Sunday, August 12, 2018

President Dallin H. Oaks on the personal effort that precedes revelation

President Dallin H. Oaks (born August 12, 1932) served as president of BYU from 1971-1980.  He was then appointed as a justice of the Utah Supreme Court, and resigned when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984. He became President of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and also 1st Counselor in the First Presidency in January 2018.
"Fundamental to any effort to receive revelation is a commitment to do all we can with our own efforts and judgment. This means we need to serve and to work.
"Going forward with our service and work is an important way to qualify for revelation. In my study of the scriptures I have noted that most revelation to the children of God comes when they are on the move, not when they are sitting back in their habitations waiting for the Lord to tell them the first step to take....
"We will get promptings of the Spirit when we have done everything we can, when we are out in the sun working rather than sitting back in the shade praying for direction on the first step to take. Revelation comes when the children of God are on the move.
"So we do all we can. Then we wait upon the Lord for His revelation. He has his own timetable."
- Dallin H. Oaks, "In His Own Time, in His Own Way," address delivered to new mission presidents on June 27, 2001; reprinted in Ensign August 2013, pp. 22-24
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

In the learning environment of our mortal life, so much depends on what happens "after all we can do" (2 Nephi 25:23). President Oaks suggests that this principle applies to inspiration and revelation from God; He expects us to be alive and active, working and serving, learning and growing. And then we will find that His inspiration will come. It's also shown in the principle of "you must study it out in your mind" first in order to then find answers (D&C 9:7-9).

Revelation comes to those who are "on the move" and are "anxiously engaged" (D&C 58:27). We should be seeking regularly to increase our efforts to be found doing good.

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

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