Ask any typical Latter-day Saint, “Would you like more revelation in your life?” and the immediate answer will probably be “Yes!”
There are many ways to prepare for and to increase the likelihood of receiving revelation: Repentance, singing hymns, more fervent prayer, attending the temple, forgiving others, finding solace in places of quiet (often in nature), being more mindful, learning, meditating, listening, and reading the scriptures.
Let’s consider further this last suggestion of reading the scriptures. We remember that the restoration began to roll forth because Joseph Smith did several things: he read from scriptures (James 1), he pondered upon what he read, he encountered a question that needed an answer, and he put that question to God in prayer.
Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon received the grand vision of the glories of heaven, now found in Doctrine and Covenants 76, because they had been reading John 5 in the New Testament. They pondered what they read, which led to questions that needed an answer. God delivered to them the panoramic view of the kingdoms of heaven in response to their questioning need.
What I find most striking about the principle of increasing our chances of revelation through scripture study is that the best example of this principle in action is Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.
Joseph Smith’s reading of the Book of Mormon had more impact on his reception of revelation over a single three-month period than at any other time in his life. If you look at the list of dates when Joseph Smith’s Doctrine and Covenants revelations occur, I see a significant clustering (http://classic.scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/chrono).
Between April – June 1829, Joseph received twelve revelations that are now canonized as part of the Doctrine and Covenants. Further reviewing the chronological list shows that there is no other three-month period in Joseph’s entire prophetic career where he received more canonical revelations than during the April – June 1829 time period.
Why is that significant?
That three month period from April – June 1829 is when the Joseph Smith completed the bulk of the Book of Mormon translation/dictation process.
In other words, Joseph Smith’s reading of the Book of Mormon led to the greatest concentration of canonical revelations the Church has ever seen.
What would happen in our own lives if we spent more time reading the Book of Mormon, pondering what we read, finding questions about what we read, and asking those questions in search of answers?
I believe by reading the Book of Mormon more often we will find an abundance of light from above spreading into our hearts and lives that will quicken our understanding, increase our knowledge, draw us closer to God, and fill our lives with the unspeakable joy as we experience revealed truths in our personal lives.
Lead image from Getty Images
Learn more about Joseph Smith's miraculous translation of the Book of Mormon with From Darkness unto Light.
This book provides a detailed description of the process by which Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon. Drawing from firsthand accounts of Joseph himself and the scribes who served with him, From Darkness unto Lightexplores the difficulties encountered in bringing forth this book of inspired scripture. This book helps readers understand that the coming forth of the Book of Mormon was a miracle.