Improving revelation through the ordinances of the gospel-by Bridger Allman
I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Bridger Allman. I'm part of the group of guys who's here for the Summer selling pest control. Super stoked to be able to speak. I don't think I've given a talk since I got back from my mission. The stake just kind of passes you around the wards to be able to talk about your mission. So it's been a while. A good five years probably. I was born in Utah and raised in Utah. Basically, I have lived in Utah my whole life, in Orem. I'm married to Jordan, who's just there in black. We've been married this November, three years, which is pretty crazy. I think about just how time flies. So, elders if you're listening to this, just realize your time is short, when it comes to how much time you have left on the mission. My topic is improving Revelation and even maybe faith a little bit, through the ordinances of the gospel. I'm excited to talk about that a little bit because I feel like it's something I definitely need to improve on. So thanks goes to the Bishopric for picking that one out for me. As I was preparing my talk late last night as I procrastinated a little bit too too long. I realized that I hit writer blocks. I was like, okay, I'll finish in the morning. Got up this morning and was able to put some things down paper and I realized that, you know, I had some, I had some good things to go over but I really just didn't have any like good Interesting stories. Like man, my favorite talks are when people have some good stories about their lives or whatever. My topic was receiving revelation through ordinances and taking the sacrament and boom story after story after story, just like started popping into my head. And I think that alone was just a little bit of a testament to my own self, that like, the ordinances have power and I instantly had like different stories from my mission, from my life. I won't be able to hit on all of them just for the sake of time, but hopefully I can hit on the highlights and be able to give you guys some good insights from my own life. And I've prayed that the spirit can kind of carry my message to you in a way that you can learn how to improve the relation in your own lives. So, two things I want to talk about. When I was thinking about how to improve revelation, I think it comes down to two things. There's probably some more but the two that I was thinking about is improving our capacity to receive revelation, and then the other one was an improving clarity of the Revelation. So I think those are kind of two pathways that I thought about when it comes down to how to improve my ability to receive revelation and what's my capacity to do so as well as the clarity in which it comes, in which I'm going to understand it.
So the first part I want to talk about is the capacity to be able to receive revelation. President Nelson shared a little quote in one of his talks it said, " My beloved brothers and sisters, I believe to increase your spiritual capacity and to receive revelation, choose to do the spiritual work required to enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost and to hear the voice of the Spirit more frequently and more clearly. One of the most important parts of being able to have a higher capacity to be able to receive revelation is the participating in the ordinances of the gospel. One of the main reasons is that because the ordinances of the gospel and through the power of God and Christ and his atonement, we are able to overcome some of our faults, and our difficulties in our lives, and to be able to repent of our sins. Anytime that we are marred by sin or with bad habits or whatever it may be, I think that hurts our capacity to see the revelation that we're looking for. And I'm sure all of you know and would appreciate some increased capacity to receive revelation. I'm proud of each and every one of you for being here and taking the sacrament.
I wanted to read one scripture in Doctrine and Covenants, 59 verse 9. It says, and that thou mayest more fully keep myself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my Holy day. And so, the sacrament is a way for us to renew our covenants of baptism. Baptism is one of the many saving ordinances that we have to go through in order to be able to return to God. But through the sacrament, we're able to not only renew that ordinance, but participate in an ordinance that will bring us life, and spiritual power and increase our capacity, throughout the week, to be able to discern the voice of the Holy Ghost. Another way that we can improve our own capacity outside of the just participating in the ordinances of the sacrament is to be able to change our own perceptions of how capable we are to receive revelation. I think a lot of us fall into the pitfalls of thinking like oh, I'm not this, I'm not as spiritual as this person or my friend, my friend, you know, she's the spiritual one. Finding revelation I should have her pray for me or I should have this person think about my problems for me. And we kind of put limits on what we think is like our upper limit as far as how spiritual of a person can we be. And I think What we need to do in order to receive personal revelation is be to convince ourselves and familiarize ourselves with the idea that we can receive personal revelations for ourselves for our own lives. I have a couple ideas on how you can do that. But to summarize it, I think the idea is you gotta stack up some small wins in the spiritual sphere, whether it's just going to the temple grounds or going to the actual temple to do Initiatories or sealings, or the endowment or if you're part of the youth group, being able to go to the temple and do baptisms for the day, reading your scriptures, just increasing your capacity has just a lot to do with proving to yourself that you're a spiritual person. Sometimes we don't want to tell ourselves or we don't want to identify ourselves as spiritual giants or spiritual people. And I think the more that we can try to convince ourselves and buy into the idea that we have the capacity to receive Revelation the more it's going to come. One way to think about that is just like thinking of yourself more as a temple visitor, rather than I'm going to visit the temple because I need some answers. Like, I'm a temple visitor, I'm a scripture reader, I'm a church goer. That's part of my identity. And as that as part of my identity, I'm able to one act accordingly and the windows of heaven will be open unto me because of that.
