Wednesday, November 16, 2016

No More Revelations? The Flow of Revelation continues in the Church Today

Some detractors of the Church mistakenly ask the question "Why are there no new revelations if the Church is founded upon revelation?"  Often their reason for doing so is to try to discredit the church.  But for some, it is an honest question.   

The answer is that the revelation hasn't stopped.  Many of the revelations received during the time of Joseph Smith were information about how the church was to be organized, and specific to that timeframe.

But there is more than just that.  Many dealt with missionaries being called to serve.  And other revelations had to do with people being called to different positions and callings within the church. Others were specific blessings for certain people. I will give examples of how these continue today.    

Recently, Elder Dallin H Oaks on a recent Facebook post spoke of the process of calling Missionaries, and said it is always a revelatory experience, and they [the apostles] come fasting to it.  But we don't add a new section of the Doctrine and Covenants with each missionary called.  A letter is simply sent out to the missionary, and when set apart as a missionary, he or she is given revelation pertaining to his or her mission.  The church leaders do not have the time to set all of the missionaries apart.  So the revelatory experience in the church expands, and local leaders have a part in the revelatory experience.  The Lord through their leaders gives the new missionary guidance they can take with them on their mission.    

Above I mentioned that some of the Doctrine and Covenants was for calling people to certain positions.  Every Conference we are asked to sustain an ever increasing number of releases and sustainings to our leadership.  But each time that happens we don't add to the Doctrine and Covenants.  But the revelation goes on.  And not just at the highest levels.  It continues in over 30,000 congregations across the world. The revelation is just expanding.   

I know during times I have been set apart for callings in the church, my leaders have been prompted by the spirit to say things they could not have possibly known, because they didn't know me personally.  Only myself and the Lord knew the things they said.  And the spirit bore witness to me that they were receiving the revelation from God.  

Finally, with regards to specific blessings for certain people, that has expanded as well.  Many of the sections of the doctrine and covenants were devoted to revelations given to specific people.  That flow of revelation has not stopped today, it has expanded as well.  There are simply too many people in the church for church leaders to give individual blessings to. Most often it comes by them exercising the priesthood to invoke the blessings of heaven upon the membership of the church in general.  

But for individuals, in all of the over 3000 stakes, there is a Patriarch, a High Priest, who gives blessings to the members of the church called a Patriarchal Blessing.  This blessing happens once in a person's life (most often), and is private to that person, and is not shared with others, with exceptions being their parents and later, spouses, although church leaders are able to have access to them.  
  
This blessing is recorded and given to the person to keep, and is considered scripture for that individual person.  These blessings can contain a declaration of their lineage, and what blessings they can receive as the posterity of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  It can contain insights and prophecy about their lives.  It is meant to be a guide through your life.  So, even though it is not made public, often thousands of revelations per year are recorded and sent out to worthy church members, specific to their circumstances.

I know that decades after I received my patriarchal blessing, I have now come to realize some of the blessings promised in my Patriarchal blessing.  Just as being set apart for callings, the Patriarch said things he could not have possibly known, and now that it is much later in life, I have seen the fulfillment of many of the blessings contained therein, many times being confirmed by the spirit, as personal revelation.   

What we see in our modern era is that Revelation has not stopped, but is expanding, and is alive and well.  Revelation is the lifeblood of the church and from the top of the church where new leaders are called, to the congregation level, where bishops rely on revelation through the holy ghost to lead their flocks, we see not a church that has stopped in the number of revelations given, but a church that has expanded the number of revelations given to the point that there is almost not room enough to hold the quantity of revelations given. 

The breadth and scope of this great revelatory work is incredible.  As the Late President Boyd K Packer said, "The mind of man could not conceive it"  God is behind this marvellous work.  What began in 1820 (though really began before the foundations of the world) has expanded beyond what mortal man is able to do, and that is being done through revelation given from the Lord and his authorized servants.  

That revelatory process will continue into the millenium, where the work will continue until at the last, the Lord declares the work is done, and will present it to the Father.  

All of that work will have been powered by revelation, and as we continue to seek it out, we will become a part of the Lord's work on this earth and in the life to come, eventually to inherit all the father has, to become joint-heirs with Christ, and to become, as the Savior pleaded for in the great intercessory prayer, One with the Father as he, Christ, is with him.  

That oneness is made possible by the Atonement, and happens by revelation, both now and in the eternities.

 Find out more about Christ. Along with the Bible, his words are in the Book of Mormon. Find out for yourself and read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G

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Picture courtesy of https://www.lds.org

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