George Albert Smith, Lesson 11, by Ellen King
Early flight serves as an analogy
To teach about the importance of revelation to guide the Church, George Albert Smith told of an experience he had on an airplane flight from Los Angeles, California, to Salt Lake City, Utah.
He tells of severe fog and his anxious worrying about getting over the mountains and finding the airport safely. He questions the pilot...
“In my anxiety I went up into the space that was occupied by the pilot and the co-pilot to see how they knew where we were going. I could not tell whether we were a hundred feet, a thousand feet or ten thousand feet above the ground and I did not know how they could tell, except approximately. I noticed that the pilot had a little device over his ear like operators in telephone offices use to receive with. I inquired of the co-pilot how they could tell whether we were flying in the right direction or know if we were off course. He replied, ‘When we cannot see we are guided by the radio beam.’ "He was comforted that the pilot was receiving that constant information. The plane descended and they landed safely.
I've never heard a radio beam from the early days of flying, have you?
Go to Wikipedia, scroll to bottom of article and listen to the "on beam" and slightly "off beam" and "inside quadrant N" to hear radio signals.
President Smith compared that radio beam to guidance from the prophet for the church and by the whisperings of the Holy Ghost to us personally.
I love an analogy...
What are the fogs in our lives?
Media images and messages; distracted by busy-ness, TV, social media, gaming; information overload, confusion about gender, families and marriage, truth in politics, and more.
What are the radio beams?
Scriptures, words of the prophets, the Holy Ghost guiding us personally, going to church every week.
What is the clicking that tells us we are "off-beam"?
Moods; increased crabbiness or complaining; confusion; more "bumps" in life than usual; feelings of rebellion.
President Smith expresses gratitude for these principles
The Lord guides His people through revelation to the President of the Church.
"My soul is filled with gratitude this day to know that as we continue our membership in the Church we do have a pilot who knows the way, and if we will follow his direction … we will not meet the spiritual disasters that the world is meeting but we will go about doing good, blessing mankind, and rejoicing in the companionship of those we love."
We are each entitled to personal inspiration from the Holy Ghost if we obey the commandments.
"I stand here today profoundly grateful for the knowledge that has come to me. I am thankful that I am not dependent upon any individual for the testimony that I possess. Of course, I am grateful for the encouragement I received from others who possess light and truth, and who give encouragement by lives of righteousness, but I do not depend on any of them for a knowledge that God lives, that Jesus Christ is the Redeemer of mankind and Joseph Smith is a prophet of the Lord. These things I know for myself.
"… I rejoice to testify that I know the gospel is true, and with all my soul I thank my Heavenly Father that he has revealed it to me."
The Holy Ghost is a safe guide along the pathway of mortal life.
"The companionship of [God’s] Spirit … is a safe guide along the pathway of mortal life and a sure preparation for a home in his celestial kingdom."
Elder Richard G. Scott teaches us
In April Conference 2012, one of our prophets has given us instruction on How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life.
It could be that what we need to do to follow this prophet is as easy (or difficult) as it was for King Haman to follow the prophet when guided to bath in the Jordan river seven times to be healed of leprosy!
Listen to the entire talk and pick out the concepts that speak truth to you. Follow that prompting!
Increase your capacity to receive revelation
If you take time to study this talk you'll find that he tells us what will increase our capacity for revelation and what will decrease our capacity.
If you feel like your prayers are not being answered consider what you need to increase or decrease to improve your capacity.
What is holding you back? Choose one of these to work on this week. Tell us in the comments below.
For me, just plain asking more and praying to find helpful scriptures is at the top of my list.
George Albert Smith:
"The companionship of the spirit of the Lord is an antidote for weariness, … for fear and all those things that sometimes overtake us in life."
Richard G. Scott:
"Communication with our Father in Heaven is not a trivial matter. It is a sacred privilege. It is based upon eternal, unchanging principles. We receive help from our Father in Heaven in response to our faith, obedience, and the proper use of agency."
Julie B. Beck:
“The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life. … It requires a conscious effort to diminish distractions, but having the spirit of revelation makes it possible to prevail over opposition and persist in faith through difficult days and essential routine tasks. … When we have done our very best, we may still experience disappointments, but we will not be disappointed in ourselves. We can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when we feel the Spirit working through us.”
From our RS history, Eliza R. Snow:
She said that the Holy Ghost “satisfies and fills up every longing of the human heart, and fills up every vacuum. When I am filled with that Spirit,” she continued, “my soul is satisfied, and I can say in good earnest, that the trifling things of the day do not seem to stand in my way at all. But just let me lose my hold of that spirit and power of the Gospel, and partake of the spirit of the world, in the slightest degree, and trouble comes; there is something wrong. I am tried, and what will comfort me? You cannot impart comfort to me that will satisfy the immortal mind, but that which comes from the Fountain above. And is it not our privilege to so live that we can have this constantly flowing into our souls?”
The principle of personal revelation sustains me. It quiets my fears. It still amazes me when it comes. It is very personal and tells me that God cares about me in the small and big things in life. It is a comfort to know that I can seek to know God's will for me everyday and that He will give me the power to carry it out. After studying this lesson, especially Sister Beck's testimony (above), I want every day to seek to increase my capacity to receive revelation.