Sunday, January 18, 2009

Article of Faith 9

9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

In a talk he gave, Elder L. Tom Perry said, "We declare to the world that the heavens are not closed. God continues to reveal His will to mankind, as He has in all periods of time when He has had authorized servants upon the earth. This fact should be familiar to all of our Father in Heaven’s children, for the scriptures give abundant evidence of this.

Sometimes we define the communication of God’s will as revelation. Sometimes we refer to such communication as inspiration. Revelation, however, is a much broader term. While inspiration can properly be considered as revelation, revelation can also include visions, dreams, the spoken word, or other spiritual manifestations. Elder Talmage explained:

“Revelation signifies the making known of divine truth by communication from the heavens. …

“The word inspiration is sometimes invested with a [significance] almost identical with that of revelation, though by origin and early usage it possessed a distinctive meaning. To inspire is literally to animate with the spirit; a man is inspired when under the influence of a power other than his own. Divine inspiration may be regarded as a lower or less directly intensive operation of spiritual influence upon man than is … revelation. The difference therefore is rather one of degree than of kind.” L. Tom Perry, “We Believe All That God Has Revealed,” Liahona, Nov 2003, 85–88

As it pertains to the members of the church, revelation can come for help with regard to each person's sphere of responsibility. For example, a Deacon in the church may receive revelation about his calling, and his life. However, he does not have the authority to receive revelation for the church as a whole. That authority has been given to the Prophet.

We do believe that revelation continues today. We believe that this is a living church. God is not silent. He communicates with His servants today, just as He did in times of old.

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