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The Spirit of Revelation

Elder Bednar gave a beautiful talk Sunday morning about revelation.  First he mentioned two different analogies for the way that revelation can come.  The first, which is rather rare, is like turning on a light in a dark room--a sudden burst of revelation, such as when Paul saw the Lord.  The second is like watching a sunrise--it starts off dark and by very small degrees gradually becomes lighter until the sun has risen over the horizon.  Personally, I don't think I've ever experienced the lightbulb version, but I do feel like I've had my fair share of gradual sunrise-like revelation.

In talking about the blessing of revelation, Elder Bednar says
This blessing is not restricted to the presiding authorities of the Church; rather, it belongs to and should be operative in the life of every man, woman, and child who reaches the age of accountability and enters into sacred covenants. Sincere desire and worthiness invite the spirit of revelation into our lives.
which I find to be rather comforting.  I believe that God does want to lead and guide His children, and He will do so with any soul that is willing to receive direction from Him.  I do not think that only Church leaders are entitled to revelation.  It is not restricted to just the men of the Church.  In fact, I do not believe it is even restricted to members of the Church.  I believe that God will reveal things to any one of His children that asks in faith, with a sincere desire to know.

Over the last several months, I have sought revelation from God concerning the matter of homosexuality.  I have prayed and fasted many long hours in order to know His will for me.  After all of that prayer and study, I have arrived at the conclusion that I should marry a man with whom I can share the rest of my life.  I feel very good about this.  In sharing this with other people, I have been told that I am being deceived by the devil and that God would not contradict the teaching He gave to the prophet in a personal revelation to me.  I have also been told that since I have been addicted to pornography I was not worthy to receive such a revelation from God.  I will tend to agree with the logic of that argument, since Elder Bednar went on to say
Because the Spirit whispers to us gently and delicately, it is easy to understand why we should shun inappropriate media, pornography, and harmful, addictive substances and behaviors. These tools of the adversary can impair and eventually destroy our capacity to recognize and respond to the subtle messages from God delivered by the power of His Spirit.
I believe that sinning does take us further away from God and makes us less capable of hearing His voice.  However, the one dispute that I make with applying this concept to me personally is that I recovered from my pornography addiction before I ever prayed for revelation concerning my homosexuality.  All throughout my adolescence and early adulthood, I was addicted to pornography (in varying degrees of intensity), and all during that time I did not seek any knowledge from God concerning homosexuality, nor do I feel I was given any such knowledge.  However, last summer--after I had been free from pornography for several months (after I had repented of it)--I first started to consider the matter seriously and from that point began my journey of gradual sunrise-like revelation concerning the matter.  And so, if I am being deceived by the devil and if this revelation is false, then why did it not come until after I had overcome my pornography addiction?  I believe a better explanation is that it is a revelation from God and that I was not able to hear it until I had set aside my addiction--until I had cast off a grave sin that was pulling me away from my God.

And so, I truly believe that it is God's will that I marry a man.  How this relates to the Church's teaching that homosexual behavior is sinful, I could not adequately answer.  But I only claim to receive revelation for myself, not for the Church or the rest of the world.  If any other soul prays to God concerning this matter and gets an answer, I will not dispute their answer--whether it be the same as or different from mine.  God lives, He loves us and He wants us to be truly happy in all that we do.  To that end, He will guide us.

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