The other day while doing my scripture study, I was in 1st Nephi chapter 5. We have all read this chapter so many times, yet I never stopped pausing and contemplating verse 4 and verse 8, but they jumped out to me that day! It was like the Lord wanted me to take a moment and pause so he could teach me one of life's great analogies to apply to my life.
1st Nephi 5:4
And it had come to pass that my father spake unto her, saying: I know that I am a visionary man; for if I had not seen the things of God in a vision I should not have known the goodness of God, but had tarried at Jerusalem, and had perished with my brethren.
1st Nephi 5:8
And she spake, saying: Now I know of a surety that the Lord hath commanded my husband to flee into the wilderness; yea, and I also know of a surety that the Lord hath protected my sons, and delivered them out of the hands of Laban, and given them power whereby they could accomplish the thing which the Lord hath commanded them. And after this manner of language did she speak.
In these verses, we have both Lehi and Sariah. They are both struggling with each other because they both are not having the same experience. In verse 4 Lehi tells Sariah that he knows that he is a visionary man, but if he were not a visionary man, he would not have known the goodness of God. In verse 8 Sariah tells Lehi after her sons returned that she now knows that he is a visionary man and that God has asked Lehi to do certain things, and because of that, God will protect them.
Lehi has visions, and Sariah learns from experience that Lehi's visions are from God.
I feel that we are in each of these places at different times in our lives. Total opposite of why Lehi and Sariah are doing what they are doing. Lehi said that there was no way he could do what he needed to do unless he had these visions, and Sariah had to lean on her faith and trust Lehi.
I have found in my own life when God gives me a download in the form of visions, dreams, words, or strong promptings, it is so much easier to see my plan and what God desires for me. But then I have also been on the other side where I have no idea what he wants me to do, like the faucet has been turned off, and I have to make the best decision I can at the very moment and hope it is the right one.
I know that faith is what helps us grow the most because this is what builds our foundation. Strengthening our faith helps gives us a deep-rooted understanding of God and his plan, and as Sariah said, "Now I know of a surety." But!!! I love when Heavenly Father allows me to experience a download. They don't happen often, but I am so grateful when they do.
Reflecting on what President Nelson said, "In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost." Therefore, we need to strengthen our personal revelation. We need to live our lives so the Holy Ghost can constantly communicate, giving us these downloads. A question to ponder is, Sariah had the faith to follow, but would Lehi have what it takes to uproot his whole family, leave their home, travel in the wilderness, and come to the promised land without those visions?
In the coming days, I believe our Prophet is warning us that we will face some of these very circumstances. Without constant personal revelation, we will not survive. We will be asked to do hard things. Faith, along with personal revelation, will be the only way we will be able to do what is asked.
I know we are constantly being prepared to receive personal revelation. We are given opportunities all around us. But are we taking advantage of these times? Working with clients, I have seen how their lives have changed by just taking a moment to receive what Heavenly Father is trying to show, feel, and experience.
Today take the opportunity to experience what Heavenly Father wants you to learn or know. Ask in sincere prayer and wait for his words to guide you. Take time to increase your personal revelation because just as our Prophet has said, "In the coming days, we will not survive..."