Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Entitled to Revelation

We, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, believe that our spirits lived with God before this life and that He is our father. We believe that He sent us to this earth to learn and grow and have experiences that we couldn’t have had otherwise. But most importantly, we believe that He has not left us alone in our sojourn here on this planet. He knows each and every one of us, as His children, in a way that is incomprehensible to us. Because of this, He has provided ways to communicate with us and wants to let us know He is there for us and that He loves us.

First, God has provided us with a blueprint for how to live our lives. He has done this by revealing His word to prophets, prophets like Moses, Abraham, Malachi, John the Revelator, and in modern times, Joseph Smith, Gordon B Hinckley, and currently Thomas S. Monson. These have received and do receive revelation for how God’s church is to be presided over here on earth. They have received and do receive revelation of dangers of we face and how to handle them, and ways we can prepare for the Second Coming of Christ. They taught and continue to teach how we should treat each other in our families and in our communities, how we should treat the poor and even how we should regard our enemies and those who would spitefully use us. God has taught us, through prophets, how to pray, baptize and marry. As we read The Holy Bible, The Book of Mormon and other scripture, we can commune with God and learn His plan for us. We can do the same as we listen to and read the words of latter-day prophets.

Second, God has made a plan that each of us, individually, can receive revelation specific to ours needs and the needs of our family, revelation so specific, that when we follow and realize it was the right thing for us, we receive a surer knowledge that God truly does know and love each one of His children. We call this personal revelation.

Personal revelation can come in many forms, but for most of us, it comes as a quiet impression to our minds. We feel a prompting to do something and a comforted feeling as we listen to and do.

Living by personal revelation has shaped many years of my life. Because of promptings that have come to my mind through The Holy Ghost, I …

…home schooled my children for thirteen years,
…married John after knowing him for only eight weeks,
…decided to let God plan our family, and not limit the children we welcome into our home,
…moved to a little farm town in Mexico, there to raise our children,
…have limited the meat our family consumes, and…
…choose to raise our children without a full-time maid, even though we can hire one for only $7 a day.

But God doesn’t only grant us revelation for the big things in life. He knows ALL of our needs, both large and small, and guides us through our day to day living one step at a time. For instance, I was recently prompted to email a friend who just delivered a four-pound baby, a tiny girl who is still too little nurse, and ask if she needed to borrow my breast pump. It was just a fleeting thought, and one that came out of the blue, but as it turned out, the pump was desperately needed and I was able to be a tool in God’s hand and help someone in need in an unexpected way.

Then there was the time recently when I was prompted to confide something personal to a friend (and she to me, as well) and as a result, we were both able to help each other through a difficult time, and our friendship has blossomed in ways that neither of us could have imagined.

Sometimes I receive impressions on how I can improve my family life. While I was washing dishes recently (and I believe that we as women were given repetitive tasks as a way to open our minds to revelation, which thoughts you can read about HERE), disheartened by the messiness of my twins as they eat their meals, I was given an impression on how I could help them improve. I knew it was from God, because it felt so right and I said to myself, “Self, I am going to write that down as soon as a finish doing the dishes, because it’s important, and I don’t want to forget it.” After doing the dishes, I promptly forgot to write it down, then promptly forgot the prompting. I had wanted to share it in this post, and I thought for days on what it might be, but I could not for the life of me remember what it was.

This morning I remembered. As a way of teaching the twins to eat more neatly and politely, I was impressed that I should more often sit with them at the big table, instead of placing them at their little table while I clean up. This way I could observe and teach and prevent the smearing, throwing, smashing and crumbling of almost every meal we give them. This is sound advice from a loving Father in Heaven, which makes perfect sense and feels perfectly right, but somehow I’d never thought of it. It took daily supplications for inspiration on how I can be a better wife, mother, sister, daughter, and church and community member and my prayers were answered in this small, but life-changing way.

Incidentally, I received another revelation today, something about a way I could improve my family life, but because I didn’t write it down immediately, it has flown from my mind. Why can’t I remember to write these impressions down? I don’t know why, but these types of impressions have been coming to me much more often as of late, and I need to act on them. Perhaps I’m being prepared for something.

It’s my hope in writing this that I have given you, as well as myself, a reminder that we are all “heirs to the kingdom” and are entitled to communication with our Heavenly Father, who loves us. When you receive an impression on how to raise your children, how to treat your husband, or how to improve your community, write it down, then act on it. We can all change the world for the better as we listen to our Father and live as He wants us to live.


Thanks for listening. :)

P.S. My sister and I are finally getting skinnier!
See how we're doing it HERE! :)


BarbaraJo said...

You're the best Jen!

Anonymous said...

No, I'm the best! Your mom

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Mom, you are by far the most humble as well! :)

Emily Heizer Photography said...

I like reading things like this. It helps me understand things more!

Do you wear an apron or anything while you're working around the house? Try keeping a pad of paper or some post its and a pen in your apron pocket and you can write your ideas down as soon as they come to you so you don't forget! Or get a small little pocket sized book and you can keep all of the ideas together with you wherever you go.

singlemormonchick said...

i think you writing this post and me reading it was my own personal revelation! i have really been struggling with not only receiving inspiration, but interpreting it. today i had a clear impression about something to pray for. it seemed odd, but i prayed and felt pretty good about it. when i got home, i saw my scriptures on my bed-where i had left them this morning- and was prompted to just open them up. i opened it to the scripture in enos that talks about asking in faith and you will receive. i have NEVER had one of those moments until now. i have always heard of people receiving great inspiration by just allowing the scripture to fall open, but i have never known it for myself. it was pretty cool. now just to continue in faith "knowing i will receive". thanks for your post!