Here's my talk
Revelation becomes our guide to application
Good morning brothers and sisters, no better way to be welcomed to the ward than by giving a talk in it the first time you've been there. For those of you who don't know me, which is all of you. I am Elder Hamrick, I am from Overland Park KS which is just by Kansas City. I have been out for 5.... Days... I went into the MTC on the 5th of Feb. I was originally sent to the Fortaleza East Brazil Mission. Turns out I don't have my visa yet, so I got reassigned here. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here today.
The topic I was assigned to speak on was "revelation becomes our guide to application" when I first heard that, I honestly had no clue what it meant. I had to think about it and study it quite a bit to understand what it meant, and even then, I may not know what it was supposed to mean. This is what I got out of it:
I want to speak about the Holy Ghost, and the spirit. As a missionary, a lot of the truth we bring is through the spirit. The spirit brings each and every one of us revelation. Now once we receive that revelation we have to put it to use, hence the application. It isn't always easy to listen to the promptings of the spirit, but when we do, amazing things can happen.There's a scripture in D&C 68 verse 4 that says...
4 And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation. (D&C 68:4)
God has given us this great gift that we all need to take advantage of. I think it is awesome how when we are baptized we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and we should treat it just like that, a gift. When I think of a really good gift I think of something I never want to lose. I like to look at the Holy Ghost as the greatest gift we can receive, so I want to live my life so that the Holy Ghost can be with me always. We have the opportunity to always be receiving revelation if we are worthy of it. Once we receive that revelation we can use it as guidance for the rest of our lives. There is always something that we can learn from those little revelations, or promptings. For example we can learn how to act when a similar situation comes around again, or for us to learn how to listen to that prompting. We all receive revelation in different ways, for me I just get a thought in my head. I just think hmmm maybe I should do that, or say that.
I like to use analogies, so bear with me through this one. I like to look at the Holy Ghost as a cellphone for multiple reasons. If any of you are like me, I didn't really like to go anywhere without my cellphone. It was important to me, and it was a very useful tool. If anything were to happen to our cellphones, or something else we keep hold of pretty tightly, more often than not we would get upset. I know I would be. But in my opinion I never thought of the Holy Ghost like that. Yes I realized that it was important, but I never cherished it like a loved item. Now that is one of my goals, to always cherish the Holy Ghost, and to always have it with me, and be worthy to receive revelation from it. It can guide us through many situations in our lives. The other way I look at it, the Holy Ghost is like a cellphone because it is a way to communicate with God. We all use cellphones to maybe call up a friend just to say hi or ask how they are doing. We can use our "spiritual cellphones" if you will to talk to God, and to sometimes receive answers. Now with a cellphone you have to be able to have service, or your phone just won't work. We also have to have spiritual reception in order for us to be able to hear those promptings. We have to be worthy. I plan on striving to have my "spiritual cellphone" with me at all times.
Sister carol m Stephens said in her talk called "do we know what we have?" Quote
"We need the gift of the Holy Ghost. Through that ordinance, we can have access to the constant companionship of the Spirit. President Wilford Woodruff taught: “Every man or woman that has ever entered into the church of God and been baptized for the remission of sins has a right to revelation, a right to the Spirit of God, to assist them in their labors, in their administrations to their children, in counseling their children and those over whom they are called upon to preside. The Holy Ghost is not restricted to men, nor to apostles or prophets; it belongs to every faithful man and woman, and to every child who is old enough to receive the gospel of Christ." Unquote
It is amazing that God loves us so much that he would give this gift to everyone who is worthy and baptized, that is all it takes. You can be a child of the age of eight. Or you can be a teenager the age of 14, if you truly seek to have the spirit with you at all times, you will receive revelation. One of the most amazing things that happened for our church was through revelation. The prophet Joseph smith. David M. McConkie gave a talk in general conference called "teaching with the power and authority of god" and I quote.
