The Lord’s pattern for learning is timeless, and requires faith and trust from the student, Elder W. Mark Bassett, General Authority Seventy, taught during the Saturday afternoon session of general conference.
“Faith and trust in the Lord require us to acknowledge that His wisdom is superior to our own,” he said. “We must also acknowledge that His plan provides the greatest potential for spiritual development and learning.”
Sharing a story of when he was a young boy, Elder Bassett told of a miniature model of the golden plates his parents had displayed in their home. Familiar with the stories of the Restoration, Elder Bassett — along with his brother — wondered what was written on the small section that was securely sealed. The curious boys tried, on several occasions, to pry open the sealed portion of the model plates.
“To our disappointment and frustration, these attempts to ‘pry at the plates’ were always unsuccessful,” he said.
Just as the young boys were trying to “pry at the plates” to read something that wasn’t available to them, so do Church members today as they search for those things that are not meant to be revealed yet.
“Sadly, our development and learning can at times be slowed or even halted by an ill-conceived desire to ‘pry at the plates,’ ” he said. “These actions can lead us to seek after things that are not necessarily meant to be understood at this time, all the while ignoring the beautiful truths that are meant for us and our circumstances. ...
“In this modern age, we have come to expect that knowledge can and should be obtained immediately; when information is not easily known or accessible, it is often dismissed or mistrusted. Because of the abundance of information, some unwittingly give more credibility to available sources with an unknown origin rather than relying on the Lord’s established pattern for receiving personal revelation.”
Individuals are not expected to have a "perfect understanding" of all things during their mortal existence. Rather, each is expected to "hope for things which are not seen, which are true." The companionship of the Holy Ghost will aid in spiritual development and learning.
“As we acknowledge that we are the workmanship of a wise and devoted Father in Heaven, O then, why not allow Him to guide our spiritual development and learning according to His will and pleasure rather than our own,” he said.
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