5. The habit of prayer and listening for revelation.
In Stephen R. Covey’s book, this is described as “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Personal revelation is a term that Latter-day Saints cling to—the belief that God can talk to us and inspire us. But sometimes we talk over God and don’t pay attention to what He is trying to tell us. See if this situation sounds familiar. You’ve been struggling with feeling inadequate in life; you start telling a friend about it, and before you even get out the second sentence, your friend is already trying to validate you by trying to tell you their own experience.
This isn’t a good way to learn or share, but sometimes we act like our friend in this scenario and do the same thing to Heavenly Father. We may ask a question, but instead of listening for an answer, we spend most of our energy coming up with counter questions, excuses, or don’t even listen at all. As we practice listening—whether that means praying longer, writing down promptings, or something else—we will be more in tune with the Spirit and more in tune disciples of Christ, able to act and understand spiritual things.
Boyd K. Packer once quoted Joseph Smith about this topic of revelation:
“A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon; . . . those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God, will come to pass; and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.”
Seven Habits highlight: “You might be saying, ’Hey, now wait a minute. I'm just trying to relate to the person by drawing on my own experiences. Is that so bad?’ In some situations, autobiographical responses may be appropriate, such as when another person specifically asks for help from your point of view or when there is already a very high level of trust in the relationship."
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