Thursday, October 15, 2015

"Continuing Revelation" By President Henry B. Eyring

Find this talk here.

  • "There are many listening today who feel a pressing need for that blessing of personal revelation from our loving Heavenly Father."  Yes, there are.
  • "with [the establishment of the Church] was restored the power to invoke the Holy Ghost so that revelation from God could be continuous." This betrays a misunderstanding common in the Church. The scriptures teach not that duly authorized men give the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, but that the Lord gives the gift, in His own due time. Also, even without the gift of the Holy Ghost, revelation can be continuous. The gift of the Holy Ghost, remember, is the promise that its companionship will be constant; it can be constant without that promise.
  • He says Pres. Packer told us about revelation as "that identifying mark of the true Church", but that's not what Pres. Packer said in his quote, and it's not an identifying mark of anything. Everyone, church member or not, gift of the Holy Ghost or not, is able to receive revelation, if the Lord chooses to bestow it. It's not a marker of anything, other than the Lord's favor, and we certainly don't have a monopoly on that.
  • In another story of a response to another of Lehi's revelations, Nephi tells us precisely how he went about securing the confirmatory revelation Pres. Eyring talks about. Nephi tells us he prayed that his heart would be softened. We need to do the same thing.
  • Now Pres. Eyring is equating family rules with revelation. Is that the personal revelation he told us earlier so many people are searching for? The revelation that their family should have rules? As Joseph Smith put it, God isn't trifling with us. Yes, family rules are important, and yes, "small and simple things" and all that. But having family rules is exactly the sort of thing "human judgment and logical thinking" will come up with on their own; the same judgment and thinking that Pres. Eyring rightly told us earlier aren't sufficient for the things that matter most.
  • It's stuff like the Teton Dam story that I think we need to hear more of. Clearly there were times there when God reached down and directed things in such a way that those involved knew it was His power and not theirs. We need testimonies in our day that such things are possible. Poetry and faith promoting rumor are nice, if you don't mind taking the time, but what we really need is testimony, or in other words, we need to share the evidence on which our faith is built.
  • "[A feeling of love for the president of the Church] is far more than hero worship or the feelings we sometimes have of admiring heroic figures. It is a gift from God." Perhaps, but do you have any evidence of it? Something in scripture, perhaps? Because from my perspective, the love most Church members show for their president matches very closely with the hero worship we see in North Koreans for whichever Kim Jong happens to be in charge at the time. On the other hand, there is evidence -- actual hard evidence -- that Joseph Smith received intelligence from some higher power, that God has a hand in our daily lives, and that angels visit the earth. But I don't see any evidence beyond unsupported claims of Church apologists that love for the leaders of the Church is anything more than hero worship.
  • "the Lord often asks His prophets to give counsel that is hard for people to accept." You mean like the counsel to be a good example that Pres. Monson gave in the priesthood session? Not particularly hard.

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