Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Revelation on the Move

October 30th, 2017 by G.

It is no coincidence that we were recently inspired to muse on “prayer by action” (action as a form of prayer for revelation) in advance of my Bishop’s 3rd-hour, 5th-Sunday message today.

Natural Prayer

Your Prayers don’t Get Answered until You Need Them Answered

Prayer as Two-Way Conversation

We spent most of the 5th hour with all the adults and youth present hashing out some plans. Then the Bishop ended the meeting with a talk from Elder Oaks on revelation. In His Own Time, in His Own Way. Here is the passage my Bishop quoted:

Most revelation to the children of God comes when they are on the move, not when they are sitting back in their habitations waiting for the Lord to tell them the first step to take.

For example, it is significant to note that the revelation known as “the Word and Will of the Lord concerning the Camp of Israel” (D&C 136:1) was not given in Nauvoo as the Quorum of the Twelve planned the exodus from Nauvoo in those sorrowful days following the Martyrdom of the Prophet in 1844; nor was it given on the west bank of the Mississippi River. It was given at Winter Quarters, Nebraska, after the Saints had spent a punishing year moving from Nauvoo westward across Iowa to temporary camps on the Missouri River. The revelation to guide the movement of the Saints across the plains was given on January 14, 1847, when the Saints had already gone about a third of the way to the valleys of the mountains.

We will get promptings of the Spirit when we have done everything we can, when we are out in the sun working rather than sitting back in the shade praying for direction on the first step to take. Revelation comes when the children of God are on the move.

My heart burned.

(Read the whole thing. It’s a practical primer on revelation, by an experienced practitioner).

Busyness can be a way of blocking the Lord. It can. Too much busyness can also deaden you. But I know of myself that the principle Elder Oaks taught is true. I love those glorious Sundays when I wake up thinking what I need to do at Church, and an idea or two comes, I jot them down and start preparing for them, and then the ideas keep coming and coming and I spend the morning doing good constantly interrupted by jotting down more ideas and notes. But then also some quiet moments in the services and the sacrament, and happy relaxation at the family dinner.

The best is busyness mixed with contemplation.

Comments (3)
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October 30th, 2017 06:36:13

Bruce Charlton
October 30, 2017

Yes, that is an excellent talk by Elder Oaks.

Mormonism has a depth of resources and wisdom concerning personal revelation which would, I think, astonish those who know little or nothing (or only wrong things) of the faith.

Furthermore, there remains a vast scope for further development in that direction – if or when circumstances are favourable.

It is a sadness for me to reflect on how Mormonism has (so far) been significantly held-back from this potential flowering by the imperatives of sheer survival in the face of unrelenting cultural hostility: at first by repeated, active attempts at physical annihilation; then later by the increasingly aggressive and pervasive spiritual assault from mainstream Western culture.

October 30, 2017

Again, you describe a principle I’ve noted in book-slinging.

There’s a tie-in between this on-the-move principle and the “just in time” principle of a previous post, and even the spilled water.

It is that what we see around us is used by the Spirit as tie-ins and attention-getters.

Also, faith is exercised and grown by action upon the most minimal whispering.

Instead of a full blown 3D virtual-reality vision of the path and the destination opened to your mind prior to leaving home, the Lord would rather the Spirit whisper “turn here” a few seconds before reaching the intersection. There would be no faith nor growth in the former. But the whisper reminds you that you must keep the channel free of static, and gives you the exercise of “Was that my imagination or the Spirit?”, a sort of call-to-prayer. It prompts us to draw closer and ask “What would you have me do?” The whisper also offers both a lesser consequence for disobedience, and a greater blessing and growth for obedience.

One of your lines from the Natural Prayer post helped me the other day. “When we get a command and foresee difficulties with it, we should not be sure that martyrdom and enduring mortal suffering is what God commands us. It may be, but it probably isn’t.”

I was ridng my bike to do errands, it was going to be 15.5 miles, mostly during rush hour, but on bike-lanes and sidewalks, no problem. Shortly before my first stop, I had this idea that I needed to go out of my way to a certain store, that would not only add a few miles, but would be on major thoroughfares with no bike lanes and no sidewalks. It’s doable, and I’ve done it outside of rush hour. I was about to dismiss it as “bad idea, just my imagination.” But persistance of an idea that you personally _don’t_ want to do is one of the signs of it not being your idea.

But I remembered your line, and prayed, a couple of times, and kept getting the answer “Yes, go there.”

During this series of posts, I’ve been haunted by the memory of a prompting that I ignored 5 or more years ago. Various Walter Mitty-style scenarios of what might have happend, have occasionally popped up in my mind, likely a mix, just like you said, of daydreaming and divine hints. The “assignment” was a thing that would have been hard to justify, and look incredibly silly had it not been a prompting. But the outcome, had I obeyed and had it “worked”, would have been obviously divinely-inspired to whoever I was supposed to have met.

So, with your line in mind, and my line of “if you break the chain, you’ll never know what would have transpired”, I proceeded there after my first stop.

The sense of being on a “mission from God” (cf. John Belishi in Blues Brothers), the sense of adventure, thinking “what’s in store?”, made the scary traffic segment less scary, and pass quickly.

At the store… I saw them, speaking a foreign language, sounded like French, but they were not dark-skinned enough to be directly from Africa. They were from Haiti. The Haitian BoM was not in my bike’s cargo bag, but I had pass-along cards. Small conversation. The two gentlemen enthusiastically accepted the cards.

That made it worth my while. But the Lord likes to pour out blessings greater than your capacity to receive. In the book section, I found a pristine huge (11.5″ tall, over 3.5″ thick) Catholic family Bible (apocrypha and family genealogy pages, nothing filled in, no marks whatsoever) for a friend, essentially free. And a pristine volume of the Bard’s dramas, and another of his comedies, extremely cheap.

But that was not all. While loading the finds on my bike outside, another group of Haitians was piling into their car, within that “social distance” where you can casually initiate conversation without it looking like you went looking for them. They willingly engaged in conversation. I didn’t have cards for all the adults, but gave them my last two. I told both groups they could call for free copies of the Book of Mormon in Haitian, French, and English.

Thinking back, whenever I’ve had to go out of my way, it was _always_ more than worth it.

November 2, 2017

This post seems relevant as well: http://oneclimbs.com/2017/10/28/the-space-between-the-rod-and-the-tree/ —it talks about the time we may “let go” of the rod to reach the tree.

I’ve long been taken with the phrase “a space granted” from the BofM. This probationary State is one such space, where the space is between sin and its consequences, but there’s also this space we’ve been discussing, the space between revelation and action. That space allows us room to respond/act and thus receive blessings (and growth). I like the thought that when we “pray by action,” we’re taking something that could be negative (God isn’t speaking to me, why am I being left alone—why hast thou forsaken me sort of thing) and treating it as a positive. “Well, this must just be the time for me to act so that God can get on with guiding me.” Seeing it as a natural intermediate step rather than a final lack of revelation.

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