Do you know what revelation is? Revelation is Knowledge. It is Gnosis. It is the testimony, not of belief or a desire to believe, but manifest principles of eternal truth which are seated deep in the soul.
We live in a world of stunning access to information, and rampant ignorance. There are few latter day saints who have read the scriptures we already have, but all of us need these revelations more than we need air, yet we so often fail to seek it. As the Dalai Lama put it:
THE PARADOX OF OUR TIMES
Is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers
Wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints
We spend more, but we have less.
We have bigger houses, but smaller families
More conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees, but less sense
More knowledge, but less judgement
More experts, but more problems
More medicines, but less wellness.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often
We have learnt how to make a living, but not a life.
We have added years to life, but not life to years.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back
But have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour.
We have conquered outer space, but not inner space.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted our soul.
We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice.
We’ve higher incomes, but lower morals.
We’ve become long on quantity but short on quality.
These are the times of tall men, and short character;
Steep profits, and shallow relationships.
These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare,
More leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.
These are the days of two incomes, but more divorces;
Of fancier houses, but broken homes.
It is a time when there is much in the show window, and nothing in the stockroom.
How can we as Latter-Day Saints meet the challenge of our day and be people of substance? We are told that we must have doctrinal milk before meat, but it seems that we are settling only for the milk, and each General Conference demonstrates more and more, even our milk is getting thinner each year. The church is like that shop window promising the fullness of the gospel, but once inside there are no products being stocked on the shelves. We live in a world in desperate need of knowledge by revelation and instead we fill our church meetings with cute anecdotes, and sentimental platitudes. Where is the real sustenance? where are the new revelations, new volumes of scripture? Investigators come into the church because they expect to find additional truth, just as they did by first reading the book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants. Suddenly they find however that there isn’t any more new scripture, and hasn’t been for a long time. What then is different about the Church than any other church? where is the power to bring forth new revelation, new knowledge? as Joseph Smith said:
“Knowledge is necessary to life and godliness. Woe unto you priests and divines who preach that knowledge is not necessary unto life and salvation. Take away Apostles, etc., take away knowledge, and you will find yourselves worthy of the damnation of hell. Knowledge is revelation. Hear, all ye brethren, this grand key: knowledge is the power of God unto salvation.”
Without continuing revelation we are like any other church which “draws near unto [God] with their mouth but their hearts are far from [Him].”
But many members will say, “What about the many policy changes, like to build new smaller temples, lower the missionary age for sisters, and to change the headings and minor wording and capitalization of the D&C?” To which any rational person can reply that all these things were done by the correlation department, which is not God, or any kind of god, it is a committee of men and women within a corporation that are responding to data collected by that corporation. Such changes in policy are not revelation, or even evidence of revelation, they are simply the day to day workings of any multinational corporation responding to changes in the branding and demand for its products. No approval is needed from Thomas S. Monson to make such changes, and these changes are certainly not directed by him, or any other member of the first presidency or the twelve. Of course as a figurehead they always get the credit for anything done in the church office building, but that skyscraper is staffed by hundreds who do the actual work, and make the real decisions. If anything the visible leaders of the church are simply needed to ratify and validate the work that goes on.
So I ask, where is the revelation? I know I am hungry for more Gospel meat, are you?