The second part that I'll hit on very briefly is just clarity. Clarity of the Holy Ghost comes usually depending on the surroundings that you find yourself in when you receive revelation. If you guys think back on the last time you had revelation or you had an answer to one of your prayers, I bet, if you think about the surroundings you had yourself in that moment, you were probably in a more of a reverent surroundings. That's at least what I'm going to guess. It's not limited to that. But the more often we put ourselves in situations, where we can be surrounded by the spirit and not be distracted by the things in the world, the clearer the message is going to be to reach us. It's important for God to give us revelation, but sometimes we don't allow him to be able to pour that on to us because we're not in a state of clarity where we can receive that. And there's so many different things you can do to receive that clarity and to increase the clarity and that's going to the temple, being here at church, taking the Sacrament, having some time to yourself praying, even a car ride by yourself. Just turn off the radio and you just have yourself, you know, two, three minutes to yourselves where you can think and let the spirit come and reach you. Those are things you need to actively be doing in order to receive more revelation. But the last one that I felt inspired to share with you guys is a talk that I feel like maybe some of you guys can go home and read from David A Bednar. Its one of those church devotions so it's like a pretty long talk, but I remember listening to it as a missionary and it totally changed my outlook on faith and on Revelation. He shares the story about a young married couple, 23 years old, they had not been married three months when the husband gets diagnosed with leukemia and how hard of a time, it was for them and he happens to know, the couple. They're close family, friends of his. So he offered to go over and visit them in the hospital and kind of how they thought, Like oh I think I don't know if he was in the quorum of the twelve at that point, but Elder Bednar showed up and they kind of thought like man you know this guy's a spiritual giant, he's gonna heal us. Leukemia is going to be gone. Elder Bednar felt impressed to share was to ask them a couple questions and he said, I remember the guy's name but he said, do you have the faith to not be healed? Do you have the faith to accept that If it's your time to pass and continue your mortal ministry in the spirit world that you are going to be okay with that? And even Bednar was kind of spelling out in his talk here that that was not something he was planning on talking about with them, but he followed the spirit. He kind of helps illustrate the idea that sometimes we base our faith, we base our desire for Revelation, too much on the desired outcome that we're wanting. That's a really big key when it comes to being able to receive revelation. Is it shouldn't be like, hey I'm gonna go to the temple and I'm gonna pray and have him confirm what I want. It's got to be more thy will be done and being able to accept that. You may not get the answer or the outcome that you were expecting or hoping, and this comes in many facets of life. I'm sure a lot of you guys have experienced it, but a lot of us need to be able to have the faith to not be healed and to just accept whatever is going to happen to us. As I've taken those ideas, I've been able to receive more revelation because I've felt that I could just step back and remove myself from what I want to come from my prayers. And what I want to come from my spiritual worship and allow God to be at the helm and at the yoke. And yeah, basically, receiving revelation, it's an ongoing thing, It's like, exercising, any of you guys can do it. It's not anything special to certain types of people, but we need to be able to identify with ourselves, give ourselves opportunities to feel that clarity, allow ourselves to accept different viewpoints that we may not be expecting from our Heavenly Father from the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I know that Christ instituted a lot of these ordinances for our own power so that we may overcome our own issues and problems in life in that through the ordinances of the gospel that we can receive the revelation that we need to be able to carry on and overcome some of the tribulations in our own lives. And I leave these things with you guys, and I share my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.