Tuesday, September 7, 2021

President James E. Faust on personal revelation and discernment

President James E. Faust (1920-2007) was called as a Seventy in 1976, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve in 1978. He served as a counselor to President Hinckley until his death in 2007 at age 87.
"Satan has had great success with this gullible generation. As a consequence, he and his angels have victimized literally hosts of people. There is, however, an ample shield against the power of Lucifer and his hosts. This protection lies in the spirit of discernment through the gift of the Holy Ghost. This gift comes undeviatingly by personal revelation to those who strive to obey the commandments of the Lord and to follow the counsel of the living prophets.
"This personal revelation will surely come to all whose eyes are single to the glory of God, for it is promised that their bodies will be 'filled with light, and there shall be no darkness' in them (D&C 88:67). All who come unto Christ by obedience to the covenants and ordinances of the gospel can thwart Satan's efforts. The humble followers of the divine Master need not be deceived by the devil if they will be honest and true to their fellow men and women, go to the house of the Lord, receive the sacrament worthily, observe the Sabbath day, pay their tithes and offerings, offer contrite prayers, engage in the Lord's work, and follow those who preside over them."
- James E. Faust, "The Forces That Will Save Us," Ensign, Jan 2007, pp. 4-9
Click here to read the full talk

What an interesting label: "this gullible generation." Satan readily takes advantage of those who are easily distracted, easily persuaded to follow his deceptions. Safety and protection are found "in the spirit of discernment through the gift of the Holy Ghost." The key is to become "humble followers of the diving Master," and President Faust gives encouragement on how to do that better; this is a fine list for personal evaluation:

More recently, in a talk given to the stakes in my area, Elder M. Russell Ballard provided a very similar list of "essential habits of conversion" that has been an emphasis for us:
  • daily prayer
  • fasting
  • studying the scriptures and the words of the living prophets
  • keeping the Sabbath day holy
  • partaking of the sacrament
  • worshipping in the temple often
  • reaching out to the needy, poor, and lonely
("To the Saints in the Utah South Area," September 13, 2015; see report here)

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
May 5, 2015

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