If you love me, receive instruction from me

John Hall and I were recently discussing the Gospel of John. He pointed out that Christ’s words: “If you love me, keep my commandments” appear several times in the Gospel.  He thought the words could be better translated to mean:  “If you love me, act as a sentinel (or guard) ready to receive further instructions from me.”
 
The current King James translation was based on the recognition that the cannon of scripture had closed and revelation had ended. Therefore they took those things into account as they rendered their translation.
 
For us, at least in theory, the cannon of scripture is not closed. Also, in theory, revelation is still possible.

There is an effort underway to redefine revelation and circumscribe its acceptable bounds. The coming view will be that revelation should only be expected which confirms that the church’s authorities are speaking for God, and anything direct from God has ended. God has finished His work, and now given His authority to man.  (2 Ne. 28: 5.)  If Nephi was a prophet (and he was) then that will become the church’s position at some point.

 
It is our responsibility to receive revelation.  It is also our responsibility to keep the narrowing boundaries as wide open as possible. Whatever the line is, you should live at that line to prevent it from drawing even tighter.

If you love Christ, stand as a sentinel ready to receive further instructions from Him.

13 Responses to “If you love me, receive instruction from me

  • You said “there is an effort underway to redefine revelation and circumscribe its accaptable bounds”. Is this something that you have noticed among the general membership of the church? I have, most people I know seem to be afraid they are courting apostasy if they dig to deeply into personal revelation. Or is there a movement higher up in the church to come up with an acceptable definition of revelation?

    I’m trying to come to an understanding of the general direction we as a church seem to be going. Are we settling(wanting?) for less from the Lord, and therefore recieving less form the Lord. All the while believing that all is well in Zion, and the Lord will spare us from to much tribulation as long as we are keeping our covenants. That seems to be the new coined phrase among my friends. “I don’t have to worry about ANYTHING, as long as I am keeping my covenants.”

    I think we don’t even begin to understand the huge difference between how we think we are “keeping our covenants”, and how the Lord expects us to be “keeping our covenants”.

  • DKD…if you’re out there…on 6/1 you commented on the post entitled “Keys and Assignments” and you quoted Joseph Smith. Can you give me a reference for that?
    Thanks!

  • Hyrum must’ve known what he was doing when he laid down the leaf in the Book of Mormon on that verse before he was martyred! He and Moroni meant us, the Church! Heber, is this the test you saw? Will the remnant of the believing Gentiles crown the tribes of Israel and start a new dispensation of the Millenium, passing off the baton? How is this going to unfold? The Lord must be sorely testing the Gentiles by seeing what they will do with these ironies. They will be crushed to powder!

    Oh, God! Save us!

  • I think we are already living in the day when Nephi’s prophecy is being fulfilled.(2 Nephi 28: 5).

    The way I see it.. The church (as an institution is on AUTO-PILOT and according to President Hinckley, revelation is only needed when a problem arises. It seems that the “powers that be” feel that they can’t take the “plane” to fly any higher and worse, it seems with all the recent changes…we are descending.

    In an interview with David Ransom: INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT GORDON B. on November 09, 1997
    Gordon B. Hinckley: “Now we don’t need a lot of continuing revelation. We have a great, basic reservoir of revelation. But if a problem arises, as it does occasionally, a vexatious thing with which we have to deal, we go to the Lord in prayer. We discuss it as a First Presidency and as a Council of the Twelve Apostles. We pray about it and then comes the whisperings of a still small voice. And we know the direction we should take and we proceed accordingly.”

    However, this has all been prophesied. It is now our responsibility and opportunity for us as individuals to reach new heights, and fly higher into the limitless skies.

  • Denver, how could that possibly happen? Our whole church is founded on continued revelation, many people continue to receive daily revelation and we have the words of Joseph and Brigham??? I get the point that the Book Of Mormon is a warning to us but that’s just more then even I can imagine. Wouldn’t half the church rebel? It seems like it would be so obviously false if they taught something like you propose. Nephi talks about “the churches” – plural – and priests contending one with another. Are you SURE on this point or are you just holding it out as a possibility to be wary of?

  • Yeah, I’m kind of with you on this David…some of the statements (like the one you quoted) that rolled off the presses in the late 90’s and around the turn of the century all assert essentially the same thing:

    Hinckley: “We have a great body of revelation, the vast majority of which came from the prophet Joseph Smith. We don’t need much revelation.” (San Francisco Chronicle, interview with Don Lattin, 13 April 1997.)

    Holland: “To help us make our way through these experiences, these important junctures in our lives, let me draw from another scriptural reference to Moses. It was given in the early days of this dispensation when revelation was needed, when a true course was being set and had to be continued.” (Cast Not Away Therefore Thy Confidence, June 2000 Liahona).

