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Teaching Ideas
Article of Faith 9
Revelation is the communication of divine truth from heaven (1).  It may be given to those who hold positions of responsibility in the Church and need it to fulfill their callings.  It may be given to parents to assist them as they strive to raise their children in righteousness, and it may be given to individuals to guide them in their personal lives, help them learn and strengthen their testimonies and to help them to serve and uplift others.  Revelation is a sign of God's love for us and of his desire to help us and be a part of our lives.

Many misunderstand the words of the Lord found in Deuteronomy and the book of Revelation that man is not to add to or diminish ought from what is written.  They may think that there can be no more revelation or no more scripture given, but if this were the case, everything beyond the book of Deuteronomy would be invalidated.  The Lord here is warning against men who would change the words that have already been written because they didn't agree with them or didn't like them.  It does not prevent the Lord from giving additional revelation,  commandments or scripture.

God has communicated his will for men through prophets since the creation of the earth, and he is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Why would he cease now at the most critical and confusing time in the history of the world to abandon us?  The simple answer is, he would not.  The idea is preposterous.  We need his help to prepare for the glorious coming of Christ and to withstand the wiles of the Devil as he unleashes his greatest efforts in thwarting God's plan.

Revelation comes to men according to their sphere of responsibility.  The prophet receives revelation for the entire Church.  His role is to receive and reveal the plan of salvation, to warn us of things that are coming and to help us prepare both temporally and spiritually, to help us avoid the prevalent lies and influences of Satan and to teach us how to improve and perfect our lives.  His word we are to receive as if from the Lord's own mouth, and we are promised that if we do, the gates of hell will not prevail against us, the powers of darkness shall be dispersed and the heavens will shake for our good (D & C 22:6).

Stake presidents, bishops and quorum leaders can receive revelation for those they lead, helping them to extend callings, plan meetings and activities, determine worthiness and teach according to the needs of the members.  Such revelation will never conflict with the words of the prophet.  Teachers can also receive revelation and inspiration to help them sense the needs of their students and teach what the Lord desires.  A person can only act in the name of the Lord if he knows what the will of the Lord is through revelation.

Individuals can receive inspiration and revelation for themselves.  It is revelation that makes it possible for a person to gain a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and of any of its principles.  It is revelation that helps us understand and learn about spiritual things.  It is revelation that helps us know right from wrong and helps us make the right choices.  It is revelation that guides us in our decisions and helps us serve others.  It is revelation that helps us see the purposes God has for us and helps us fulfill our divine destiny.

The Articles of Faith by James E. Talmage, page 296.

(For additional insights, read The Articles of Faith by James E. Talmage.)
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