit of God, declares the truth of heaven, the sheep hear that, the Spirit of the Lord pierces their inmost souls and sinks deep into their hearts; by the testimony of the Holy Ghost light springs up within them, and they see and understand for themselves.  This is the way the Gospel should be preached by every Elder in Israel, and by this power every hearer should hear; and if we would know the voice of the Good Shepherd, we must live so that the Spirit of the Lord can find its way to our hearts. Discourses of Brigham Young, ed. by John A. Widstoe, p. 431

There is in this thing called “Mormonism” a spirit, a spiritual life, and I fear that many of us have not found it.  I fear that we are too mechanical in our prayers, in our worship, and in our service of God.  When this spirit is upon us we feel the truth and see the beauty of the gospel which we have received.   Our souls are lighted up by it and we have the spirit of testimony and knowledge of the truth.  It is the spirit of revelation, it is the spirit by which the Church and kingdom of God has been set up and by which the work has been conducted up to the present time.  We can have this spirit with us and have its manifestation if we will live for it, my brethren and sisters.  We must make these tabernacles of ours, which are the temples of God, fit to receive the Holy Ghost that he may dwell within us, that we may be inspired by him in that which we have to do in life, to see aright, to feel aright, and to act aright, that our administrations and our lives may be acceptable unto God. — Elder George F. Richards, Conference Report, April 1926

Write down in a secure place the important things you learn from the Spirit.  You will find that as you record a precious impression, often others will come that you would not have otherwise received.  Also, the spiritual knowledge you gain will be available throughout your life.  Always, day or night, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, seek to recognize and respond to the direction of the Spirit.  Have available a piece of paper or a card to record such guidance.

Express gratitude to the Lord for the spiritual guidance you receive and obey it.  This practice will reinforce your capacity to learn by the Spirit.  It will enhance the guidance of the Lord in your life.  You will learn more as you act upon the knowledge, experience, and inspiration communicated to you by the Holy Ghost. — Elder Richard G. Scott, BYU Education Week, August 21, 2007

Revelation is not imposed upon a person; it must be drawn to us by faith, seeking and working. . . . To the man or woman who goes through the temple, with open eyes, heeding the symbols and the covenants, and making a steady, continuous effort to understand the full meaning, God speaks his word, and revelations come.

The endowment which was given by revelation can best be understood by revelation; and to those who seek most vigorously, with pure hearts, will the revelation be greatest. — Elder John A. Widtsoe, “Temple Worship,” Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, April 1921, p. 63

Now, by virtue of the sacred priesthood in me vested . . . I promise you that, with increased attendance in the temples of our God, you shall receive increased personal revelation to bless your lives as you bless those who have died. — President Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1987, p. 85

I have here a sheaf of quotes of which I will not read all, but I would like to read you two.  One is from John Taylor about the role of a prophet in this Church, that thing by which this Church is known.  John Taylor said:

We require a living tree – a living fountain – living intelligence, proceeding from the living priesthood in heaven, through the living priesthood on earth.  And from the time that Adam first received a communication from God, to the time that John, on the isle of Patmos, received his communication, or Joseph Smith had the heavens opened to him, it always required new revelations, adapted to the peculiar circumstances in which the churches or individuals were placed.  Adam’s revelation did not instruct Noah to build his ark; nor did Noah’s revelation tell Lot to forsake Sodom; nor did either of these speak of the departure of the children of Israel from Egypt.  These all had revelations for themselves, and so did Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Jesus, Peter, Paul, John, and Joseph. And so must we, or we shall make a shipwreck. [Gospel Kingdom, p. 34] — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Remembered and Nourished by the Good Word of God,” BYU Devotional, September 26, 1976

If you want to obtain and keep the guidance of the Spirit, you can do so by following this simple four-point program.

First:  Pray.  Pray diligently.  Pray with each other.  Pray in public in the proper places, but never forget the counsel of the Savior:  “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut the  door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:6).
Learn to talk to the Lord; call upon his name in great faith and confidence.
Second:  Study and learn the gospel.
Third:  Live righteously; repent of your sins by confessing them and forsaking them. Then conform to the teachings of the gospel.
Fourth:  Give service in the Church.  If you will do these things, you will get the guidance of the Holy Spirit and you will go through this world successfully, regardless of what the people of the world say or do. — President Marion G. Romney, BYU Speeches, March 20, 1979

I am convinced that there is no simple formula or technique that would immediately allow you to master the ability to be guided by the voice of the Spirit.  Our Father expects you to learn how to obtain that divine help by exercising faith in Him and His Holy Son, Jesus Christ.  Were you to receive inspired guidance just for the asking, you would become weak and ever more dependent on them.  They know that essential personal growth will come as you struggle to learn how to be led by the Spirit. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “To Acquire Spiritual Guidance,” Ensign, November 2009, pp. 6-9