"In response to a 14-year-old boy’s humble prayer, the heavens were opened. God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared and spoke to the Prophet Joseph Smith. The long-awaited restitution of all things had begun, and the principle of revelation was everlastingly established in our dispensation. Joseph’s message, and our message to the world, can be summarized in two words: “God speaks.” He spoke anciently, He spoke to Joseph, and He will speak to you. This is what sets you apart from all other teachers in the world. This is why you cannot fail." Unquote
Joseph smith received one of the first instances of revelation that we know of. Like brother mcconkie said, it is easily summarized by two words. God Speaks. He is always there, and is always willing to help if we are both worthy and listening.
Once we receive that revelation, it is then up to us to apply it in our lives. Sometimes that can be the hardest part. I know that if we follow promptings through revelation we can then be guided on how to apply it in our own lives. It is amazing that we have this amazing guide and help in our life. God truly cares about us and wants us to do the best we can, and that is clearly evident through everything we have been given to help us along the way. There are so many things that have been given to us all through revelation. For example, all of doctrine and covenants. It was all given to Joseph smith, for the church or for the members in it. We can all use the doctrine and covenants in our lives and apply it to them. It is simply amazing what we have been given, and what we are always continually being given.
At times we let revelation become our guide without even realizing it. I know that it has happened to me many times. I'll be doing something then all of the sudden get an idea to do something else. A lot of the time we don't see those things as revelation, but I do. If I were to look back at that situation, and would have gone to do something else when I got the idea, maybe I wouldn't have had any problems. God is ALWAYS looking out for us whenever we are doing anything.
Heavenly Father has given us so many ways and situations in which we can receive revelation. Temples are one of those places that we can receive the most revelation. I just love going to the temple, whether I go to do baptisms, or other temple work, I always look forward to it. Something I have noticed while in the temple is that time is basically nothing there. We don't have to worry about anything outside of the temple. We are in the Lords house and on the Lords time. Before I came out on my mission, I loved taking pictures. One of my favorite things that I have taken pictures of is the outside of the temple. It is absolutely beautiful. When we even just simply go to the temple grounds we know that there is a different feeling. It is always calm, and always peaceful, and it is just a good feeling. The temple also has visitor centers. You can learn so much just by going and watching videos or reading information about the temple. When I go to the temple I try to have a focus, a reason why I am there. Something that I need help with in my life. Most of the time I receive an answer about it. It is a great form of personal revelation for all of us, and I invite you all to take every opportunity that you can to go and experience the greatness that it is.
We can even take the revelation not directed for us, and apply it in our lives. When I was younger there were some scripture videos called like unto us or liken unto me or something like that, but they were awesome. I am really big into music so I enjoyed the musical numbers, but they also had great messages. They would start off with a child in their life and struggling with some issue that they didn't know how to solve. Then an adult, either their parents or their leaders would come to them, and teach them about a character in the scriptures, and what problem they had to overcome. Then they applied it to the child's life, and how Heavenly father is always there to help us and guide us along with our struggles. One episode was David and Goliath. This child was asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting, and he thought that it was way too big of a task for him to do. All those people watching him, and having their full attention on him. His parents then came to him and told the story of David and Goliath. David was a small teenager and his people were fighting against the philistenes. The philistenes had a warrior who was a giant. Not one man wanted to go against him. David was curious as to why. He said that he would fight the giant. Now how crazy is That? It wasn't crazy at all for him. He knew that the Lord was on his side. He received what I think was revelation and decided to find the smoothest and most aerodynamic stone he could find for his sling. That he may slay Goliath. When david came to battle he said this in 1 Samuel 17 verses 45-47
45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
46 This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
47 And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.
David overcame Goliath with one smooth stone, and won the battle. Without faith In The Lord he would have really had a difficulty fighting the philistines. An important way to receive revelation is to have faith that we can receive revelation. We can apply this revelation in our own lives. We can have the faith to withstand any trial we have, and we can have faith to receive revelation.
Bear my testimony.
In the name of Jesus Christ amen.