This past Sunday, during Relief Society meeting, we had a wonderful lesson on "The Spirit of Revelation." There were quite a few interpretations that the women shared. One was, "From God's lips to our ears."
We are not always in a frame of mind to hear that still small voice, so the Lord in His mercy allows us to receive needed revelations in many other ways. In seeking direction and guidance to life's questions it may come as a thought, pure inspiration, a memory, recognition of truth, a vision, or even visiting with a friend or a new acquaintance. Revelation doesn't always come when we want it. Sometimes it is delayed and comes instead - when we need it and not necessarily because we asked!
That is the beauty of revelation, it is "personal" revelation from God, something my faith believes in. He is mindful of us every day. The question for me as is - am I listening?
Our teacher this Sunday, Carolyn, is an elementary school principal. She shared two powerful examples of revelation that I will share here. Each has a message that touched my heart.
A member of Carolyn's office staff is an incredible woman. Regularly, when coming in to work, she would say, "You won't believe what happened to me!" A short while ago she came in and said, "You won't believe what happened to me. I received this incredible revelation at church!", and shared the experience she had as the sacrament was passed to the congregation.
A 14-year old young man was passing the sacrament for the first time. Most young men in my Church are given thisresponsibility at age 12, but due to some emotional issues, this young man's opportunity to pass the sacrament had been postponed. During this particular meeting, all went well until he came to this pew where this woman was sitting. Accidently, he dropped the sacrament tray that had the cups with water in them. The cups fell out, the water went everywhere. Quietly, the nearby deacons gathered up the spilled cups and tray. Reverently, it was refilled with new cups and water and passed to those in the pew.
To hear about this incident, one might think - "how embarrassing for that young man," and move on with your thoughts. But for this woman, Carolyn's friend, watching this accident happen, she received a "revelation." She told Carolyn, "It wasn't about the spilled water - it was that there was enough water for everyone." - I will let you think about that one.
Carolyn then went on to share that this story did not end there. About six weeks later, Carolyn's friend had realized that this young man had not attended church since the incident happened. She felt impressed to visit the young man's home - to tell his mother about the "revelation," she had received that day, and how grateful she was for this young man's part of her greater understanding of the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
After Carolyn's friend shared her gratitude with this mother, the mother then proceeded to share what had transpired her son returned home from Church on that fateful Sunday. He had been so traumatized by the accident that he had to be admitted into the hospital. The mother continued by explaining that her son had returned home the previous day. This mother, receiving her own inspiration, asked if Carolyn's friend would share the story with her son, which she did. The friend expressed her gratitude for him being there that day and allowing the Spirit to reveal and testify to her of the power of the Atonement.
The following Sunday this young man came back to church. He sat down beside Carolyn's friend and held her hand throughout the meeting.
When this woman came to school the next day, she said, "You won't believe it, I witnessed a miracle, but I was the only one who saw it!" Revelations - they are personal.
The second example Carolyn shared was of a Russian nesting Babushka doll, like the one I have pictured here. She took us through an exercise of taking each doll out - and labeling the different layers with the things we have going on in our lives - such as work, family, personal issues, health, finances, etc. She finally arrived at the last doll which she identified as our spirit - and then made this observation. "When the Lord desires to speak to us through the Spirit - personal revelation - He sure does have to go through a lot of layers to get our attention."
We then went through the exercise again, of putting the dolls - or layers - back together. But this time the layers were personal prayer in the morning, personal prayer in the evening, scripture study, serving others, etc. The objective was to help us visually see that when we re-purpose the layers of our life - we will be able to receive personal revelation again.
Then you can say, "You won't believe what happened to me!"