When you have labored faithfully for years, you will learn this simple fact – that if your hearts are aright, and you still continue to be obedient, continue to serve God, continue to pray, the Spirit of revelation will be in you like a well of water springing up to everlasting life.  Let no person give up prayer because he has not the spirit of prayer, neither let any earthly circumstance hurry you while in the performance of this important duty.  By bowing down before the Lord to ask him to bless you, you will simply find this result – God will multiply blessings on you temporally and spiritually.  Let a merchant, a farmer, a mechanic, any person in business, live his religion faithfully, and he need never lose one minute’s sleep by thinking about his business; he need not worry in the least, but trust in God, go to sleep and rest.  I say to this people – pray, and if you cannot do anything else, read a prayer aloud that your family may hear it, until you get a worshiping spirit, and are full of the riches of eternity, then you will be prepared at any time to lay hands on the sick, or to officiate in any of the ordinances of this religion. — President Brigham Young, quoted by John A. Widtsoe in old Tabernacle, November 17, 1867, Journal of Discourses 12:103, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 46

We believe not only that the President of the Church, or the Council of the Twelve, or the leading brethren, are entitled to inspiration and revelation from the Lord, but every member of the Church is entitled to the promptings of the Spirit. We receive the gift of the Holy Ghost at baptism. Legal administrators place their hands upon our heads and say, “Receive the Holy Ghost.” This gives us the right to the constant companionship of that member of the Godhead, based on faithfulness, in consequence of which we are entitled and qualified, if we will, to receive. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, BYU Speeches of the Year, September 29, 1964, p. 4

You may receive revelation individually, as a parent for your family, or for those for whom you are responsible as a leader or teacher, having been properly called and set apart. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, General Conference, October 1994

Brethren, our duty as Church leaders is likewise to receive personal revelation from the Holy Ghost confirming that “Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.”  (D&C 46:13) — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, January 2003

It is also the privilege of any officer in this Church to obtain revelations, so far as relates to his particular calling and duty in the Church. — Joseph Smith, History of the Church 2:477

Only with revelation can we do the Lord’s work according to His will in His way and according to His timing. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, January 2003

You have your agency, and inspiration does not – perhaps cannot – flow unless you ask for it, or someone asks for you.  No message in scripture is repeated more often than the invitation, even the command, to pray – to ask.  Prayer is so essential a part of revelation that without it the veil may remain closed to you.  Learn to pray.  Pray often.  Pray in your mind, in your heart.  Pray on your knees. . . . Prayer is your personal key to heaven.  The lock is on your side of the veil. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, General Conference, October 1994

Dramatic and miraculous answers to prayer may come, but they are the exceptions. Even at the highest levels of responsibility in this kingdom of God, which is being built up upon the earth, the voice is still small.

In the Bible we read of the account of an earlier prophet who was rejected and discouraged.  The word of the Lord came to Elijah when the children of Israel had forsaken their covenant, and thrown down altars and slain prophets.  He was told to “go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.  And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

“And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” (1 Kgs. 19:11-12)

My testimony is that the Lord is speaking to you!  But with the deafening decibels of today’s environment, all too often we fail to hear him. — Elder Graham Doxey, General Conference, October 1991

President Marion G. Romney, quoting the prophet Enos, said, “While I was thus struggling in the spirit, behold, the voice of the Lord came into my mind.”  (Enos:10)  Enos then related what the Lord put into his mind.

“This,” President Romney said, “is a very common means of revelation.  It comes into one’s mind in words and sentences.  With this medium of revelation I am personally well acquainted.” — President Marion G. Romney, Conference Report, April 1964, p. 124

We do not seek for spectacular experiences.  President Spencer W. Kimball spoke of the many who “have no ear for spiritual messages . . . when they come in common dress. . . . Expecting the spectacular, one may not be fully alerted to the constant flow of revealed communication.” Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 1982, p. 457, General Conference, October 1994

Ignore or disobey these promptings, and the Spirit will leave you. It is your choice – your agency. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, General Conference, October 1994

I desire to point attention, however, to the fact that revelation is not restricted to the prophet of God on earth.  The visions of eternity are not reserved for Apostles – they are not reserved for the General Authorities.  Revelation is something that should come to every individual.  God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), and every soul, in the ultimate sense, is just as precious in his sight as the souls of those that are called to positions of leadership.  Because he operates on principles of eternal, universal and never-deviating law, any individual that abides the law which entitles him to get revelation can know exactly and precisely what any prophet knows, can entertain angels just as well as Joseph Smith entertained them, and can be in tune in full measure with all of the things of the Spirit.  (Alma 26:21-22) — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, BYU Devotional, 1 October 1966; published as “How to Get Personal Revelation,” Ensign, June 1980, pp. 46-50

