Personal Revelation

That was our lesson in Relief Society (the women's class) at church today. I LOVE it when this is the topic! I commented a few times throughout the lesson of course. And then I shared my testimony of personal revelation when they opened it up for testimonies. Normally I share my testimony during Sacrament meeting, but Miss Tips got really fussy right when I was going to head up to the podium, so I had to take her out to the hall and walk her in the Ergo until she fell asleep. So when the 1st counselor finished her lesson during Relief Society and left it open for testimonies and no one was getting up, I thought I would get up. I didn't even really know exactly what I was going to say and what I did share wasn't what I had thought about sharing during Sacrament meeting 2 hours earlier!


Here is the gist of what I shared: I've been struggling with trying to overcome a personal weakness that has been pointed out to me by more than one family member in the last year. I feel like I've done a lot to overcome it, but it seems as if I wasn't actually making much improvement. So a couple of weeks ago I decided to pray about it and ask Heavenly Father if this was something I really needed to expend so much energy and time on. While I was praying and really trying to converse with the Lord about this issue, the phrase, "Trust not in the arm of flesh" came to my mind. I kept praying and again, the phrase came to my mind. I was caught by the simplicity of it all. Here was a phrase I have read numerous times in the scriptures (2 Nephi 4: 34; Jeremiah 17: 5; 2 Nephi 28:31; Doctrine & Covenants 1: 19; and others) - but only in regards to my current problem did it seem to be THE answer I was looking for when I needed it!

The irony of it all, as I contemplated this message from the Lord, was that the very mortal weakness my family members have pointed out to me more than once over the last year has been that I am trusting in the arm of flesh - although they didn't use the scriptural term. Instead they said that I try too hard to gain approval or validation from family members (both my family and Tips' family) that it makes me appear desperate and automatically turns people off so that they don't respect me very much (that's pretty much exactly what a few of my family members have said directly to me in regards to this issue). It was also noted that I am not like this for my peers, friends or acquaintances - only for family.

I could go into detail about the background/history about why my subconscious desires this validation from family members that I am just as superior in intelligence as they are - but that is not the point.

The point is, the Lord answered my prayer with a simple scriptural phrase. I know it was answered because I have actually read and studied the scriptures. I read the entire Old Testament last year, am studying the New Testament this year and have read the Book of Mormon cover to cover on my own over a dozen times in my life since I was 11. I have 'treasured up' the words of the Lord and when I needed them, the Spirit brought them back to my remembrance.

So how did the Lord answer my prayer? The additional thoughts were these: 1) If these family members are right, then you are guilty in trusting in the arm of flesh for validation of you - you need only be concerned about what I think of you as I am your Judge. 2) If these family members are incorrect about their perception of you, which they may since you know very well how easy it is to misinterpret what is actually happening, then you have been trusting in the arm of flesh by caring so much about their opinion! Let it go and focus on continuing to do what is right by following the example of your Savior and remember that My opinion of you supersedes even that of your husband's opinion of you. (And it wasn't even Tips who gave this criticism of me!)

I am extremely grateful that the Lord is aware of us and our needs and for the answers he gives us. I know that I am just as entitled to personal revelation as our prophet, President Thomas S. Monson is. Personal revelation is available to every man, woman and child who has reached the age of accountability in the Church and it is expected that we will learn to qualify for and receive personal revelation. I am grateful that I know how to qualify and receive my own personal revelation and do not have to rely on anybody else for my testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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