The Voice of the Lord
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
The Doctrine and Covenants
I have been reading in Doctrine and Covenants for the last few months and it has really been a blessing. Many times a question would arise during the day about an issue in the news or a family matter and the page that I would read that night in the Doctrine and Covenants just happened to be speaking directly to me and had my answers.
I truly can attest this was given to us as a source to guide us through these last days. It's amazing how often the second coming of the Lord is mentioned in Doctrine and Covenants as well as the signs to watch for.
The first paragraph in the introduction to the Doctrine and Covenants reads as follows:
The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of divine revelations and inspired declarations given for the establishment and regulation of the kingdom of God on the earth in the last days. Although most of the sections are directed to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the messages, warnings, and exhortations are for the benefit of all mankind and contain an invitation to all people everywhere to hear the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ, speaking to them for their temporal well-being and their everlasting salvation.
I testify that this is true!
I came across this message from President Henry B. Eyring in the January 2013 Liahona. He shares an amazing experience from an ancestor and explains how the Doctrine and Covenants can help us in these last days. It's very much worth the read!
The Voice of the Lord
In our prayers we seek to know what God would have us do, what we should do to find peace and happiness in this life and the next, and what lies ahead of us. The Doctrine and Covenants is filled with answers to such questions asked by ordinary people and by prophets in humble prayer. It can be a precious guide to teach us how to receive answers to questions about our temporal well-being and eternal salvation.
Humility and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are key. Oliver Cowdery received an answer from the Lord regarding his desire to help in the translation of the Book of Mormon: “Remember that without faith you can do nothing; therefore ask in faith. Trifle not with these things; do not ask for that which you ought not” (D&C 8:10).
Over and over in the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord requires faith and humility before He gives His help. One reason for this is that His answers may not come in the way we expect. Neither will they always be easy to accept.
Church history and the experiences of our ancestors illustrate this reality. My great-grandfather Henry Eyring prayed fervently to know what he should do when he heard the restored gospel taught in 1855. The answer came in a dream.
He dreamed that he was seated at a table with Elder Erastus Snow of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and with an elder named William Brown. Elder Snow taught the principles of the gospel for what seemed to be an hour. Then Elder Snow said, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to be baptized and this man [Elder Brown] … shall baptize you.”1 My family is grateful that Henry Eyring had the faith and humility to be baptized at 7:30 in the morning in a pool of rainwater in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, by Elder Brown.
The answer to his prayer did not come in an audible voice from the Lord. It came in a vision and dream in the night, as it did with Lehi (see 1 Nephi 8:2).
And He encouraged Oliver this way: “Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?” (D&C 6:23).
The Doctrine and Covenants, Church history, and the history kept by Henry Eyring on his mission just after his baptism have taught me that answers can be felt as warnings as well as peace.
In April 1857, Elder Parley P. Pratt of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles attended a conference in what is now Oklahoma, USA. Henry Eyring recorded that Elder Pratt’s “mind was filled with gloomy forebodings … , not being able to discern the future or any way of escape.” Henry recorded the sad news immediately thereafter of the martyrdom of the Apostle. Elder Pratt had gone forward on his journey despite feelings of danger, just as the Prophet Joseph had done in going to Carthage.
It is my testimony that the Lord always answers the humble prayer of faith. The Doctrine and Covenants and our personal experience teach us how to recognize those answers and accept them in faith, whether they be direction, confirmation of truth, or a warning. I pray that we always will listen for and recognize the loving voice of the Lord.