We have not received, by any means, all of the word of the Lord.  I think we have received most of the word of the Lord that is required until the Second Coming.  The Lord has given all that people in the world have the spiritual capacity to receive at this time. There is going to be another great dispensation, that is, another great period of enlightenment, when he comes; and at that time he will reveal all things, such as the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon.  But he will not reveal the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon now, and let us publish it to the world, because what it contains is so far beyond the spiritual capacity of men that it would drive people away from the truth rather than lead them to the truth.  Actually, it is an act of mercy for the Lord to limit, to a particular people, the amount of revelation they receive. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “This Generation Shall Have My Word Through You,” BYU Symposium, June 27, 1979

The world is far from the Lord.  We ourselves are too far from the Lord as a people. We ought to draw near to the Lord, and labor to obtain the Holy Spirit, so that when we read the revelations of God we may read them by the same Spirit by which they were given.  Then we can understand their [meaning] when given to the children of men.  Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff, p. 117

One of our prophets said, speaking of dreams, and this was Parley P. Pratt, who wrote in one of his great writings:  “Sometimes when your physical senses are asleep, your spiritual senses may be very much awake and then there might be woven into the fabric of your spiritual senses a message from one who may draw close to you and weave into your mind a dream that has meaning – it may be a warning, it may be a comfort, it may be a direction to do something.”  Not all dreams are like that.  But through all the pages of scripture, dreams have had a very important bearing on the things that the leaders of the Church have received.  That is one of the ways the Lord communicates, and that is one of the ways He will communicate with you. The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, p. 414

No earthly argument, no earthly reasoning can open the minds of intelligent beings and show them heavenly things; that can only be done by the Spirit of revelation. Discourses of Brigham Young, 37

How can you know the Latter-day work to be true?  You can know it only by the spirit of revelation direct from Heaven. Discourses of Brigham Young, 36

But we should all live so that the Spirit of revelation could dictate and write on the heart and tell us what we should do instead of the traditions of our parents and teachers.  But to do this we must become like little children; and Jesus says if we do not we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.  How simple it is!  Live free from envy, malice, wrath, strife, bitter feelings, and evil speaking in our families and about our neighbors and friends and all the inhabitants of the earth, wherever we meet them.  Live so that our consciences are free, clean and clear. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 14:161

No man can know Jesus the Christ except it be revealed from heaven to him. Discourses of Brigham Young, 37

There is not a man upon the earth who can magnify even an earthly office, without the power and wisdom of God to aid him. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 34

This burning in the bosom is not purely a physical sensation.  It is more like a warm light shining within your being. — President Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, November 1994, 60

I have met persons who told me they have never had a witness from the Holy Ghost because they have never felt their bosom “burn within” them.  What does a “burning in the bosom” mean?  Does it need to be a feeling of caloric heat, like the burning produced by combustion?  If that is the meaning, I have never had a burning in the bosom.  Surely, the word “burning” in this scripture signifies a feeling of comfort and serenity. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, March 1997, 13

When we seek inspiration to help make decisions, the Lord gives gentle promptings. These require us to think, to exercise faith, to work, to struggle at times, and to act.  Seldom does the whole answer to a decisively important matter or complex problem come all at once.  More often, it comes a piece at a time, without the end in sight. — Elder Richard G. Scott, Ensign, November 1989, 32

Sometimes you may struggle with a problem and not get an answer.  What could be wrong?  It may be that you are not doing anything wrong.  It may be that you have not done the right things long enough. Remember, you cannot force spiritual things. Sometimes we are confused simply because we won’t take no for an answer. . . .

Put difficult questions in the back of your minds and go about your lives.  Ponder and pray quietly and persistently about them.

The answer may not come as a lightning bolt.  It may come as a little inspiration here and a little there, “line upon line, precept upon precept” (D&C 98:12).

Some answers will come from reading the scriptures, some from hearing speakers. And, occasionally, when it is important, some will come by very direct and powerful inspiration.  The promptings will be clear and unmistakable. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, November 1979, 21

I would . . . caution you that you cannot receive a one-sided revelation from God in regards to an eternal marriage.  Only as both parties feel the same way can you have the assurance that it is from the Lord.  Those who try to force another’s free will into their supposed revelation mold are doing a great disservice to themselves and to their friends. — Elder John H. Groberg, “What Are You Doing Here?” New Era, January 1987, pp. 37-38

Scriptural accounts of revelation tell mostly of God’s interactions with priesthood leaders, who were men.  However, Genesis 25:22–23 contains an account of God giving revelation to a woman.

