Tuesday, March 20, 2018

President Boyd K. Packer on faith and personal revelation

President Boyd K. Packer (1924-2015) served as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve (a position that no longer exists) from 1961 to 1970, when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.  He served as president of that Quorum from 1994 until his death on July 3, 2015 at age 90.
"The flow of revelation depends on your faith. You exercise faith by causing, or by making, your mind accept or believe as truth that which you cannot, by reason alone, prove for certainty. (See Alma 32:27–28, 38.)
"The first exercising of your faith should be your acceptance of Christ and His atonement.
"As you test gospel principles by believing without knowing, the Spirit will begin to teach you. Gradually your faith will be replaced with knowledge.
"You will be able to discern, or to see, with spiritual eyes.
"Be believing and your faith will be constantly replenished, your knowledge of the truth increased, and your testimony of the Redeemer, of the Resurrection, of the Restoration will be as 'a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life.' (D&C 63:23; see also John 4:14; Jer. 2:13.) You may then receive guidance on practical decisions in everyday life."
- Boyd K. Packer, "Personal Revelation: The Gift, the Test, and the Promise," General Conference, October 1994
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

The concept of a "flow of revelation" is a fascinating one. Revelation can, and will, flow from God to man—when conditions permit it. And we control the conditions, based primarily on our faith, according to President Packer:

The exercise of faith begins as we consciously choose to "accept or believe as truth that which you cannot, by reason alone, prove for certainty." It requires that initial "leap" of belief and trust, focused on the atonement of Jesus Christ; we then are able to see the response to our actions and feel the Spirit confirming their truth. And in the life of the disciple, faith is then "constantly replenished" as the actions and blessings confirm each succeeding step. It's a wonderful life to live!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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