Saturday, July 29, 2017

Elder Bruce R. McConkie on how scripture study prepares us for revelation

Elder Bruce R. McConkie (July 29, 1915 - April 19, 1985) served as a Seventy from 1946-1972 when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve.  He served in that assignment until his death from cancer at age 69.
"As we all know, revelation comes from the Revelator; he is the Holy Ghost, and he will not dwell in an unclean tabernacle. Hence we strive eternally to keep the commandments so we may be in tune with the Lord and always have his Spirit to be with us. But I sometimes think that one of the best-kept secrets of the kingdom is that the scriptures open the door to the receipt of revelation....
"Some are sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators to the Church. Others will be in due course. But all of us are entitled to the spirit of prophecy and of revelation in our lives, both for our personal affairs and in our ministry. The prayerful study and pondering of the holy scriptures will do as much, or more than any other single thing, to bring that spirit, the spirit of prophecy and the spirit of revelation, into our lives."
- Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrines of the Restoration (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1989), p. 243-4

We are promised the opportunity to receive revelation in our life. But revelation can come only to those who are clean and worthy. So we strive to be obedient and faithful in every way, in order to unlock that door and be blessed with divine inspiration. But we can do more; Elder McConkie's comment about the relationship between scripture study and personal revelation struck me as profound:

While only a few have the calling and assignment to function as prophets and revelators to the Church, we all are "entitled to the spirit of prophecy and of revelation in our lives" to help with our ministry and our personal needs. In order to prepare to receive that blessing of revelation, Elder McConkie's message is that prayerfully studying and pondering the scriptures likely does more than any other act we can perform to bring that spirit and blessing to our lives. That should make us eager to "feast on the word" in order to merit the spiritual feast that will follow!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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