Concerning Rebekah’s prayer, Elder Bruce R. McConkie said:  “May I now take our common ancestor, Rebekah, as a pattern for what her daughters in the Church today can do? . . . When Rebekah was troubled and needed divine guidance she herself took the matter up with the Lord, and he spoke to her in reply.  The Lord gives revelation to women who pray to him in faith.”   (Conference Report, Tahiti Area Conference 1976, p. 16) Gospel Doctrine Sunday School Lesson Manual, Lesson 10, 2013

We will get promptings of the Spirit when we have done everything we can, when we are out in the sun working rather than sitting back in the shade praying for direction on the first step to take.  Revelation comes when the children of God are on the move.

So we do all we can.  Then we wait upon the Lord for His revelation.  He has his own timetable. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “In His Own Time, in His Own Way,” Ensign, August 2013, p. 24

The Lord will not force himself upon people; and if they do not believe, they will receive no visitation.  If they are content to depend upon their own limited calculations and interpretations, then, of course, the Lord will leave them to their chosen fate. . . .

The Almighty is with this people.  We shall have all the revelations that we shall need if we will do our duty and keep the commandments of God.  If men could just realize that there may be sound even though few ears hear it.  There are revelations even though most minds be materialistic and most hearts impenetrable. The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 454

Our Heavenly Father is so concerned that we do right that he will bless each of us with a sign, if we will ask his counsel.  Do we realize that the Lord has promised us a physical manifestation if we but ask him to direct us in the right?  In the ninth section of the Doctrine and Covenants, verse 8, we have this commitment from the Lord: 

“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.” 

Brothers and sisters, we compromise our blessings, we rationalize ourselves out of the sure and safe way, when we do not ask our God to guide us in the decisions that are part of our daily lives. — Elder Marvin J. Ashton, Conference Report, April 1971

But we should all live so that the Spirit of revelation could dictate and write on the heart and tell us what we should do instead of the traditions of our parents and teachers. But to do this we must become like little children; and Jesus says if we do not we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.  How simple it is!  Live free from envy, malice, wrath, strife, bitter feelings, and evil speaking in our families and about our neighbors and friends and all the inhabitants of the earth, wherever we meet them.  Live so that our consciences are free, clean and clear. Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 36

Being taught by the Spirit is not a passive thing.  Often the Lord’s communication does not come until we have studied matters out in our own minds.  Then we receive a confirmation.

“The Lord explained that process to Oliver Cowdery in another revelation received at Harmony, Pennsylvania, in April 1829.  The Lord was describing why Oliver had not been able to translate the Book of Mormon: 

”Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.”

“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” (D&C 9:7-8). 

This may be one of the most important and misunderstood teachings in all the Doctrine and Covenants.  The teachings of the Spirit often come as feelings.  That fact is of the utmost importance, yet some misunderstand what it means.  I have met persons who told me they have never had a witness from the Holy Ghost because they have never felt their bosom “burn within” them. 

What does a “burning in the bosom” mean?  Does it need to be a feeling of caloric heat, like the burning produced by combustion?  Surely, the word “burning” in this scripture signifies a feeling of comfort and serenity.  That is the witness many receive.  That is the way revelation works. Truly, the still, small voice is just that, “still” and “small.” — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Teaching and Learning by the Spirit,” Ensign, March 1997, p. 13

This is the position occupied by the Latter-day Saints.  We believe in revelation.  It may come dim; it may come indistinct, it may come sometimes with a degree of vagueness which we do not like.  Why?  Because of our imperfection; because we are not prepared to receive it as it comes in its purity; in its fullness from God.  He is not to blame for this. It is our duty though to contend for more faith, for greater power, for clearer revelations, for better understanding concerning his great truths as he communicates them to us.  That is our duty; that is the object of our lives as Latter-day Saints – to live so near unto him that nothing can happen to us but that we will be prepared for it beforehand.  And I know many, many Latter-day Saints who are in this condition, who do live so that there is nothing of any importance that can occur for which they are not prepared, and the mind and will of God is made known to them, and they walk according to it, and seek earnestly and humbly to have it revealed to them; and in taking any important step they seek to know the will of God concerning it.  Are they perfect?  Far from it.  They are mortal, full of weaknesses, and nobody is better aware of the character of earthly weaknesses than the man or woman who thus lives. — Elder George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses 21:72