Sunday, May 19, 2019

President Harold B. Lee on the personal gift of revelation

President Harold B. Lee (1899-1973) was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1941. He served as a counselor in the First Presidency from 1970-1972, then as Church president from July 1972 until his passing less than 18 months later in December 1973.
"Any Latter-day Saint who has been baptized and who has had hands laid upon him from those officiating, commanding him to receive the Holy Ghost, and who has not received a revelation of the spirit of the Holy Ghost, has not received the gift of the Holy Ghost to which he is entitled. Therein lies a very important matter....
"On what matters may you receive a revelation? Is it startling to you to hear that you—all members of the Church who have received the Holy Ghost—may receive revelation? Not for the president of the Church, not on how to look after the affairs pertaining to the ward, the stake, or the mission in which you live; but every individual within his own station has the right to receive revelation by the Holy Ghost.…
"Every man has the privilege to exercise these gifts and these privileges in the conduct of his own affairs; in bringing up his children in the way they should go; in the management of his business, or whatever he does. It is his right to enjoy the spirit of revelation and of inspiration to do the right thing, to be wise and prudent, just and good, in everything that he does. I know that is a true principle, and that is the thing that I would like the Latter-day Saints to know. Now then, all of us should try to strive and give heed to the sudden ideas that come to us, and if we’ll give heed to them and cultivate an ear to hear these promptings we too—each of us—can grow in the spirit of revelation....
"I bear you my solemn testimony that the Church today is guided by revelation. Every soul in it who has been blessed to receive the Holy Ghost has the power to receive revelation. God help you and me that we will always so live that the Lord can answer the prayers of the faithful through us."
- Harold B. Lee, Stand Ye in Holy Places, 140–42, 145

President Lee's message was a challenge to each member of the Church. When we were confirmed members of the Church, we were invited to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. His reminder is that those who receive that companionship will also receive revelation, as they live worthy of that gift.

Every single person "within his own station," or within the reach of his stewardship and responsibilities, "has the right to receive revelation by the Holy Ghost." We should seek that gift; we should cherish it and use it wisely! One of the keys President Lee offered was that we should learn to "give heed to the sudden ideas that come to us" as we "grow in the spirit of revelation." We will soon discover that God is eager to assist in this grand experience of life.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

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