“We need revelation from God. And we need not just one revelation in a time of stress but we need a constantly renewed stream. We need not just one flash of light and comfort, but we need the continuing blessing of communication with God,” President Henry B. Eyring said in his Sunday morning conference address.
President Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, said the very existence of the Church stems from Joseph Smith who, as a young boy, knew he could not of himself know which Church to join so he asked of God, Who with His Son, appeared and answered the question that was beyond Joseph's power to resolve. Joseph was called of God to establish the true Church of Jesus Christ; with it was restored the power to invoke the Holy Ghost that revelation from God could be continuous.
“President Boyd K. Packer described that identifying mark of the true Church this way: ‘Revelation continues in the Church: the prophet receiving it for the Church; the president for his stake, his mission, or his quorum; the bishop for his ward; the father for his family; the individual for himself.’
“That wonderful process of revelation begins, ends and continues as we receive personal revelation,” President Eyring said.
He spoke of Nephi who responded to the command given through Lehi, his father, to return to Jerusalem for the plates that contained the word of God. Though he and his brothers would run a terrible risk, Nephi said, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.”
President Eyring said, “When Lehi heard Nephi speak those words, the scripture says that he was ‘exceedingly glad.’ He was glad because he knew that Nephi had been blessed with the confirming revelation that his father’s dream was a true communication from God.”
He said that as a young man returning home late in the evening, he would hear his mother call to him, “Hal. Come in for a moment.” They would then talk. He said that to this day “what she said comes back to my mind, with the same power I feel when I read the transcript of my patriarchal blessing.”
“I don't know what she was asking for in prayer as she waited for me those nights. I suppose it would have been in part for my safety. But I am sure that she prayed as a patriarch does before he gives a blessing. He prays that his words will come to the recipient as the words of God, not his. My mother’s prayers for that blessing were answered on my head. ...
“I have seen that same miracle of continuing revelation in stake presidents and bishops in the Church. And, as is true in the revelation to the family leaders, the value of the revelation depends on those who are being led receiving confirming revelation.”
President Eyring said he saw the miracle of continuing revelation in the aftermath of the breaking of the Teton Dam in Idaho in 1976. In a meeting with the representative of a federal disaster agency, the stake president, bishops and elders quorum presidents reported what they had done, and what they had been inspired to do, as they carried out the instructions to find families and to help them.
He spoke of prophets, apostles, a presiding bishop and district presidents with whom he has served, and said, “I have seen the revelation given to them and then confirmed to their followers. That personal revelation of acceptance, for which we all long, does not come easily, nor does it come simply for the asking. The Lord gave this standard for the capacity to receive such witnesses from God. It is a guide for anyone seeking personal revelation as we all must.
“ ‘Let thy bowels be also full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distill upon thy soul as the dews from heaven. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion’ (Doctrine and Covenants 121:45).
“From that I draw counsel for us. Don’t take lightly the feeling you get of love for the prophet of God. Wherever I go in the Church, whoever the prophet is at the time, members will ask, ‘When you get back to Church headquarters, will you please tell the prophet how much we love him?’
“That is far more than hero worship or the feelings we sometimes have of admiring heroic figures. It is a gift from God. With it you will receive more easily the gift of confirming revelation when he speaks in his office as the Lord’s prophet. The love you feel is the love the Lord has for whomever is His spokesman.
“That is not easy to feel continually because the Lord often asks His prophets to give counsel that is hard for people to accept. The enemy of our souls will try to lead us to take offense and to doubt the prophet’s calling from God.”