    Does this qualify as fulfillment of 2 Ne. 28:5, or is there still more that could be said and done on this topic and how we don’t need anymore revelation, and that the authority has passed to man?

    – John

  • I don’t think, John, that Elder Holland was saying that revelation was only needed then, and not now, since that whole talk is an attempt to get us to get revelation and stop doubting our own revelations.

    Context is needed here.

  • Denver, when you said, “There is an effort underway to redefine revelation and circumscribe its acceptable bounds. The coming view will be that revelation should only be expected which confirms that the church’s authorities are speaking for God, and anything direct from God has ended. God has finished His work, and now given His authority to man. (2 Ne. 28: 5.) If Nephi was a prophet (and he was) then that will become the church’s position at some point” — aren’t you taking this scripture out of context?

    It seems like 2 Ne 28 is referring to Joseph Smith’s day when the Book of Mormon would come forth and pretty much all people of that day believed exactly that, that “God has finished His work, and now given His authority to man.”

  • lc: here is the footnote from Elder Faust’s talk as the source for the Joseph Smith quote:

    1. Quoted in Young Woman’s Journal, Dec. 1906, p. 543; see also Ensign, June 1994, p. 15.

  • I guess I see Pres. Hinckley’s quote a little differently than you do David:

    “Now we don’t need a lot of continuing revelation. We have a great, basic reservoir of revelation. But if a problem arises, as it does occasionally, a vexatious thing with which we have to deal, we go to the Lord in prayer.”

    I see the restoration and the revelations and direction given to apostles and prophets since then to be the “great, basic reservoir of revelation.” Denver has taught a number of times in his books that you must learn what the Lord has revealed to us already in the scriptures before you can expect to have the Lord add additional mysteries. I see a similar principle at play here.

    President Monson doesn’t need to re-receive revelation or direction on how to organize a deacon’s quorum, that instruction has already been received. In a way, the church as an institution, an organization, is in a sort of “maintenance mode of revelation. Problems arise and those called to preside over the organization go to the Lord and get the answers.

    I also believe sometimes the Lord allows the organization to “drift” if you will. The Church isn’t perfect, and sooner or later I think the Lord will step in as a problem arises and will provide the necessary light to bring the ship back on course. I see this sort of pattern in the revelation of 1978, as well as the dissolution of the 70s at the local level and re-institution at the general level.

    I don’t want to be misunderstood that I believe all is well in zion, but I have faith the Lord still stands at the head of the work. I too wish for the days when (as one example) we studied a priesthood manual written by Hugh Nibley instead of the “dummy’s guide to mormonism” that we have today.

    As usual, Denver, a wonderful thought provoking post. I’m not sure I’m totally with you on the church disavowing revelation, but you always get me to think and evaluate what I believe.

  • DKD – thanks!
    Ben – loved the “dummy’s guide to mormonism”

  • I also believe that 2 Nephi 28 has been fulfilled, that everyone today has been decieved by all the philosophies of men which abound & deceive most all members to support or do evil, except a few & even they do error at times.

    For I have found it difficult to find even 5 members who really truely believe in the Gospel that Jesus Christ taught. When I ask people I know in a round about way, if they believe such & such, they all say no, not realizing what they are saying. Most people think they believe in the Gospel, but when you really define it, they say no.

    I see that the Church is dealing with so many huge serious problems today, that it would be unthinkable that most all leaders, from Bishops on up, wouldn’t need to receive alot of revelation every single day to solve the tidal wave of problems ever before them, as is their obligation to receive such. Just as it’s our vital obligation as members to receive daily revelation for our own problems, if we don’t want to become deceived & surely fall.

    I know we can all receive more revelation daily than we have room enough to receive or know what to do with. I know that Heavenly Father can’t wait to answer our questions, as soon as we will depend on him only & just sincerely ask & study what he has already given us & then he will give us much more that will fill our souls with incredible joy & peace.

  • I don’t believe ‘that the Lord would ever have’ the Prophet say that we can’t receive personal revelation anymore or that our revelation would never conflict with another leaders counsel or revelation, except the President of the Church.

    It’s very likely that most everyone in the Church may come to believe such incorrect things but I do not believe the Prophet would ever teach that.

    The Prophet must know that not all leaders are righteous & thus their revelation & counsel may not always be correct & thus would be different from our own revelation if we are righteous.

    I believe it is our divine right as children of God to pray to & receive revelation from our Father in Heaven, & even be told things that have never been revealed yet, if we are ready for them. We have been told that we should all become Prophets & Prophetesses.