Monday, January 4, 2010

The Same Voice

1 Nephi 15

Elder Boyd K. Packer taught that everyone can receive guidance from the Lord the same way that Apostles receive guidance. He says

“As an Apostle I listen now to the same inspiration, coming from the same source, in the same way, that I listened to as a boy. The signal is much clearer now…”

Lehi’s family crossed the wilderness together. It was the same wilderness for all of them. However, when Lehi had his visions, Nephi asked to receive confirmation and testimony of the same visions (and did), whereas Nephi’s brothers did not seek to learn.

Nephi asked his brothers, “Have ye inquired of the Lord?”

To which his brothers answered, “We have not; for the Lord maketh no such thing known unto us.”

Nephi’s brothers hadn’t asked the Lord because they didn’t believe that the Lord would answer them.

But Elder Packer’s testimony simply echoes the testimony Nephi bore to his brothers:

“Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said? If ye will not harden your hearts and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you.” (1 Nephi 15:11)

The Lord is no respecter of persons. He does not withhold testimony from any who are earnestly seeking a testimony. He does not give revelation only to those in high positions of authority in the Church. He gives revelation, confirmation, and understanding to anyone who has a sincere heart, asks in faith, believes they will get an answer, and keeps the commandments.

I love how Elder Packer mentioned that the voice is clearer now for him. I imagine Elder Packer keeps the commandments a little more consistently than most of us. I imagine that he has a little more faith, a softer heart, and that beyond believing he will receive I imagine Elder Packer knows that he will receive. And I imagine that the more we keep the commandments, the clearer the influence of the Holy Ghost will be in our lives. As we strive to believe, have faith, live the gospel, and ask with sincerity, I believe that the Lord will answer our prayers and give us understanding and a testimony.

If I ever find myself struggling for faith, I remind myself of what Alma said, “Yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye can believe…” (Alma 32:27, emphasis added) And tears come to my eyes every time I read about the humble father who brought his son before the Savior with the plea, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief!” (Mark 8:24; exclamation added) If we can be like that father, and no more than desire to believe, the Lord will bless us and help us find our faith. And as we grow in faith and obedience, we will be blessed with inspiration and revelation from the same source to which the prophets look. As we grow in truth and light, the voice will become clearer and clearer until it is as if we are speaking face to face with God.

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